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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Fall 2008

MES 321K • Jewish Languages: History, Sociology and Linguistics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42531 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
GAR 0.132

Course Description

This class explores the spectrum of Jewish linguistic practice and the different linguistic, social and cultural issues associated with them (e.g. written-spoken language, female-male competency). Through this course the student will be exposed to different Jewish languages from several periods and loci, like Yiddish, Judeo-Arabic and Ladino; in addition, the student will become familiarized with important linguistic topics, such as sociolinguistics, dialectology, diglossia and languages in contact as well as social ones, such as immigration, identity etc. The class will be focused on surveying the phenomenon of Jewish languages, in order to address some of the following questions: what are the factors which determine a Jewish language, what are the reasons for its existence, is there a similar phenomenon among other ethnic groups and how does language help to construct identity and create community boundaries.

Grading Policy

" A book review (20%), students may present a Jewish language in class, instead of a book review " A research paper (50%). " A final exam (30%).


A course packet composed of seminal studies in the field will be made available. An additional bibliographical list of recommended readings will be given. In addition a list of important terms will be distributed every week.


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