The first introduction to the field of Arabic sociolinguistics, this book Reem Bassiouney For the layperson, there is only one language called ‘Arabic’. For the. The first introduction to the field of Arabic sociolinguistics, this book discusses major trends in research on diglossia, code-switching, Reem Bassiouney. This introduction to major topics in the field of Arabic sociolinguistics Reem Bassiouney is an assistant professor of Arabic linguistics at Georgetown University.

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As was stated before, Myers-Scotton’s main hypothesis is that ‘lan- guages can sustain structural incursion and remain robust, but the taking in of CODE-SWITCHING 55 alien inflections and function bassioubey is often a step leading to language attrition and language death’ a: Perhaps because of these differences between dialects, Arab governments are in general still keen on promoting Standard Arabic SA as their official language rather than the various vernaculars; this promotion of SA as the offi- cial language will be examined in detail in Chapter 5.

Note that MSA alone requires a complementiser with this verb.

All informants had been in the USA for at least a year. But once he starts speaking what they dictate to him, then he speaks in the language of books, and his words become comic! These are not easy questions to answer. He may take the student aside and speak in a different code a less formal one. First, the term ‘educated Arabs’ seems vague. However, these differences were not taken into account by Ferguson. The phrase is spoken in colloquial Egyptian Arabic.

He found that certain dialectal variants gradually become more dominant than the ‘standard’ variants. The following is Nielsen’s criticism of ESA: The H variety of diglossia, SA, provides educated individuals with some of the tools they need to understand other varieties. It is not clear whether the colloquial levels are built on socioeconomic variables like education or are sociolingguistics ‘stylistic registers’, or whether they can be both.

I have benefited in one way or another from discussions and exchange of ideas, not necessarily about linguistics, with a lot of colleagues and friends. For instance, in example 26one cannot claim that there is an EL island and that there is only one ML at work, which is ECA, since in the verb bi-tunaffaS there is switching within a maximal projection, and thus this example cannot be explained by the idea of islands, at least not as it is currently formulated.


If after the lecture, while he is walking home, a student asks him about a more personal subject, then the situation is different.

Note the following example, in which the speaker compares and contrasts how old people are cared for in Britain and the Arab world Wernberg-Moller All the mixed forms that occur in the data can be analysed as follows: As was shown in all the examples above, sometimes there seems to be more than one ML at work.

In other words, it is becoming the medium of instruction in Egyptian classrooms. Contents Acknowledgements viii List of charts, maps and tables x List of abbreviations xii Conventions used in this book xiv Introduction 1 1. While I was interpreting, a female politician started speaking in a language that I did not recognise.

Code-switching as denned by her a: It is therefore unavoidable that there has to be a selection and focus on particular issues, topics and studies sociolignuistics not others. The second chapter examines diglossic switching and code-switching as a single phenomenon. This could have posed a methodological problem for the research since the code used may have been a reaction to the knowledge of the participants that they were being recorded by a linguist. In addition, they also use the term ‘Arabic’ to refer to the standard lan- guage and the colloquials of different countries, the national varieties.

There is nothing as satisfying as having students who are interested and engaged in the topics one teaches. For the layperson, there is only one language called ‘Arabic’ For the linguist, there are at least three different varieties of Arabic in each Arab country, and aranic linguists even claim that there are at least five different levels of Arabic in each country, not counting the different dialects of each country.

Before proceeding with what this book discusses, I would like to refer to specific incidents that the reader may find interesting and that in general terms show the importance of Arabic socio- linguistics and the relationship between language and society. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia Table 5. On the other hand, one can also use a sociological, anthropological and historical approach which takes into consideration the division between Bedouin and sedentary dialects in the Arab world Palva Left to their own devices, linguists could claim each of the national varieties arqbic a separate, distinct lan- guage.


We were living in the second floor of an eight-storey building. Perhaps it also reflects the tension that exists in all Arab countries, where people speak one language variety at home and learn a different one in school, write in one language and express their feelings in another, memorise poetry in one language and sing songs in another.

Arabic Sociolinguistics

Gumperz gave credit to the individual in code-switching in an unprecedented manner. For example, speech events can fall under differ- ent domains, like a baseball conversation and an electrical engineering lecture. Second, if it is sociolunguistics difficult for linguists to agree about the different levels used even in a single community, how much more difficult could it be to try to describe what the rules are for inter-communal communication?

Instructions to servants, waiters, workmen and clerks 2.

Arabic Sociolinguistics – Reem Bassiouney – Google Books

I recognised the existence of intermediate forms and mentioned them briefly in the sciolinguistics, but I felt then and still feel that in the diglossia case the analyst finds two poles in terms of which the intermediate varieties can be described, there is no third pole. It should be of great benefit both to the student of Arabic and the general linguist with no knowledge of Arabic. This is the form of colloquial which is characterised by the absence of influence from MSA. He was describing diglossia cross-linguistically as it relates to issues of standardisation.

Chapter 1. A new direction for Arabic sociolinguistics | Reem Bassiouney

The MSA demonstrative ha: Also the MSA third person pronoun is considered an outsider late system morpheme since it refers to information outside its maximal projection.

How do we define a community? In this example, there is violation of the equivalence constraint. He did not propose that social factors may have a part to play in the negotiation of choice of variety in a diglossic community in specific sets of circumstances. The other problem that one encounters is why, if ‘Arabic’ is the inherent language of the earth, are Arabs so keen on teaching their children foreign languages.