"Can it be that our dormant language has been wholly revived?": Vision, propaganda, and linguistic reality in the Yishuv under the British mandate

Zohar Shavit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

"Hebraization" was a project of nation building-the building of a new Hebrew nation. Intended to forge a population comprising numerous languages and cultural affinities into a unified Hebrew-speaking society that would actively participate in and contribute creatively to a new Hebrewlanguage culture, it became an integral and vital part of the Zionist narrative of the period. To what extent, however, did the ideal mesh with reality? The article grapples with the unreliability of official assessments of Hebrew's dominance, and identifies and examines a broad variety of less politicized sources, such as various regulatory, personal, and commercial documents of the period as well as recently-conducted oral interviews. Together, these reveal a more complete-and more complex-portrait of the linguistic reality of the time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-138
Number of pages38
JournalIsrael Studies
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

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