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Yiddish language : ウィキペディア英語版

Yiddish (, or , ''yidish''/''idish'', literally "Jewish"; in older sources also "Yiddish-Taitsh" (Judaeo-German)〔(University of Manchester ) - "It was only in this context that Jews began to refer to their language as 'Yiddish' (= 'Jewish'), while earlier it had been referred to as 'Yiddish-Taitsh' (='Judeo-German')."〕) is the historical language of the Ashkenazi Jews. It originated during the 9th century〔
〕 in Central Europe, providing the nascent Ashkenazi community with an extensive Germanic based vernacular fused with elements taken from Hebrew and Aramaic, as well as from Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages. Yiddish is written with a fully vocalized alphabet based on the Hebrew script.
The earliest surviving references date from the 12th century and call the language (''loshn-ashknaz'' = "language of Ashkenaz") or (''taytsh''), a variant of ''tiutsch'', the contemporary name for Middle High German. In common usage, the language is called (''mame-loshn'', literally "mother tongue"), distinguishing it from Hebrew and Aramaic, which are collectively termed (''loshn-koydesh'', "holy tongue"). The term "Yiddish" did not become the most frequently used designation in the literature until the 18th century. In the late 19th and into the 20th century the language was more commonly called "Jewish", especially in non-Jewish contexts, but "Yiddish" is again the more common designation.
Modern Yiddish has two major forms. Eastern Yiddish is far more common today. It includes Southeastern (Ukrainian–Romanian), Mideastern (Polish–Galician–Eastern Hungarian), and Northeastern (Lithuanian–Belarusian) dialects. Eastern Yiddish differs from Western both by its far greater size and by the extensive inclusion of words of Slavic origin. Western Yiddish is divided into Southwestern (Swiss–Alsatian–Southern German), Midwestern (Central German), and Northwestern (Netherlandic–Northern German) dialects. Yiddish is used in a large number of Orthodox Jewish communities worldwide and is the first language of the home, school, and in many social settings among most Hasid Jews. Yiddish is also the academic language of the study of the Talmud according to the tradition of the Lithuanian yeshivas.
The term Yiddish is also used in the adjectival sense, synonymously with Jewish, to designate attributes of Ashkenazi culture (for example, Yiddish cooking and Yiddish music).〔Oscar Levant described Cole Porter's 'My Heart Belongs to Daddy" as "one of the most Yiddish tunes ever written" despite the fact that "Cole Porter's genetic background was completely alien to any Jewishness." Oscar Levant,''The Unimportance of Being Oscar'', Pocket Books 1969 (reprint of G.P. Putnam 1968), p. 32. ISBN 0-671-77104-3.〕
Prior to the Holocaust, there were over 10 million speakers of Yiddish;〔 85% of the Jews who died in the Holocaust were Yiddish speakers,〔Solomo Birnbaum, ''Grammatik der jiddischen Sprache'' (4., erg. Aufl., Hamburg: Buske, 1984), p. 3.〕 leading to a massive decline in the use of the language. Assimilation following World War II further decreased the use of Yiddish both among survivors and Yiddish-speakers from other countries (such as in the Americas). However, the number of speakers is increasing in global Hasidic communities.
The established view is that, as with other Jewish languages, Jews speaking distinct languages learnt new co-territorial vernaculars, which they then Judaized. In the case of Yiddish, this scenario sees it as emerging when speakers of Judeo-French and Judeo-Romance languages began to acquire varieties of Middle High German, and from these groups the Ashkenazi community took shape.〔Bernard Spolsky,(''The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History,'' ) Cambridge University Press, 2014 pp.157,180ff. p.183〕 Exactly what German base lies behind the earliest form of Yiddish is disputed: in Weinreich's model, speakers of Old French or Old Italian, literate in Hebrew or Aramaic, migrated through Southern Europe to settle in the Rhine Valley, in what in Yiddish was later known as Loter, meaning Lotharingia, an area extending over parts of Germany and France.〔Max Weinreich, ''History of the Yiddish Language,'' ed. Paul Glasser, Yale University Press/ YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, 2008 p.336.〕 and that several German dialects were involved. where they encountered and were influenced by Jewish speakers of High German. Both he and Solomon Birnbaum developed this further in the mid-1950s.〔
〕 In Weinreich's view, this Old Yiddish substrate later bifurcated into two distinct versions of the language, Western and Eastern Yiddish.〔Jürg Fleischer, 'The (original) unity of Western and eastern Yiddish: an assessment based on morpho-syntactic phenomena,' in Marion Aptroot, Björn Hansen, (''Yiddish Language Structures,'' ) Walter de Gruyter, 2013 pp.107-123p.108.〕 They retained the Semitic vocabulary needed for religious purposes and created a Judeo-German form of speech, sometimes not accepted as a fully autonomous language.
Recent linguistic research has finessed, contested or challenged the Weinreich model, in a variety of directions that provide alternative lines of approach to the origins of Yiddish. Some theorists argue that the fusion occurred with a Bavarian dialect base.〔〔
〕 The two main candidates for the germinal matrix of Yiddish, the Rhineland and Bavaria, are not necessarily incompatible. There may have been parallel developments in the two regions, seeding the Western and Eastern dialects of Modern Yiddish. Dovid Katz proposes that Yiddish emerged from contact between speakers of High German and Aramaic-speaking Jews from the Middle East.
In 1991, Paul Wexler proposed a highly heterodox model that took Yiddish, by which he means primarily eastern Yiddish,〔 not to be genetically grounded in a Germanic language, but rather as "Judeo-Sorbian" (a proposed Western Slavic language) whose vocabulary had been largely replaced by High German in the 9th to 12th centuries, when, according to his theory, large numbers of German-speakers settled in Sorbian and Polabian lands, and some of them, after converting, developed a Judeo-Slavic tongue which was subsequently relexified with Old High German.〔 Wexler's model has met with little academic support, and strong critical challenges, especially among historical linguists.〔〔
Alternative theories recognize the massive extent of its Germanic vocabulary. The lines of development proposed by the different theories do not necessarily rule out the others (at least not entirely); an article in ''The Jewish Daily Forward'' argues that "in the end, a new 'standard theory' of Yiddish’s origins will probably be based on the work of Weinreich and his challengers alike."〔(The Origins of Yiddish: Part Fir ), ''The Jewish Daily Forward''〕

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