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. This introduction to major topics in the field of Arabic sociolinguistics Reem Bassiouney is an assistant professor of Arabic linguistics at Georgetown University. The first introduction to the field of Arabic sociolinguistics, this book discusses major trends in research on diglossia, code-switching, Reem Bassiouney.

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Arabic Sociolinguistics

Log In Sign Up. Lang Policy 9: The major internal challenges are: The major external challenge is the impact of foreign languages, especially English and French, due to colonial heritage and more recently globalization.

These challenges have undermined the vitality of Arabic and reduced the number of functions it fulfils. Indeed, in various parts of the Arab world, extensive use is made of English and French in higher education and in the linguistic landscape, the latter referring to the visibility of languages on objects that mark the public space in a given territory.

Included in these linguistic objects are road signs, names of sites, streets, buildings, places and institutions as well as advertising billboards, commercial shop signs and even personal visiting cards Landry and Bourhis In part in response to these challenges, calls are occasionally heard in the Arab world to replace the use of standard Arabic in public domains with local dialects or even a foreign language, such as English or French. Those behind such calls support territorial nationalism, and believe local dialects best serve the needs of Arabs in the modern era.

It is argued that local dialects are vital, dynamic, and rich in their vocabulary see, for instance, Musa ; Frayha Due to the diglossic nature of Arabic, and the negative attitudes in the Arab world towards local dialects, it is not surprising that most of the works on Arabic sociolinguistics are written in English and French. For a long time and this is still the case in many circlesStandard Arabic al-fusha was considered the only acceptable written language, while other varieties were delegitimized for M.


Amara ideological reasons, both religious and nationalistic.

Arabic Sociolinguistics – Reem Bassiouney – Google Books

As such, the study of variation in Arabic has traditionally not been encouraged. Against this current, the book under review deals with a number of major themes in Arabic sociolinguistics: Chapter one presents briefly the linguistic situation in sociolinnguistics Arab world, introducing diglossia and dialect groups. Chapter two examines diglossic switching and code-switching, dealt with as a single phenomenon.

It concentrates on structural constraints on switching, the arqbic of switching, and the theories dealing with motivations for switching.

Chapter three considers variation and change in Raabic in relation to three major theories: Chapter four focuses on language and gender in the context of major theories in the field. Chapter five deals with language policies and language education policies in the Arab world. While is true that such a book cannot cover all topics in Arabic sociolinguistics, my impression nonetheless is that some have received disproportionate coverage.

For example, almost a third of the book is devoted to language and gender, while the topic of pidignization and creolization in Arabic has been neglected. This phenomenon is worth studying because there are nowadays cities mainly in the Gulf states employing millions of foreign workers with many non-Arabic speakers, resulting in pidginized and creolized forms of Arabic Abu-Manga ; Miller Conspicuous in its absence too is the above-mentioned expanding field of linguistic landscape, which offers a fresh look at language as a social phenomenon in the modern world.


Though there is a growing body of Arabic sociolinguistic literature that casts interesting light on Arabic, and offers insights into sociolinguistics in general, the book rightly argues that many challenges still confront Arabic sociolinguistics, and that many topics are in need of further research, such as diglossic switching, and language education policies in the various Arab countries.

While there exist a number of undergraduate and graduate textbooks on the sociolinguistics of English, the current book focusing specifically on Arabic is to the best of my knowledge the first of its kind.

Up-to-date and comprehensive, it is useful not only to students and researchers of Arabic, but also to all those who are interested in sociolinguistics in general. Process of adaptation to Arabic. On the Arabic language and some of its problems.

Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality: Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 16 123— Variation and change in Arabic urban vernacular. A collection of articles presented to Manfred Woidich on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday pp. Contemporary rhetoric and the Arabic language. The Arabic language and national identity. His current research focuses on language education policies, bilingualism, and Arabic in Israel.

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