Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Israeli Language

Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann believes that Modern Hebrew should be referred to as "Israeli". While I do think that Modern Hebrew raises some difficult questions about genetic relationships in linguistics, I think his renaming is probably motivated by its shock factor and not out of true necessity. There is no good definition for what distinguishes a language from a dialect (as per the obligatory aphorism). Besides, it's not clear how renaming the language will combat prescriptivism. Still, interesting to see him interviewed.

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