Gradual language death: The case of Bessarabian Yiddish
Yiddish is a Germanic language that was highly influenced by Slavic languages (Polish, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Russian) on different levels, including vocabulary and pragmatics. Discursive markers are one of the spheres that have many loanwords. In this paper, the usage of the Yiddish particle zhe (cf. pol. -że, ukr. že, bel. ž (a), rus. ž(e)) is compared to the usage of the Yiddish particle dokh (cf. germ. dokh). The German particle doch and the Russian particle ž(e) are often considered translation equivalents [Orlova 2012]. The aim of this paper is to understand to what extend the particles dokh and zhe are semantically and contextually different and whether they can be interchangeable.
Yiddish-speaking groups of Communists played a visible role in many countries, most notably in the Soviet Union, United States, Poland, France, Canada, Argentina and Uruguay. The sacrificial role of the Red Army, and the Soviet Union as a whole, reinforced the Left movement in the post-Holocaust Jewish world. Apart from card-careering devotees, such groups attracted numerous sympathisers, including the artist Marc Chagall and the writer Sholem Asch. But the suppression of Yiddish culture in the Soviet Union radically changed the climate in Jewish left-wing circles. Former Communists and sympathisers turned away, while the attention of Yiddish commentators in the West turned to the conditions for Jewish cultural and religious life in the Soviet Union and Poland, Jewish emigration and the situation in the Middle East. Ideological confrontations between Communist Yiddish literati in the Soviet Union, United States, Canada, Poland, France and Israel are in the centre of Gennady Estraikhs pioneering study, Yiddish in the Cold War. This ground-breaking book recreates the intellectual environments of the Moscow literary journal Sovetish Heymland (the author was its managing editor in 1988-91), the New York newspaper Morgn-Frayhayt and the Warsaw newspaper Folks-Shtime.
The problem of morphological ambiguity is widely addressed in the modern NLP. Mostly ambiguity is resolved with the use of large manually-annotated corpora and machine learning. However, such methods are not always available, as good training data is not accessible for all languages. In this paper we present a method of disambiguation without gold standard corpora using several statistical models, namely, Brill algorithm (Brill 1995) and unambiguous n-grams from the automatically annotated corpus. All the methods were tested on the Corpus of Modern Greek and on the Corpus of Modern Yiddish. As a result, more than a half of words with ambiguous analyses were disambiguated in both corpora, demonstrating high precision (>80%). Our method of morphological disambiguation demonstrates that it is possible to eliminate some of the ambiguous analyses in the corpus without specific linguistic resources, only with the use of raw data, where all possible morphological analyses for every word are indicated.
This paper examines the problematic concept of dead language as exemplified by the Hebrew language. The first section presents a brief history of the concept of dead language in European linguistic thought. Originating in Italy of the 15th century, the term became common in European linguistic writings during the 16th to 18th centuries as an epithet for Latin, Ancient Greek and Hebrew. During the Haskala (Jewish Enlightenment) in the 19th century it was adopted by Jewish intellectuals and was current in linguistic controversies throughout the 20th century. Sections 2 and 3 show the key role the label dead as applied to Hebrew played in wide-spread polemics on Jewish language choice in Russia during the first quarter of the 20th century (§ 2) and in the discourse about a Hebrew “revival” in Palestine at the same period (§ 3). Later works on the history of Hebrew published in the 19th and 20th centuries proposed novel conceptualizations but nevertheless followed the idea of the “deadness” of the Hebrew language of previous periods, discussed in § 4. Examples of Hebrew usage which contradict Hebrew’s functioning exclusively as a language of religion and high-level writings are provided in § 5. The last section is a humble attempt to outline a possible direction for a description of Hebrew language history, avoiding the problematic term dead language and other related terms.
This study is dedicated to the problem of automatic transliteration of different Yiddish orthographies. Almost every publishing house has its own specific orthographical features and each orthography can be inconsistent. The team of the Yiddish corpus needs a tool that would standardize the variety of the writing systems. There are several types of converters but they can not meet all our needs. The converter that we created works in two steps: firstly, using the complicated rule-based system, it converts any given Yiddish text into standard orthography, secondly, it converts a text in standard Yiddish into one in Latin letters. The units engaged into our rule-based system are mostly morphemes although we used also some other letter combination that ought to be transliterated in a complicated way. Our solutions led to the accuracy of transliteration 94% of raw text and 98% of the text written in more or less standard orthography. We think its efficiency can be improved by adding a list of words of semitic origin and by methods of machine learning.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.