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Soviet YiddishLanguage-Planning and Linguistic Development$
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Gennady Estraikh

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184799

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184799.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Soviet Yiddish

Gennady Estraikh

Oxford University Press

Soviet Yiddish, especially various peculiarities of its lexicon, has attracted the attention of many scholars and writers. Books and periodicals published in the Soviet Union, coupled with immense archival material, give a picture of this variety of modern Yiddish as well as of the theoretical and practical approaches of its architects. For all that, the history of Soviet Yiddish language planning and the features of Soviet Yiddish have not yet been comprehensively studied. This book analyses the major sociolinguistic and linguistic features of Yiddish Soviet-speak. As main constants which have determined the peculiarities of Soviet Yiddish, the following are considered: the changes in the social structure of Soviet Jewry and the associated acculturation and assimilation; the decline of Yiddish in contact situations with dominant languages — Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian; the impact of overall Soviet language-planning policy; and the Soviet Yiddish language planners' efforts as a by-product of government-sponsored activity among Yiddish-speakers.

Keywords:   Yiddish, Soviet Union, language planning, social structure, Jewry, acculturation, assimilation, Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian

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