Auxiliary Selection in Yiddish Dialects
Lea Schäfer
February 2021

The variation of the two past tense auxiliaries (HAVE and BE) is a well-studied phenomenon in European languages, especially in the West Germanic varieties. So far, however, the situation in Eastern Yiddish has not been examined. This paper focuses on auxiliary selection in these Yiddish dialects based on data from the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry, which were collected in the 1960s. Like most of the current works on this topic, the following analysis uses and discusses Sorace’s (1993, 2000) Auxiliary Selection Hierarchy, which allows to examine the Yiddish structures in light of historical and diatopic evidence from other Germanic varieties, particularly German and Dutch. The main focus is on intransitive verbs that show a high degree of variation—state verbs, controlled and uncontrolled motional process verbs, and change-of-state verbs. However, the Auxiliary Selection Hierarchy also has weaknesses, as is demonstrated in the following.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006968
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Journal of Germanic Linguistics 34(4)
keywords: yiddish, dialectology, tense, semantics, morphology, syntax
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