The Workshop on Language Variation & Change will be having its first meeting of the quarter this Friday, January 20th at 15:30 in Cobb Hall 107 (note the location change from last quarter), as well as on Zoom at this link. This week, we'll be hearing from Prof. Isaac Bleaman from UC Berkeley on language change and variation in Yiddish.
"Contemporary and historical perspectives on sociolinguistic variation in Yiddish"
Although Yiddish figures prominently in early research in sociolinguistics and language contact (most notably in the work of Uriel Weinreich and Joshua Fishman), very little quantitative variationist research has been conducted on either contemporary or historical varieties of the language. In this talk, I will present my findings on the social significance of variation in New York-based communities that are committed to language maintenance in Yiddish. The results show how differences in communities' maintenance practices and ideologies (e.g., whether to prioritize language dominance; whether to promote standardization) have contributed to inter-community differences in the quantitative patterning of two variables: voice onset time (VOT) and number agreement. At the end of the talk, I will preview the resources that will become available under the planned Corpus of Spoken Yiddish in Europe (CSYE), which is being developed through a National Science Foundation CAREER grant. Among other applications in research and language revitalization, the CSYE will provide the data necessary to address research questions related to the social meaning of variation and the direction of language change in the pre-Holocaust period.
If you are interested in presenting your own work at LVC, please email Inî (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com).
Check out our website for the complete LVC fall quarter schedule and information about the workshop here.