Language in Jewish Society Towards a New Understanding Author: John Myhill

Paperback - 256 pages
Related Formats:
Hardback PDF 
19 Nov 2004
Multilingual Matters
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148

Key features

- Identifies and summarises trends in the ways in which Jews think about social aspects of language

- Moves between insider and outsider perspectives


This book argues that the usage of language in Jewish societies can be understood as following from certain specific principles, particularly regarding the relationship between language and identity. Phenomena discussed include the revival of Hebrew, Hebrew in the Diaspora, the survival and ‘sanctification’ of Yiddish, the idea of ‘Jewish languages’, and the role of sociolinguistic phenomena in the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli conflict.


This book makes an interesting and significant contribution to the fields of sociolinguistics and Jewish sociolinguistics.

- Dr Moshe Nahir, University of Manitoba.

This book represents an important contribution to scholarship on Jewish languages and language revitalization. It also represents a springboard for further research on Jewish language varieties in Israel and the Diaspora and their evaluation by speakers and non-speakers.

- Journal of Sociolinguistics 10/3 2006 - Sarah Bunin Benor, Hebrew Union College

Author Biography:

John Myhill is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Haifa, where he has taught sociolinguistics since 1995. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and previously taught at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Michigan. He has published articles on Jewish sociolinguistics in a number of journals and collections, and he has also done research on Hebrew semantics and syntax, Black English, and language typology. He is the author of Typological Discourse Analysis (1992).

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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