2006 Volume 3

Editors: Bernard Jackson, Daniel Langton and Ephraim Nissan. (No Gorgias Press edition).


1. Tony Kushner, Bill Williams and Jewish Historiography: Past, Present and Future

Any student of modern British Jewry who wants to understand not only the subject matter but how to approach it has to begin with Bill Williams’ The Making of Manchester Jewry, 1740-1875 (1976). Williams’ approach blurs the barriers between politics, culture and society and his influence can be detected as much within literary and cultural scholars of British Jewry, such as Bryan Cheyette and Nadia Valman, as historians such as Tony Kushner and David Cesarani. With his many accomplishments in the fields of heritage and history, Williams has provided a remarkable legacy in terms of publications, museums, organisations and in the training and inspiration of later generations of scholars and activists. Sander Gilman has asked us to “imagine a new Jewish history written as the history of the Jews at the frontier, a history with no center; a history marked by the dynamics of change, confrontation, and accommodation; a history which focuses on the present and in which all participants are given voice. It is the place of the ‘migrant culture of the in-between.’“ Rather than a utopian vision, Bill Williams’ work has provided an example of how this ideal can be achieved in practice.

2. Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Comparative Constructions in "Israeli Hebrew"

'Hebrew' is one of the official languages - with Arabic and English - of the State of Israel, established in 1948 on 20,770 km2 in the 'Middle' East. Israeli emerged at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. Its symbolic first native speaker, Itamar Ben-Yehuda, began speaking in 1886. Israeli is a fusional synthetic language, with non-concatenative discontinuous morphemes realised by vowel infixation. This typological paper demonstrates that the typical Israeli comparative construction involves a copula or verbless clause construction, with the 'Parameter' as copula complement (CC) or as a verbless clause complement (VCC). However, there is another mono-clausal comparative construction, in which the 'Index' of comparison is the main verb in an extended intransitive clause. Future research would demonstrate that Israeli comparatives correspond with Yiddish and 'Standard Average European', although the forms used are Hebrew.