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Blessings, Curses, Hopes, and Fears


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Semantic subtypes of psycho-ostensive expressions 3. Bono-recognition thanks and congratulations 4. Malo-recognition: lamentation and sympathy 5. Petitive attitudes 6. Bon-petition 7. Malo-fugition: deliver us from evil 8. Psycho-ostensives relating to the dead 9. Allo-Mal-petition: curses 10. Swearing oaths 11. Conclusion and commencement 12. 'Epes an Epilog': the relevance of Yiddish psycho-ostensives to recent and future work in linguistics and other fields.


"Don't be put off by the subtitle of this incredibly witty, informative, and entertaining analysis of the linguistic subtleties of Yiddish. In using the term "psycho-ostensive," the author refers to the heavy emotional baggage that Yiddish speakers carry around with them: their language is full of linguistic subtexts that mask, obfuscate, and hide the true feelings in the heart of the speaker." - Arnold Ages, Jewish Tribune "It may be said of Matisoff's treatise that it shows how Yiddish, through its linguistic delicacies, offered its speakers and listeners valuable therapeutic tools to cope with the perplexing world they encountered. Exploring that wolrd with Matisoff is a recreation, a joy, and "a gan Eden." That's Hebrew and Yiddish for paradise." - Arnold Ages, Jewish Tribune

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