July 18, 1926 - March 1, 2015

Joshua A. Fishman
  • Distinguished University Research Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus (Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology), Yeshiva University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Campus, Bronx, New York.

  • Long-Term Visiting Professor and Visiting Scholar, School of Education, Applied Linguistics and Department of Linguistics, Stanford University.

  • Long-Term Adjunct Professor of Multilingual and Multicultural Education, School of Education, New York University.

  • Visiting Professor of Linguistics, City University of New York, Graduate Center

  • Biographical information: listed in most standard references, e.g., Who's Who in America. Also see my autobiographical essay "My life through my work, my work through my life". First Person Singular, vol. 2. Konrad Koerner, ed. Amsterdam, John Benjamins, 1991, 105-124. Also see write-ups in Concise Encyclopedia of Educational Linguistics (Bernard Spolsky, ed.), Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2000, pp.758-9, and Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education (Colin Baker and Sylvia P. Jones, eds.), 1998 Clevedon, Multilingual Maters, p.189.

Complete bibliography updated thru to May 2017, as compiled by Gella Schweid Fishman with the assistance of Olivia M. Gartland.

JAF Bibliography

Contact Information

Since his passing and the passing of his wife (Gella Schweid Fishman) emails can be sent to his youngest son:

Research Interests


  • Language and ethnicity/nationalism
  • Language and religion (belief and practice systems)
  • Language movements, political parties, ideologies 
  • All of the above, particularly among "non-state-peoples".


  • How corpus planning reflects the accompanying status planning agenda
  • Ausbau efforts, language purism efforts, classicization efforts, "panification" efforts 
  • The creation, standardization and revision of writing systems
  • The organization and operation of language academies/agencies, regardless of auspices.
  • All of the above, particularly among "non-states peoples". 


  • All societal/institutional aspects (demography, schools, courses, press, theater, literature; political parties, activist groups, attitudes, etc.)
  • The sociology of Jewish vernaculars other-than-Hebrew: Judezmo/Ladino, Mugrabi, Zerfatic, Yevanic, Italkic, Yahudic, Farsic, etc.
  • Comparative post-exhilic sociology of Jewish languages.


  • In the USA: All types other than Title VII
  • Anywhere in the world: enrichment, two-way, maintenance, Reversing Language Shift, rationales and ideologies, particularly in diglossic settings, governmentally supported and volunteer/community supported


  • Traditional folk medicines (homeopathic) NOT co-opted by modern Western (allopathic) medicine 


"I have had the incredible good fortune to be exposed simultaneously to modern Western as well as to modern and classical Jewish thought, to secular and religious values, beliefs, ideals as well as theoretical and applied emphases, to the comforts of a language of wider communication (English) and a language of ethnic intimacy (Yiddish), to the infinite world of science, the eternal land of my ancestors, and the new world of democracy, opportunity and pluralism to which my parents came as adolescent immigrants. I have tried to combine all of these influences within myself as well as to contribute to them all. I consider both the tensions and the creativity resulting from these varied stimuli to constitute a unique heritage: an American-Jewish heritage to be treasured, cultivated, enriched and handed on".


The Joshua A. Fishman and Gella Schweid Fishman Family Archive

Housed at Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA., the Fishman Archive is unique in several ways. It is inter-disciplinary, international, multilingual and inter-generational. A large proportion of the materials (extending from 1940 to 1994) has been processed. The Archive contains drafts of subsequently published books and articles (through to 1994), course outlines (courses taught and courses taken), lectures given, offprint collections (by language and country), clippings, professional correspondence, family correspondence, photographs, audio-tapes video-tapes and other materials pertaining to Fishman's work in sociolinguistics, bilingual education, language and ethnicity/ nationalism, multiculturaralism, language planning, Jewish studies (Yiddish), test construction and medical anthropology.

Equally diverse holdings are available for Gella Schweid Fishman, veteran Yiddish teacher, teacher-trainer, activist and founder of the Secular Yiddish Schools in North America Collection, which is also housed at Special Collections.  .

Inquiries can be directed to:

© 2017,  A. Fishman.  All Rights Reserved.