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Representations of variation in Modern Hebrew in Israel. cognitive processes of social and linguistic categorization
Representations of variation in Modern Hebrew in Israel. cognitive processes of social and linguistic categorization
This study investigates Hebrew speakers’ categories for the classification of linguistic variation. The exploratory approach relies on the theoretical frameworks of Perceptual Variationist Linguistics, Cognitive Linguistics and Grounded Theory Methodology. In several fieldwork stages in Israel I conducted open and semi-structured interviews which I combined with the novel method group elicitation and rating task (GERT). The qualitative analysis establishes that factors which are considered for classification of linguistic variation in Modern Hebrew diverge from the factors used in European contexts and in Variationist approaches which treat REGIONALITY as the prevalent factor. Additional variables are at work which account for different language attitudes and language use among speakers. These variables can be explored experimentally with context–sensitive methods, such as GERT. GERT is a combination of a listing task of linguistically distinguishable social groups and their rating along the dimensions “social status” and “correct Hebrew.” The analysis of the GERT data revealed the most frequently mentioned categories which all stem from the domains of ORIGIN, RELIGION and EDUCATION. For each of the categories ASHKENAZIM, JEWISH ELITE, MIZRAHIM, PERIPHERY, RUSSIANS, ETHIOPIANS, NEW IMMIGRANTS, the ARMY, ISRAELI ARABS, HAREDIM, RELIGIOUS and FORMERLY RELIGIOUS JEWS, common associations and attitudes are described in the context of interview data. For example, the ELITE was not described as speaking necessarily CORRECT HEBREW. The results show that processes of social and linguistic categorization are inseparably intertwined. Future research should focus on studying these processes and their context in more detail, to improve our understanding of the dynamics of stigmatization, discrimination and marginalization.
Cognitive Sociolinguistics, Modern Hebrew, Linguistic Variation, Grounded Theory, Israel
Striedl, Philipp
2022
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Striedl, Philipp (2022): Representations of variation in Modern Hebrew in Israel: cognitive processes of social and linguistic categorization. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty for Languages and Literatures
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Abstract

This study investigates Hebrew speakers’ categories for the classification of linguistic variation. The exploratory approach relies on the theoretical frameworks of Perceptual Variationist Linguistics, Cognitive Linguistics and Grounded Theory Methodology. In several fieldwork stages in Israel I conducted open and semi-structured interviews which I combined with the novel method group elicitation and rating task (GERT). The qualitative analysis establishes that factors which are considered for classification of linguistic variation in Modern Hebrew diverge from the factors used in European contexts and in Variationist approaches which treat REGIONALITY as the prevalent factor. Additional variables are at work which account for different language attitudes and language use among speakers. These variables can be explored experimentally with context–sensitive methods, such as GERT. GERT is a combination of a listing task of linguistically distinguishable social groups and their rating along the dimensions “social status” and “correct Hebrew.” The analysis of the GERT data revealed the most frequently mentioned categories which all stem from the domains of ORIGIN, RELIGION and EDUCATION. For each of the categories ASHKENAZIM, JEWISH ELITE, MIZRAHIM, PERIPHERY, RUSSIANS, ETHIOPIANS, NEW IMMIGRANTS, the ARMY, ISRAELI ARABS, HAREDIM, RELIGIOUS and FORMERLY RELIGIOUS JEWS, common associations and attitudes are described in the context of interview data. For example, the ELITE was not described as speaking necessarily CORRECT HEBREW. The results show that processes of social and linguistic categorization are inseparably intertwined. Future research should focus on studying these processes and their context in more detail, to improve our understanding of the dynamics of stigmatization, discrimination and marginalization.