The Pitfalls of Scholarship

Benjamin Harshav

in Language in Time of Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1993 | ISBN: 9780520079588
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912960 | DOI:
The Pitfalls of Scholarship

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This chapter states that, usually, those who labored hard for the advancement of the language saw every small step as a miracle, while outsiders observed the ridiculous limits of the achievement. Fifteen years after the “First Hebrew School” was established, the pioneer Hebrew teacher Yitzhak Epstein wrote in his textbook Hebrew in Hebrew that the child should first be taught a small vocabulary of 200–300 words. No scholar of the revival of Hebrew and Hebrew education ever asked how many French words the same child knew. Aside from noting such pitfalls, the chapter shall not go into details or examine the specific advances and retreats of the language revival, the propaganda for it, or the problems of the existing research on this topic. Rather, on the basis of existing research, it tries to reconstruct the process and understand the determining factors and the essential structure of the language revolution.

Keywords: language; Hebrew School; Yitzhak Epstein; revival; Hebrew; education; French; words

Chapter.  1487 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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