As described by Dovid Katz, Yiddish is an extraordinarily multifaceted language: a language that is at once acclaimed as sacred and dismissed as deficient,...

As described by Dovid Katz, Yiddish is an extraordinarily multifaceted language: a language that is at once acclaimed as sacred and dismissed as deficient, profoundly connected to centuries of religious and cultural history yet marketed superficially, held to be dying out yet booming at an unprecedented rate. Yiddish and Power (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) charts the fascinating, complex course of the language, and discusses its development, spread, displacement, and how it has been threatened by pressures towards assimilation in many diverse ways. As we discuss, this history illustrates and challenges important ideas about the interplay between language, power and identity.


Chris Cummins (www.crcummins.com, [email protected]) is a lecturer in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh.

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