Sociolinguistics of Modern Hebrew

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter characterizes Modern Hebrew as having developed in a highly multilingual setting. This evolved, initially, from a century of Jewish immigrations starting in the 1880s, bringing languages from Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, and North Africa. Subsequently, late 20th-century immigrations from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia and an influx of global languages further increased multilingualism in the small area of what was known formerly as Palestine (or Eretz Yisrael 'the Land of Israel') and, since 1948, as Israel. The impact of these incoming languages on Modern Hebrew is described as depending on varying sociolinguistic factors of languages-in-contact, including an asymmetric interaction pattern that evolved between Hebrew and Palestinian Arabic which, together with more general socio-historical factors, created a multitude of communal varieties, and different registers, genres, styles, and codes of usage. The chapter also briefly considers issues of language, gender, and power as well as language policy and planning in this complex sociolinguistic setting, concluding with general comments on the current linguistic landscape of Modern Hebrew.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsage-Based Studies in Modern Hebrew Background, Morpho-lexicon, and Syntax
EditorsRuth A. Berman
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages45
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262066
ISBN (Print)9789027204196
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Language Companion Series

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

RAMBI publications

  • rambi
  • Hebrew language, Modern
  • Hebrew language, Modern -- Terms and phrases
  • Israel -- Languages -- Social aspects
  • Sociolinguistics


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