Yiddish and German: The Uneasy Relatives

Subject 126-417 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: 37.5 points of second/third-year subjects in German language. European studies students wishing to enrol in this subject would normally have completed 37.5 points of European studies at second/third year.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Leo Kretzenbacher
Subject Overview:

Yiddish, the language of the Central and Eastern European Jews (Ashkenazim) is a language that has developed out of medieval German. During its development it has incorporated many Hebrew elements, such as its writing system and a lot of its vocabulary, but also elements of many Central and Eastern European languages. During their long co-existence as neighbouring languages as well as within a diglossia situation, Yiddish and German experienced a lot of mutual exchanges as well as other phenomena of language contact. The subject is an introduction to the linguistic structure and the cultural and sociological situation of historical and contemporary Yiddish, from the viewpoint of German linguistics, sociolinguistics and contact linguistics. The centuries of symbiosis between Yiddish and different standards of German as well as the role of Yiddish as a gateway for the transfer of linguistic material from third languages into German sub-languages such as regional and group-specific varieties will provide an understanding of the interaction between neighbouring languages.

Assessment: A 1000 word class paper 30% (due during the semester), and an essay of 3000 words for 3rd year students, 4000 words for 4th year students 70% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Information Not Available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have acquired skills in research, critical thinking and contextualising information;

  • have developed skills in communicating knowledge intelligibly through oral presentations and essays in German.


This subject is taught in German.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Arts (European Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (European Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (German)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (German)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (German)

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