[b-hebrew] dialects

joel at exc.com joel at exc.com
Sun Jul 5 09:10:41 EDT 2009

>> One that I note, namely, that the difference between a dialect and a
>> cognate language is only one of degree, not of kind. 
>Karl, please provide linguistic substantiation on this point. That is a 
>big claim you are making and one which I don't think is supported in the 
>linguistic literature.

It's generally recognized that the distinction between "dialect" and
"language" is a political, not a linguistic one.  ("A language is a
dialect with an army.")

A modern example comes from Yugoslavia.  Until the war, people
generally spoke of one language: Serbo-croatian.  Now some prefer
"Serbian" and "Croatian."


Joel M. Hoffman, PhD


Director of Education
Temple Israel of Northern Westchester


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list