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.
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.
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