The Use of Immigrant Dialect in Israel Zangwill’s Children of the Ghetto


  • Lilian Falk Halifax


When London-born Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) approached his first major novel, CHILDREN OF THE GHETTO (1892), he faced the task of creating a style which would not only reflect the immigrant speech of Jewish East End, but which would also render the essence of Jewish culture intelligible to general readership. Zangwill's task, therefore, was to represent local speech as accurately as possible, and, in addition, to indicate instances of code switching between English, Hebrew, and Yiddish according to the background of the speakers and the circumstances of specific conversations.

The paper examines Zangwill's use of various linguistic elements needed for accomplishing his task, such as his way of representing Yiddish and Hebrew conversations via the medium of English, and his careful distinction between the uses of English, Hebrew, and Yiddish by the immigrants, as he charts the process of their acculturation.



How to Cite

Falk, L. (1998). The Use of Immigrant Dialect in Israel Zangwill’s Children of the Ghetto. Papers from the Annual Meetings of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association (PAMAPLA) ACTES DES COLLOQUES ANNUELS DE L’ASSOCIATION DE LINGUISTIQUE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES (ACAALPA)., 21, 80–88. Retrieved from

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