Date of Award

6-30-2016

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Art

First Advisor

Kurt Goblirsch

Abstract

In an attempt to balance the complex, multi-component nature of Yiddish with its more homogenous speech community – Ashekenazic Jews –Yiddishists have proposed definitions for the Yiddish language that cannot be considered linguistic in nature. Instead, Yiddish is often seen as a cultural phenomenon. Closely related to the issue of what Yiddish is, is how Yiddish came about. This paper addresses these two issues by comparing Yiddish to German dialects in an attempt to demonstrate Yiddish’s linguistic proximity with German and also to approach a hypothesis for the origins of Yiddish.

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