Eric Acton & VerĂ³nica Grondona, "Bubbe or Grandma?: Language and Change in Jewish Greater Detroit"

Language is at the heart of history, culture, and identity.  Research on and portrayals of the language and linguistic practices of Jewish Americans tend to focus on major coastal cities in the U.S., while relatively little is known about what language looks like in Jewish communities in the rest of North America.  Eastern Michigan University's Jewish Life and Language of Southeast Michigan (JLLSM) project aims to address this gap, providing insights into what life and language here in Jewish Metro Detroit looks like today, and how it has changed over time.  

In this talk, the JLLSM project co-directors will focus on the language of ten women in the Detroit metropolitan community, born 1938 to 1995, offering new evidence that local pronunciations among Jewish women---which differ from those of Jewish women in other parts of the U.S.---are changing considerably over time.  They will also provide examples of the pride that young women have in their Jewish culture and language and share a rich sample of stories and excerpts from other collected interviews. 


JLLSM co-directors:

Eric Acton, associate professor of linguistics at Eastern Michigan University.  His teaching and research focus on the nature of meaning, and on how language use and interpretation vary according to context.

Verónica Grondona, professor of linguistics at Eastern Michigan University. Her teaching and research focus on endangered and minority languages, language planning and policy, multilingualism, and language change.






Need assistance? Email or call 248-915-1826.


Presented by JHSM and:





Monday, February 15, 7:00PM

JHSM members: $10

Non-members: $18

EMU affiliates with an email address: please call 248-915-1826 to register free of charge


ZOOM call

Instructions for joining will be emailed the day before the demo.


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