This book observes and critiques controversies on the genesis and the character of Israeli Hebrew. Was its emergence a process of language revival? What conceptual framework should be used to assess Ben-Yehuda’s role in it? Is the language genesis completed, and is Hebrew now a normal language? How can language normalcy be defined? How is the nation speaking this language discursively constructed?
Revivalism, the hegemonic linguistic ideology in Israel, views contemporary Hebrew as a revived form of Classical Hebrew, and claims that this singular condition defies ordinary sociolinguistic analysis. General schools of linguistics – philology, structuralism, generativism – are shown to have been applied to Hebrew in accord with various national discourses. Points of convergence and tension between linguistic, sociological, historiographic and political discourses are presented. Various Zionist positions are extensively reviewed. The scope of nationalist options is examined through Canaanism, a small challenger to Zionism, which reconceptualized the linguistic and national processes, but remained revivalist and nationalist.
The subject position of the Hebrew speaker has shifted from the non-native, proud speaker of a revived tongue to the native, insecure speaker, discursively constructed by pseudo-biblical normativism, and vulnerable to authoritative ideological guidance. The effects of revivalism on language education in Israel are discussed, and argument is made in favor of a non-revivalist linguistic research program and education policy.Read excerptOrder the book from Amazon USAOrder The book from Amazon Germany
Some published articles
Kuzar, Ron. 1997. "Scientificity in Linguistic Practice: Structuralism".
Semiotica 113: 223-256. Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 1997. "Split Word, Split Subject, Split Society".
Pragmatics 7(1): 21-54. Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2000. "Ashrei hama'amin and Similar Constructions in the Various Phases of Hebrew" [in Hebrew].
Hebrew Linguistics 46: 55-67. Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2001. "Sorry, Prof. Sokal, But You have Missed the Poststructuralist Train".
RASK, International Journal of Language & Communication 14: 3-32. Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2002. "Translating the Internationale: Unity and Dissent in the Encoding of Proletarian Solidarity".
Journal of Pragmatics 34: 87-109. Abstract
Kidron, Yael & Kuzar, Ron. 2002. "My face
Is Paling against My Will: Emotion and Control in English and Hebrew".
Pragmatics and Cognition 10: 129-157.
Special issue: The Body in Description of Emotions.
Issue editors: N.J. Enfield and Anna Wierszbicka. Abstract | Full text
Kuzar, Ron. 2002. "The Simple Impersonal Construction in Texts Represented as Colloquial Hebrew" [in Hebrew].
Te'uda 18: 329-352. Volume editor: Shlomo Izre'el.Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2006. "The Existential Construction as a Contributor to the Existential Meaning" [in Hebrew].
Mekhkarim belashon [Language Studies] 10: 101-112Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2006. "The Consecutive Modal Verb Construction in Israeli Hebrew" [in Hebrew].
Leshonenu [Our Language] 68: 141-160Abstract
Netz, Hadar & Kuzar, Ron. 2006. "Three Marked Theme Constructions in Spoken English".
Journal of Pragmatics 39(2): 305-335 Abstract | Full text
Kuzar, Ron. 2006. "Sentence Patterns of Israeli Hebrew according to Rosén" [in Hebrew]. Ha’ivrit Ve’akhyoteha [Hebrew and its Sisters] 6-7: 269-294. Abstract | Full text
Kuzar, Ron. 2008. "The Term Return in the Palestinian Discourse on the Right of Return" ".
Discourse & Society 19(5): 629-644Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2008. "Palestine, Michigan: A Return Address".
Israel Studies in Language and Society 1(1): 117-134Abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2008. "A Jewish and Democratic State: The Zionist Basis for Territorial Concessions". Journal of Language and Politics 8(1): 97–111.
Journal of Language and PoliticsRead abstract
Kuzar, Ron & Netz, Hadar. 2009. "Empirical Support for the Principle of the Separation of Reference and Role". Journal of Pragmatics. In press. Available online. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2009.08.003Read abstract
Kuzar, Ron. 2010. "The Subversive Agent: An Anatomy of Personal Ideological Change".