Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew

Overview

Israeli Hebrew is a spoken language, 'reinvented' over the course of the twentieth century. It has responded to the social demands of the newly emerging state, as well as to escalating globalization, with a vigorously developing lexicon, enriched by contact with multiple foreign languages. In this detailed and rigorous study, the author provides a principled classification of neologisms, their semantic fields and the roles of source languages, along with a sociolinguistic study of purists' and ordinary native ...

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Overview

Israeli Hebrew is a spoken language, 'reinvented' over the course of the twentieth century. It has responded to the social demands of the newly emerging state, as well as to escalating globalization, with a vigorously developing lexicon, enriched by contact with multiple foreign languages. In this detailed and rigorous study, the author provides a principled classification of neologisms, their semantic fields and the roles of source languages, along with a sociolinguistic study of purists' and ordinary native speakers' attitudes towards lexical enrichment. His analysis of the tension between linguistic creativity and the preservation of a distinct langauge identity takes the discussion beyond the case of Israeli Hebrew, through innovative comparisons with other languages. At the beginning of the third millennium, our world is characterized by worldwide communication and the vast distribution of technological and talknological devices. The mobility of the word respects no borders and the extent of that mobility may not be paralleled even in future (less heterogeneous) generations. The study of the modes and dynamics of language contact could hardly be more timely.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...fascinating and multifaceted...a paean to linguistic creativity. It is especially timely in the present historical context of rapid globalization and linguistic inter-influence."—James A. Matisoff, University of California, Berkeley
"The volume is extremely impressive. Zuckermann demonstrates a mastery of European and Hebrew lexicography...In addition to developing a rigorous analytical framework, he offers many detailed word (and compound) histories and carves out a well-defined position on issues of much significance."—Jeffrey Heath, University of Michigan
"This book will interest not only researchers and graduate students in the topic but also Hebraists. Moreover, any layman who loves words will find it absorbing and entertaining...it is both scholarly and original [and] an outstanding contribution to the science of etymology."—Geoffrey Lewis, St Antony's College, Oxford
"...This is the first time that anyone has drawn attention to the extent to which 'phono-semantic matching' applies in word formation . . . a most important contribution to the study of Israeli Hebrew word formation in particular and of language change in general."—Shmuel Bolozky, University of Massachusetts

"The book is an outstanding piece of scholarship which undoubtedly represents a milestone in the field of lexicology. Zuckermann's attention to details has made the work a mini-encyclopaedia, much in the tradition of Jewish scholarship. Generally, his etymologies are well thought out and set a standard for current and future research." —Joseph T. Farquharson, Modern Israeli Hebrew

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ghil'ad Zuckermann is Gulbenkian Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge. He teaches at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and is affiliated with the Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge. He has published in English, Israeli, Italian, Yiddish, Spanish, German and Russian; has taught in Singapore, the USA and Israel; and has held research posts in Italy, Japan and Australia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
• Abbreviations
• Introduction
• New Perspectives on Lexical Enrichment
• The Case of Israeli: Multisourced Neologization (MSN) as an Ideal Technique for Lexical Enrichment
• Addition of Sememe Versus Introduction of Lexeme
• MSN in Various Terminological Areas
• Sociolinguistic Analysis: Attitudes Towards MSN in 'Reinvented Languages'
• The Source Languages
• Statistical Analysis
• Conclusions and Theoretical Implications
• Appendix: Transcription, Transliteration and Translation
• References
• Index

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