Germanic Languages | Topics in Yiddish Culture
Y506 | 2842 | Dov-Ber Kerler

Y300, Y506, C350
"Ghetto, Shtetl and Beyond: 800 years of the History and Sociology of
Yiddish" (3 cr.)	

The origins of the Yiddish language and of Ashkenazic civilization
can be traced to the very end of the first millennium CE. The aim of
the course is to offer a detailed and focused historic overview and
discussion of some of the major issues in the history of Yiddish
language and literature with special attention to socio-cultural and
sociolinguistic aspects. This course will concentrate on the last 800
years of the history and sociology of Yiddish focusing on the
following topics: (1) theories on the origin and age of Yiddish; (2)
attitudes to Yiddish: from "Ghetto" to "Shtetl"; (3) periodization of
Yiddish language and literature; (4) "fusion" language, Jewish
language, vernacular: review of definitions with a focus on the
structure of Yiddish; (5) Yiddish and Hebrew: interface between
orality, literacy and "diglossia"; (6) Old Yiddish literature:
genres, language, historical development; (7) history of Yiddish
studies; (8) patterns of modernization: Yiddish in the 19th century;
(9) the rise of yiddishism and modern Yiddish culture; (10) sociology
of modern Yiddish: attitudes, debates, and arguments;(11) from
dialectology to stylistics: modern Literary Standard Yiddish,
daytshmerish,linguistic purism.
A Reader of (1) selected articles and papers, and (2) a selection of
some Old Yiddish and Modern Yiddish literary texts in English
translation. Fishman, Joshua/ (ed.) Never Say Die Goldsmith, Emanuel/
Modern Yiddish Culture: The Story of the Yiddish Harshav, Benjamin/
The Meaning of Yiddish