Prescriptive Activity in Modern Hebrew

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This chapter surveys prescriptive activity and discourse in Modern Hebrew from historical and sociolinguistic perspectives. The first prescriptive efforts in the pre-Mandate period (up to 1918) were part of an intensive language planning process aimed at creating a uniform functional national language based on classical Hebrew sources. After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the nationalistic tone of public discourse in Israel increased, and with it prescriptive activity, up until the 1970s. At a very early stage in the formation of the speech community, even prior to World War 1, two types of ideal (hegemonic) Hebrew began to emerge: institutional (planned), reflecting a nationalistic and puristic stance grounded in the Jewish past, and native (unplanned), reflecting a contrasting anti-institutional stance. Both types are still active in contemporary public discourse in Israel, and together constitute a complex approach to prescriptivism and the concept of correct language.

Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationUsage-Based Studies in Modern Hebrew Background, Morpho-lexicon, and Syntax
EditorsRuth A. Berman
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262066
ISBN (Print)9789027204196
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Language Companion Series
ISSN (Print)0165-7763

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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