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Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew


ZUCKERMANN, Ghil`ad 2003.

Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew.

London-New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (Palgrave Studies in Language History and Language Change, Series editor: Charles Jones). 

Hardback, 304 pages, 216mm x 138mm, ISBN: 140391723X.














'..fascinating and multifaceted... a paean to linguistic creativity. It is especially timely in the present 

historical context of rapid globalization and linguistic inter-influence.'

- Professor James A. Matisoff, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley


'The volume is extremely impressive. Zuckermann demonstrates a mastery of European and Hebrew

lexicography... In addition to developing a rigorous analytical framework, he offers many detailed word 

(and compound) histories and carves out a well-defined position on issues of much significance.'

- Jeffrey Heath, Professor of Linguistics, University of Michigan


'...this is the first time that anyone has drawn attention to the extent to which 'phono-semantic matching' 

applies in word formation...a most important contribution to the study of Israeli Hebrew word formation in

particular and of language change in general.'

- Shmuel Bolozky, Professor of Hebrew, University of Massachusetts


'This book will interest not only researchers and graduate students in the topic but also Hebraists. Moreover, 

any layman who loves words will find it absorbing and entertaining... it is both scholarly and original [and] an

outstanding contribution to the science of etymology.'

- Professor Geoffrey Lewis, St Antony's College, University of Oxford


'The book is an outstanding piece of scholarship which undoubtedly represents a milestone in the field of lexicology.' 

-Linguist List


'It would be foolhardy for any lexicographer, lexicologist, etymologist, language planner, morphologist not to have a copy of this book handy. The work is accessible to a general audience though. Zuckermann set himself an ambitious task which he has achieved with astounding brilliance.' 

-Linguist List







Israeli Hebrew is a spoken language, 'reinvented' over the course of the twentieth century. It has responded 

to the social demands of the newly emerging state, as well as to escalating globalization, with a vigorously 

developing lexicon, enriched by multiple foreign language contacts. In this detailed and rigorous study, the 

author provides a principled classification of neologisms, their semantic fields and the roles of source languages,

along with a sociolinguistic study of purists' and ordinary native speakers' attitudes towards lexical enrichment.

His analysis of the tension between linguistic creativity and the preservation of a distinct language identity 

takes the discussion beyond the case of Israeli, through innovative comparisons with Revolutionized Turkish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Yiddish, Estonian, Swahili, pidgins and creoles, and other languages.


At the beginning of the third millennium, our world is characterized by worldwide communication and the vast

distribution of technological and 'talknological' devices. The mobility of the word respects no borders and the extent of that mobility may not be paralleled even in future (less heterogeneous) generations. The study of 

the modes and dynamics of language contact could hardly be more timely.








1. New Perspectives on Lexical Enrichment

2. The Case of Israeli: Multisourced Neologization (MSN) as an Ideal Technique for Lexical Enrichment

3. Addition of Sememe Versus Introduction of Lexeme

4. MSN in Various Terminological Areas

5. Sociolinguistic Analysis: Attitudes Towards MSN in 'Reinvented Languages'

6. The Source Languages

7. Statistical Analysis

8. Conclusions and Theoretical Implications


Appendix: Transcription, Transliteration and Translation







Language and culture; Languages in contact; Lexicology; Linguistics; Aavik; Afroasiatic languages; American English; Americanization; Anthropology; Anthropological linguistics; Arabic language; Aramaic; Arts; Asian languages; Ben-Yehuda;; Bible; Bilingualism; Bloomfield; Borrowing; Camouflage; Change; Chinese language; Comparative linguistics; Contact linguistics; Creativity; Creole dialects; Culture; Derrida; Dictionaries; Education; English as the global language; English language--Foreign countries; English language--Influence on foreign languages; Estonian; Etymology; Europe; Far East; Foreign Language - Dictionaries / Phrase Books; Foreign Language Study; French language--Influence on foreign languages; Gender; German language--Influence on foreign languages; Globalization; Grammar, Comparative and general--Word formation; Greek language--

Influence on foreign languages; Hamito-Semitic languages; Hebrew; Hebrew language--Foreign words and phrases; Hebrew language--New words; Hebrew language--Revival; Hebrew language--Word formation; 

Historical linguistics; History; Human behaviour; Humanities; Indo-European languages; Innovation; Israel; Jamaican Creole; Japanese language; Imitation; ; Jewish learning and scholarship; Jewish languages; Judaic studies; Judaism; Language; Language and languages--Etymology; Language and languages--Orthography 

and spelling; Language planning; Lexical enrichment; Lexicography; Lexicon/lexis; Linguistic change; Mandarin; Medieval Hebrew(s); Middle East; Mishnah; Literature; Modern Hebrew; Morphology; Multilingualism; Non-fiction; Old Testament; Orthography; Philology; Phonetics; Phonology; Pidgin languages; Polish language--Influence on foreign languages; Politics; Portuguese; Purism; Rabbinic Hebrew; Reference; Religion; Revitalization; Revival; Revolutions; Russian language--Influence on foreign languages; Saussure; Semantics; Semitic languages; 

Singlish (Singaporean English); Social Science; Society; Sociolinguistics; Sociology; Spanish; Survival; Swahili; Psychology; Psycholinguistics; Talmud; Turkish language; Vernacular; Vernacularization; Vocabulary; Yiddish language; Words; Writing; Written communication.



AUTHOR (Brief bio as of 2003)


Dr Ghil'ad Zuckermann, D.Phil. (Oxford), is Gulbenkian Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge. He teaches at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and is affiliated with the Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge. He has published in English, Israeli, Italian, Yiddish, Spanish, German and Russian; has taught in Singapore, the USA and Israel; and has held research posts in Italy, Japan and Australia. His further publications are listed here

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