Yiddish and German: The Uneasy Relatives

Subject 126-417 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Pre-requisites for enrolment in German Honours level course.
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


Leo Kreztenbacher


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 1200-word class paper 30% (due during semester) and an essay of 4000 words 70% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:
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.
Notes: This subject is taught in German.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: German

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