At 6:28 pm -0400 15/9/00, John Cowan wrote:
>No, fundamentally what makes Yiddish different is not its phonology or
>its Jewish-specific vocabulary, but its *distinct syntax*.

Yes, as all the many German dialects have basically the same syntax,
Yiddish would be a very aberrant 'dialect'.

>Of course, if you take the Weinreich attitude ("a language is a dialect
>with an army and a navy"), Yiddish can't be a language.

....only a lingo, i.e. jargon of a particular group, in this case of the
Ashkenazi Jews.

Nah - once we start relegating a language - and IMO Yiddish is a language -
to the status of a lingo or of a dialect, that opens the door to other
prejudicial attitudes towards its speakers.

And if Weinreich is correct, of what language, pray, is Basque a dialect?


A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]