Jews in the Netherlands and their languages

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    Abstract

    Cultural contacts between majority and minority groups involve many different aspects, one of which is language. Jews have been living in the Netherlands since around the beginning of the sixteenth century. In the two centuries that followed, their language repertoire was very rich, consisting of at least five different languages. As a result of processes of integration, speeded up by strongly pushed politics of assimilation pursued in line with the equality principle of the French revolution, Dutch Jews in the nineteenth century gave up using nearly all their original languages in favour of Dutch. The article describes these processes of language shift among Dutch Jews and poses the question whether the results of the acculturation process of the Jews going from being multilingual towards becoming monolingual are to be considered a success in terms of acculturation or a loss in terms of culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

    Publication series

    NameTilburg Papers in Culture Studies
    No.116

    Keywords

    • Languages of Jews
    • History of Dutch Jews
    • Integration
    • Assimilation
    • Emancipation

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