Wh-Ever Constructions in American Hasidic Yiddish: The Rise of a Germanic Construction

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This paper discusses the hitherto undocumented wh-ever constructions in contemporary American Hasidic Yiddish. Employment of these Germanic constructions in both written and spoken American Hasidic Yiddish raises the question of their origin and the possibility that several Germanic varieties have influenced this seemingly new pattern. Specifically, these constructions might have originated from German-ized Yiddish varieties and past contact with Judeo-German, and then gradually become entrenched in American Hasidic Yiddish through contact with English. The paper uses this particular construction to offer some more general reflections on the possibility of historical impact of German on American Hasidic Yiddish during the formation of Hasidic Yiddish varieties in Williamsburg (New York) in the 1950s.∗

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-138
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Germanic Linguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Society for Germanic Linguistics 2022.


  • American Hasidic Yiddish
  • Habsburg Yiddish
  • Hasidic Yiddish
  • Yiddish dialectology
  • concessive conditionals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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