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Academic Paper

Title: Mosaic identity and style: Phonological variation among Reform American Jews
Author: Erez Levon
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Scholars of American Judaism have argued that American Jews are losing their sense of a distinctive Jewish identity, and the cultural practices concomitant with that identity. This general attrition has resulted in what many label the mosaic identity of American Jews, whereby multiple group affiliations exist in tandem and in conflict. Utilizing a reworked framework of language style (based on Bell 1984, 2001), I demonstrate how the claim that Jewish-affiliated practice is compartmentalized and relegated only to specifically Jewish contexts is supported through an examination of the variable pronunciation of word-final /t/. This paper illustrates the ways in which quantitative and qualitative analyses can work together to create a more developed picture of Reform American Judaism.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Journal of Sociolinguistics 10(2): 181-204, 2006

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