Broadcast Language Before the Establishment of the State of Israel: A Linguistic Study of the Carmel Newsreels
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This article explores the linguistic features of broadcast Hebrew as evidenced in the Carmel newsreels, short films that were shown before feature films in cinemas in Eretz Israel starting in the mid-1930s. For researchers of Modern Hebrew, this corpus is a veritable treasure, conserving audio recordings from the 1930s and 1940s. These reels provide extremely rare authentic examples of the register of Broadcast Hebrew before the establishment of the State of Israel. The reels document early examples of a formal spoken language in development, exhibiting a preliminary standard that would not be fully adopted in later generations, shedding light on the tensions between the preferred official standard and the spontaneous language spoken by the public in the first decades of the 20th century. In this paper I examine trends in the development of Modern Hebrew from its early days to the present through the language of the newsreel narration.