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Jewish language varieties

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Abstract

Created in the special circumstances of diaspora isolation, persecution, and regular migration, Jewish language varieties that survived the Holocaust have proved, with the exception of Hasidic Yiddish, to be fragile and are becoming extinct as spoken vernaculars. Emancipation, especially when accompanied by admission to public and state schools, generally led to language shift. But postvernacularity, the building of a metalinguistic community through the preservation of the symbolic value of a language in place of its communicative use, has enabled many Jewish groups to maintain the identity associated with their ethnic heritage.

References

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