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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MSA uses the imperfect, while all the varieties use the perfect. Note the following example of EL islands: She tries, in an unprecedented manner, to formulate a theory that can explain both the discourse function of code-switching and the structural constraints on code-switching. The first was on problems of higher education in Egypt and took place at the American University in Cairo.

Arabic Sociolinguistics

One also needs to know whether there are discourse functions of ESA which govern its occurrence, and whether these functions differ from country to country. It is not at all clear that Gumperz has this belief Hospital is referred to twice, once as hosbitar a wrong pronunciation of the English word and once as isbitar. Thus it adds information to its head. She refers to code-switching as part of the ‘communicative competence’ of a speaker, which is the competence that individuals acquire from their community and which enables them to com- municate effectively with other members of their community.

In research in western speech communities, researchers have generally been able to assume that the stand- ardised variety of a language, the one that has undergone the conscious process of standardisation, is also the variety accorded the most overt prestige. Thank you also to Professor Yasir Suleiman for suggesting the title Arabic Sociolinguistics instead of Arabic and Society and for being an inspiring scholar.

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

He was speaking to me in perfect Cairene Arabic. A number sociolinguistcs more recent studies have examined switching between H and L in Arabic, some of which will be mentioned in Chapter 2. Therefore, Arabs need a shared means of communication, and this is inevitably influenced by what they all have in common: Children are exposed sociolinfuistics MSA from their first year in school in Egypt.


Thus, pidginisation and creolisation, though mentioned in passing in this book, deserve a book by themselves, although studies in the topic are still developing cf.

Language policy and politics 5.

The free morpheme constraint predicts that there cannot be a code-switch between a bound morpheme and a lexical form unless the lexical form is phonologically integrated into the language of the bound morpheme. One needs more data to reach definite conclusions about the structural pat- terns that occur in diglossic switching, and definitely more studies are needed that concentrate on bsssiouney constraints on diglossic switching in the Arab world.

After Ferguson’s article, linguists tried to refine his concept by proposing intermediate levels, but still these intermediate levels cannot be understood unless one presupposes the existence of two ‘poles’, H and L. What is the difference between code-switching and borrowing? In the next paragraphs I will define the term sociolinguistics and the main themes that sociolinguists are concerned with as well as the tasks of sociolin- guists.

In Egypt, for non-Cairenes, it is the prestige variety of Egyptian Arabic Cairene; for Jordanian women from Bedouin or rural backgrounds, on the other hand, it may be the urban dialects of the big cities Abdel-Jawad 1 In this example, there is violation of the equivalence constraint. The reasons for its influence are various, but principal among them are factors like the socioeconomic dominance of the city over the countryside e.

In fact, at the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a great inter- est in dialectology see Chapter 5. When she speaks to her mother, she speaks in Arabic. Thus the system morphemes are from Arabic. In the next section I will discuss the concept of an underlying structure or ‘matrix language’, as Myers-Scotton calls it, in detail. This is an example of convergence to English.

In Chapter 3, 1 highlight three crucial theories in examining variation: In short, what seem to be lacking in Gumperz’s analysis are more abstract tools or ideas that can account for what goes on in code-switching. The adverb ‘when’ is lexically different in most varieties.

It is a written language, but is heard in its spoken form on religious programmes on TV 2. However, this theory still has its limitations and cannot really be applied universally, at least for the time being. Therefore the ML is a composite. In fact in a number of cities in the Arab world speakers speak a Bedouin dialect, and in other cities the Bedouin dialect is more prestigious than the sedentary one see Chapter 3.


He claims that “Educated spoken Arabic may not actually be anything” All informants had been in the USA for at least a year.

Walters aposits that the linguistic situation in the Arab world has always been in a state of change. Myers-Scotton also introduced the idea of islands in relation to code- switching, which still falls under the ML model a: Although the theory of ML is indeed valid in certain cases, it does not seem to give a clear- cut picture of what goes on in this diglossic community.

socioljnguistics Whiteley ; Houis Additionally, the structure of the clause is MSA, since in ECA the demonstrative usually follows the noun rather than precedes it as is the case in this example.

Thus, one has first to recognise the ML, then analyse a structure, and maybe later assign discourse functions to it.

These are replaced in ESA by other forms used in colloquial varieties aravic some differences between the regions. Note that a significant number of the theo- retical approaches introduced are based on or inspired by western, especially Anglo-American work, on sociolinguistics.

It is noteworthy, however, that Labov’s objections to the term at the time were of a differ- ent nature. The equivalence constraint theory states that code-switching tends to occur at points where the juxtaposition of elements from the two languages does not violate a syntactic rule of either language. In such coun- tries the term ‘diglossia’ is too narrow for the type of situation which exists.

They posit that French declarative sentences have the word order subject-verb, whereas Arabic allows for both SV and VS. The realisation of the MSA phonological variable q as g has been a major criterion in distinguishing between Bedouin and sedentary dialects. How much switching dociolinguistics there be bassiounry H and L?