The advantages of a blockage-based etymological dictionary for proven or putative relexified languages

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Yiddish is generally regarded as a form of High German that underwent extreme Slavicization over some seven centuries. I believe, in contrast, that Yiddish is a mixed Slavic language that was created by two separate processes of relexification between the 9th–15th centuries: from Upper Sorbian and Kiev-Polessian (contemporary North Ukrainian and Southern Belarusian) to Middle High German and, secondarily, Classical Hebrew. The relexification was described in great detail in earlier studies of mine. The present paper shows (1) why an etymological dictionary of a relexified language must be radically different from that of a non-relexified language and (2) why such a dictionary is an ideal way to demonstrate the fact of relexification.


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