2nd Conference on Yiddish Language Structures

The international conference Yiddish Language Structures 2 will be held June 11–13, 2019 at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. The main focus will be on structural aspects of the Yiddish language system and includes both theoretical and empirical approaches.
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2nd Conference on Yiddish Language Structures

The chair of Yiddish Culture, Language and Literature at the University of Düsseldorf (Lea Schäfer and Marion Aptroot) invites abstracts for the international conference Yiddish Language Structures 2 to be held June 11–13, 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The main focus will be on structural aspects of the Yiddish language system and includes both theoretical and empirical questions. The organizers intend to bring together specialists from the fields of Yiddish Linguistics and researchers in General Linguistics working with Yiddish in order to put Yiddish language structures into a broader linguistic context.

The conference follows the example of the workshop Yiddish Language Structures which was held held at the University of Regensburg in 2009. Likewise, we intend to publish a collection of peer reviewed articles based on a selection of conference papers. The workshop is also meant to be a forum for discussing the new project towards a
Syntax of Eastern Yiddish Dialects (SEYD) that aims to examine the grammatical structures that can be found in the field notes of the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry.

Areas of interest include phonetics, phonology, lexicology, morphology, and the syntax of Yiddish, Yiddish dialectology, as well as Yiddish in (micro-)typological contexts.
Supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.
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Call for Papers

Abstract Specifications for Talks and Posters

Maximum length: 500 words or 1 single-spaced page. Abstracts must be anonymous; do not put your name or other identifying information on the abstract. The conference languages will be English, Yiddish and German.

Please submit your abstract via: EasyChair

Deadline for the submission of abstracts is February 1, 2019

Notification about the acceptance or rejection of submitted abstracts will be given by February 08, 2019.

Travel Grants

Three grants for travel and accommodation expenses for junior researchers (doctoral candidates or postdocs) are available. Please indicate in your abstract if you are in need of such a grant. The decision will be made on the principle "first come, first served".

Participation without presentation

If you would like to attend the conference, please register by e-mail in time.

The following scholars have accepted to deliver a keynote talk at the workshop:

Molly Diesing (Cornell University)

Molly Diesing is well known for her work on the syntax/semantics interface. The Yiddish language always plays an important role in it. Widely known are her papers on the Syntax of Aspect, Verb Second, and wh-dependencies in Yiddish. At YiLaS2 she'll give a keynote on her latest work.

Neil G. Jacobs (Ohio State University, Emeritus)

Neil Jacobs is an expert on Yiddish phonology, morphology, dialectology and language history, and has also worked in the areas of post-Yiddish Jewish ethnolects, and language use in Jewish cabaret.

Steffen Krogh (University of Aarhus)

Steffen Krogh’s work on Yiddish covers a large area. Among others, he published on Transcarpathian, (Haredi) Satmar Yiddish, as well as on German or Slavic influences on Yiddish. Krogh is focused on empirically based descriptions of Yiddish language structures.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

13.00 Registration and Coffee

14.00 Welcome

14.15 Sandra Birzer, Universität Bamberg The Yiddish subjective resultative construction based on the adverbial participle: con- and divergences with co-territorial languages

15.00 Dov-Ber Kerler, Indiana University Bloomington From language back to vernacular: the sociolinguistic underpinning of a radical linguistic change of the early 21st-century Yiddish

15.45 Coffee break

16.15 Keynote: Neil G. Jacobs, The Ohio State University Indexicality in Ashkenazic speech

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

9:30 Keynote: Molly Diesing, Cornell University On the symmetry of verb-second in Yiddish

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Anna Pilarski, University of Szczecin Direct interrogative sentences of Yiddish in language contact with Polish. Remarks on parametrization of the CP area [in German]

11.45 Isaac L. Bleaman, New York University Deriving doubling in the Yiddish predicate fronting construction: Verbs, complements, and particles

12.30 Lunch break

14.00 Dalit Assouline, University of Haifa Subordination in American and Israeli Haredi Yiddish

14.45 Kriszta Eszter Szendrői / Lily Kahn / Zoe Belk, University College London No case for case in Hasidic Yiddish: Evidence from the language of the Stamford Hill Hasidim

15.30 Coffee break

16.00 Chaya R. Nove, The Graduate Center at City University of New York Cross-generational change in the phonetic properties of New York Hasidic Yiddish long-short vowel pairs

16.45 Adam Albright, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Yiddish diminutive gaps are phonological

18.00 Poster Session & Reception

Marc Brode / Lea Schäfer, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf Change in multilingualism: language situations of 20th-century Yiddish speakers

Alec Burko, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York Mining the LCAAJ answer sheets for phonetic data

Zuzanna Łapa, Jagiellonian University, Kraków Semantic and pragmatic features of Slavic augmentative suffixes in Yiddish

Carola Leutermann, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster The linguistic landscape of Masematte in Münster

Samuel Liff, NSF REU Site Intersection of Linguistics, Language, and Culture/CUNY BA (Baruch College) / Isabelle Barrière, Long Island University Brooklyn and the Yeled V’Yalda Research Institute Null subject pronouns in Borough Park and Williamsburg Hasidic Yiddish

Lea Schäfer / Marc Brode / Jana Katczynski / Florian Leuwer, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf Structural dialectology revised

Lea Schäfer / Marc Brode / Jana Katczynski / Florian Leuwer, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf Auxiliary selection in Yiddish dialects

Noam Tomer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem The syntax of periphrastic verb structures in Dutch Yiddish: Signs of contact-induced influence?

Ilia Uchitel, Higher School of Economics, Moscow Describing the dialectal impact on Yiddish texts: a corpus study

Thursday, June 13, 2019

9:30 Keynote: Steffen Krogh, Aarhus University Daytshmerizms in twenty-first century Haredi Satmar Yiddish: erratic blocks or a fifth genetic component?

10.30 Coffee break

11.00 Jürg Fleischer, Philipps-Universität Marburg The surplus of the LCAAJ data: making sense of variation patterns in Yiddish relative clause formation

11.45 Alexander Beider, Paris Methodological principles of defining links between Yiddish and German dialects

13.30 Valentina Fedchenko, INALCO, ParisVen ikh zol geven visn frier.” Use of geven in active forms of irrealis: dialectal variation and a possible contact influence

14.15 Elena Luchina, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem The wanderings of Yiddish in Slavic Wonderland: Yiddish zikh-verbs in a parallel corpus

15.00 Coffee break

15.30 Simon Neuberg, Universität Trier The formation of Hebrew component verbs – patterns and history

16.15 Final discussion

Program as PDF

Organizers: Marion Aptroot and Lea Schäfer

Contact: jiddisch@hhu.de (http://www.jiddisch.hhu.de/)


Conference venue

  • Address - Vortragsraum der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek
    Gebäude 24.41 1. Stock, Universitätsstraße 1, 40225 Düsseldorf

  • get there - subways no. U73, U79, 704 to "Universität Ost/ Botanischer Garten", or
    busses no. 735, 835 to "Universität Mitte"


  • From the city center you can get to the university by public transport easily. Contact us if you need recommendations for hotels or hostels.


  • E-mail - yilas2conference(at)gmail.com

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