Jewish-Languages Mailing List

March 2003

Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 12:14:27 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: Call for Papers 2003

See below the call for papers for the Association for Jewish Studies.
Proposals are due in a month, so let's start thinking about panels we
might want to organize. Thanks to Lewis Glinert
(lewis.glinert @, this year's themes for the linguistics
category are particularly interesting:

19. Linguistics, Semiotics, and Philology
Linguistic, semiotic, or philological studies of
Hebrew, Yiddish and other Jewish languages;
papers on the teaching of these languages

2003 Themes/Topics:

• Circumstances of Jewish Language Shifts

• The History of the Study of Jewish Languages

• Discourse Analysis of Jewish Languages

• Pedagogy of Jewish Languages in Social and Cultural Context

• Marginal Jewish Languages and their Communities

• Jewish Languages among non-Jewish Populations


-Sarah Bunin Benor

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 12:23:12 -0500
From: Association for Jewish Studies <ajs @>
Subject: Call for Papers 2003; AJS Review 26:2

Dear Friends,

This is to advise you that the 2003 Call for Papers is en route to you.
Domestic US members will be receiving the full printed brochure; non-US
members will receive a post card announcement. The full brochure is also
available on our web site:
for download and printing. The web-based proposal module is now available
and will be open until April 10 at 5 PM EDT. Full information about meals,
hotel, etc. is also to be found on our web site. Please be sure to follow
the online instructions that will guide you through the proposal submission
process. We look forward to receiving your proposals and to seeing you at
the Sheraton Boston in December.

Paid-up members should by now have received their copy of AJS Review 26:2.
If you have not yet renewed for 2002-3, please be advised that we plan to
do a second mailing in mid-April to those who renew either online or by
check to the AJS office prior to April 10.



                 Association for Jewish Studies
             Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ph.D., President
           Aaron L. Katchen, Ph.D., Executive Director

  MS 011                               email: ajs @
  Brandeis University                    Voice: (781) 736-2981
  P.O. Box 549110                          FAX: (781) 736-2982
  Waltham, MA 02454-9110 

Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 13:18:02 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: translation software

This is from Michal Held <msmheld @>.
Please respond to her or Matilda Cohen-Sarano.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 22:35:30 +0200
To: jewish-languages-owner @
Subject: translation software

Shalom to all,

I'm writing on behalf of Matilda Cohen-Sarano who is working on a
compilation of a Ladino-Hebrew dictionary. In order to simplify the
technical work involved in the project, we are searching for a
computerized tool that enables one to create a two-directional list of
words in alphabetical order (I guess that means a simple dictionary making
software.) As the tool must be able to decipher Hebrew as on of the
languages, I figured that maybe someone on our list would have come across
something that might be of help. Any help will be most appreciated
(replies may be sent to me at this address or to Matilda at
paz3 @

Toda Raba and keep up your good work,

Michal Held
The Center for the Study of Jewish Languages and Literatures
The Hebrew University

Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 09:24:22 +0100
From: Marion Aptroot <aptroot @>
Subject: Sixth Symposium for Yiddish Studies in Germany, September 2003

Sixth Symposium for Yiddish Studies in Germany

Trier, 22-24 September 2003

The Sixth Symposium for Yiddish Studies in Germany will be held September
22-24 at University of Trier. This annual Yiddish Sym-posium is organized
alternately by the Yiddish programs at the universities of Trier and
Duesseldorf and is intended to offer students and scholars the possibility
to present their research, exchange ideas and put forward questions for

You are invited to submit abstracts for 20 min. papers until June 1, 2003.
Presentations can be held in Yiddish or German.

As usual, we have decided not to devote the symposium to a single topic in
order not to exclude any of the fields of research within Yiddish Studies.
Interdisciplinary papers with a connection to Yiddish Studies are welcome.

The symposium is open to all those interested in Yiddish Studies. There is
no conference fee. We do ask participants to register as soon as possible at
the address below.

Regularly updated information can be found under:
We are also happy to answer questions by mail, fax or e-mail.

Simon Neuberg and Marion Aptroot

Prof. Dr. Marion Aptroot
Institut fuer Juedische Studien
Abt. fuer Jiddische Kultur, Sprache und Literatur
Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf

Prof. Dr. Simon Neuberg
FB II / Jiddistik
Universitaet Trier

Correspondence address:
Universitaet Trier
FBII / Jiddistik
54286 Trier
Fax: 0651-201-3909
e-mail: jiddisch @

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 09:03:48 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: clicks

There was a message posted on Linguist List about paralinguistic clicks,
and I'm posting it here. I'm also posting my response to the sender -
about clicks in Israeli Hebrew and Orthodox Jewish English in America. If
others have responses about other languages, please direct them to the
sender and to this list.


Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 08:13:20 +0000
From: Mark Jones <paralinguistic_clicks @>
Subject: Paralinguistic clicks

Dear Linguists,

it's common in the phonetic literature (e.g. John Laver (1994)
''Principles of Phonetics'': 175, Cambridge University Press) to see
click consonants (velaric ingressive sounds) described as rare as
contrastive units, but common paralinguistically. I'm aware of their
phonological distribution, but I don't know of any detailed survey of
paralinguistic usage.

In (British) English we have two paralinguistic clicks: the dental
click ([/]), written as either ''tut'' or ''tsk'', and the lateral
click ([//]), which as far as I'm aware has no written form. The
dental ''tut/tsk'' usually occurs doubled, i.e. as ''tut tut'' or
''tsk tsk'' to indicate disapproval. The lateral click (also doubled)
is the sound made to encourage a horse to move. There is, of course,
also the bilabial click ([0]) which is a kiss. I don't include this as
paralinguistic, because it is what it symbolises.

I'd like to conduct as wide a cross-linguistic survey as possible to

1) whether clicks are widely used paralinguistically;
2) which clicks are used paralinguistically;
3) what the click sounds symbolise;
4) whether 'doubling' of the click is common, e.g. as in English ''tut

I'd also like to hear about writing conventions for the paralinguistic
clicks. Does English have a preference for ''tut'' or ''tsk'', does
[//] have a written form? What do other languages do?

I'd be very grateful if list users would contribute any information on
their native or near-native languages to me at the following mail
address (set up to keep my university mail volume down):

paralinguistic_clicks @

I'll post a summary, but I'd like to give users a few weeks to respond.

Many thanks!

Mark Jones
Department of Linguistics
University of Cambridge
mjj13 @


My resposne:

Hello. I'm interested in this topic, and I look forward to hearing what
you find. One issue: I thought the "tsk" click in English was alveloar,
rather than dental.

There are 2 clicks in Modern Israeli Hebrew: one meaning 'no' (alveolar
with lip rounding) and one used as a hesitation marker with slight
negative affect (alveloar with no lip rounding). The hesitation click has
been borrowed by Orthodox Jewish English in America, likely through
contact among the young people (when they spend time studying in Israel).
I don't know how these clicks are represented orthographically. There is
little metalinguistic discussion of them, although they are quite common
in informal speech.

-Sarah Bunin Benor
Stanford University

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 12:23:57 -0500
From: George Jochnowitz <jochnowitz @>
Subject: paralinguistic inventory

In addition to paralinguistic clicks, English has a paralinguistic /h/ that
can occur before syllabic nasals, as in *hmm* and *mm-hmm*. There is also a
paralinguistic glottal stop, most notably in *uh-oh*.

When I was in France 20 and 40 years ago, there was an unvoiced [i] used by
women in the word *oui*. I did not hear this sound when I visited France in
2000. Perhaps it has dropped out of the paralinguistic inventory. There
must be examples in other languages of paralinguistic sounds that are used
only by men or by women.

George Jochnowitz

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 12:32:16 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @>
Subject: Re: paralinguistic inventory

Also, the English forms "yup" and "nope" show a parallel bilabial stop.

Italian has a paralinguistic alveolar click, used for negation, and as far
as I can tell, either as a negative response to a question, or to negate a
positive declarative statement.

Seth Jerchower

Seth Jerchower
Public Services Librarian
Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Library
University of Pennsylvania
420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tel: (215) 238-1290, ext. 203
Fax: (215) 238-1540
sethj @

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 13:42:35 -0500
From: Erez M Levon <eml246 @>
Subject: Paralinguistic clicks (follow-up)

Though I've never worked on this myself, I know that discussions of
paralinguistic clicks have featured prominently in work on African
American Vernacular - I think it's a dental click that functions as a
discourse marker with varying functional meanings. I've also heard a
colleague of mine who's currently doing fieldwork among adolescents in
Long Island that a new alveo-palatal click is being used in much the
same way.


Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2003 13:11:22 -0800
From: Yona Sabar <sabar @>
Subject: Re: clicks

Spoken Arabic and Neo-Aramaic have /la/ 'no' vs. /la'/ (ending with
a glottal stop, hamza) 'emphatic no!'; Neo-Aramaic also has /xa/
'one', /tre/ 'two' (preceding the counted noun),but /xa'/ /tre'/
(with hamza) when in final position and for emphasis.

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 14:17:20 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: panels for AJS

Hello. Two people have expressed interest in giving papers at AJS
(Association for Jewish Studies - Boston in December) about language and
identity or language and culture (broadly defined). Does anyone else want
to participate?

-Sarah Bunin Benor
Stanford University

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 11:20:01 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @>
Subject: knaanic or judeo-czech (fwd)

Does anyone know where to find resources on Judeo-Czech?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 18:53:40 EST
From: Silvermickyag @
To: editor @
Subject: knaanic or judeo-czech

I found your website with great interest and would like to know how to find a
glossary or list of knaanic words from the few extant sources eg Or Zarua.
Have any been published? Where does the Lord's prayer extract come from? I
would really appreciate a reply. Micky Silver (London).

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 15:30:48 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @>
Subject: Re: knaanic or judeo-czech (fwd)

I don't know whose translation it is, but it was/is (see any Gideon Bible
for John 3:14) a popular Christian Hebraist past-time and proselytization
endeavor to make such translations (even Ethnologue still has strong

For Knaanic, see:
Weinreich, Uriel 1956. "Yiddish, Knaanic, Slavic: The Basic
Relationships". In For Roman Jakobson (The Hague: Mouton), 622-

Gold, David L. "For Max Weinreich on his seventieth birthday: Studies in
Jewish languages, literature, and society". Language-Sciences; 1974, 31,
Aug, 47-53. The Hague: Mouton.
ABSTRACT: A review, grounded in theoretical linguistics and Jewish
intralinguistics (the comparative study of the speech of Jews and related
groups), which examines a volume of contributions pertinent to the language
sciences: Yiddish, Dzhudezmo, Hebrew, Yahudic and Knaanic linguistics,
Jewish onomastics, Jewish folklore, Yiddish literature, and translation
theory. Most of the studies, by specialists writing in their own fields,
have, expectedly, now become permanent contributions to our growing
knowledge of Jewish languages. A few, by specialists in one field venturing
into another, are unsatisfactory.
INDEX PHRASE: contributions to Yiddish, Dzhudezmo, Hebrew, Yahudic & Knaanic
linguistics, Jewish onomastics, folklore, literature, translation theory;
book review

Valete, Seth

Seth Jerchower
Public Services Librarian
Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Library
University of Pennsylvania
420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tel: (215) 238-1290, ext. 203
Fax: (215) 238-1540
sethj @

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 15:35:24 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @>
Subject: Re: knaanic or judeo-czech (fwd)

Whoops, I meant to add that:

"Ethnologue still has strong missionary ties and interests."