Yiddish (Ukrainish): Pronunciation of יי

Squee100

Banned
English - American
Sources disagree about whether יי is pronounced [ej] or [aj] in "Ukrainish" (Southeastern) Yiddish, but no source I checked says that both pronunciations are used (in SEY that is). Note that I'm only talking about יי, not ייַ.
 
  • duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    My family said 'ey'. Their area was Poland/Russia but their shtetl would now be in the Ukraine, so I can't trust their pronunciation. It's probably a mixture.
     

    Squee100

    Banned
    English - American
    Did they say 'u' for open-syllabic אָ, 'ey' for open-syllabic ע, 'oy' for וי, and 'i' for ו?
     
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    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    They were not totally consistent, but I believe this was because the community of Jews in Uruguay came from all over and they made up some kind of 'standard'. My big surprise was to realize (when I started studying Linguistics) that when I was a child, I had no problem talking and understanding my friend's parents' Yiddish but they were all using absolutely different vowels. Sounds funny but I haven't studied the issue at all. For 'child acquisition of language' it's an interesting problem.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It should be /ej/. This was one of the main distinguishing features between "Poylish" and "Ukraynish".

    Not that in classical Ukraynish, the long ע was pronounced /i/, but in more modern times (probably around the turn of the 20th century) most speakers started correcting it to /ej/.
     
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