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Modern Arabic Sociolinguistics
Modern Arabic Sociolinguistics
overviews and evaluates the major approaches

outlines the main research findings in these core areas and relates them to a
wide range of constructs, including social context, speec
tige, power, language planning, gender and religion

examines two

analyses the interplay among the various sociolinguistic aspects and exam
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Modern Arabic
2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon O
11 Third Avenue, New York, NY
Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor
& Francis Group, an informa business
The right of Abdulkafi Albirini to be identified as author of this work has been
77 and 7
Designs and Patents Act
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or
utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication
A catalog record for this book has been requested
ISBN: 978-0-415-70746-6 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-0-415-70747-3 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-1-315-68373-7 (ebk)
List of figures and tables
Abbreviations and transcription conventions
The situation of the Arabic language
Polyglossia and contiglossia

Local and global languages: Berber, K
and French
Goals and elements of sociolinguistic research
The study of language in context
Participants and participation
Researching diglossia, attitudes, identity, variation,
Social identities
Language variation and change
Language attitudes
Historical background
Language attitude studies in the Arab context
Language attitudes and codeswitching
Language variation and change
Approaches to language variation and change
Social variation
Variation in relation to gender
Variation in relation to social class and education
Variation in relation to time and locality
Variation, power, language attitudes, and social identities
Typology: codeswitching, code-mixing, style shifting,
Codeswitching in the Arab context
Codeswitching in written discourse
Codeswitching in relation to diglossia, attitudes, and identity
The sociolinguistic landscape of digital media:
Codeswitching and the emergence of new linguistic
Digital media, language change, language attitudes,
Functions of
Functions of
Functions of English
Heritage Arabic speakers: a different paradigm
Heritage speakers and the diglossic context
Speech community versus heritage community
Language dominance and interference
Codeswitching by heritage speakers
General conclusion
Patterns of sociolinguistic stasis
Patterns of sociolinguistic change
Potential trajectories in the Arabic sociolinguistic situation
Figures and tables
Contextual versus functional diglossia
Percent distribution of responses on the identity scale
Word count
Frequency and type of switches in religion-focused narratives
Frequency and type of switches in politics-focused narratives
by professors
Frequency and type of switches in pastime-focused narratives
Overall number and range of switches in professors’ narratives
Frequency and type of switches in religion-focused narratives
Frequency and type of switches in politics-focused narratives
Frequency and type of switches in pastime-focused narratives
Overall number and range of switches in students’ narratives
logistical issues that arose during my writing of the book. I
for his invaluable feedbac
k and insightful suggestions on the book manuscript.
I would like to express my indebtedness to all of the informants for giving
me so much for their time and for sharing their ideas, opinions, and stories. The
data was collected through the help of several people in the United States and
in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. I
following individuals
for their direct involvement in the data-collection process:
Muhammad Hussein, Enas Abbas Khedr, Noha Elsakka, Suleiman Elsakka,
Ula Dabbagh, Nihaal Umaira, Samir Diouny, Naeem Sheikh, Abdellah Chekayri,
Abdelrahim Slouihakim, Abdel Motaleb Mhaouer, and Abdelhady Aljuufan. Many
students who helped with the transcription of the
I would like to express my gratitude to Andrea Hartill, Isabelle Cheng, and
goes to Deepti Agarwal and Geraldine Martin for copy-editing the manuscript
Abbreviations and transcription
Abbreviations used in the text
Second person
Third person
* The abbreviations and transcription used in examples cited from other works are adapted

In 2009 during a summer trip to Syria, I
at a Syrian university. Because I
out a topic on which I
American English. The lecture was in the English Department and so English
At the end of my presentation, the audience had a thirty-minute period to ask
questions about the presentation. The first question that I
received was ab
the rationale for choosing to study the Syrian dialect instead of Al-Fus
dard Arabic). After I
had explained that the Syrian dialect is acquired naturally
hildren, new voices joined the discussion, which spanned the whole
attendance. Our
discussion started with general remarks about the presentation,
the nature of the questions asked, and research in this area. However, it shortly
turned into a deeper discussion about different issues related to the standard
started shifting from his colloquial dialect to a high form of Standard Arabic. The
that my interlocutor’s
switching to Standard Arabic coincided with earnest efforts
on his part to explain, and possibly convince me of, the main point in his argu
ment, namely, the “risks” involved in studying the dialects and “abandoning” the
reflect on this encounter now, I
express his attitudinal stance on the topic verbally
his codeswitching behavior. This incident initially sparked my interest in the mech
anisms that govern codeswitching. However, as I
est later developed into a broader consideration of language use and behavior
and their relationship to a host of socioaffective and sociocontextual factors.
My research in the past five years or so has focused on interdialectal
also aim to establish the historical background against whic
this approach will give the reader b
oth diachronic and synchronic perspectives on
the development and current statuses of the areas under discussion. As Heller
(1988, 1992) remarks, language behavior may not be fully understood without
Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. The purpose of these trips was to collect
to the areas under study. Six main types of data were collected during these
trips: elicited speech recordings, surveys, interviews, language–behavior obser
vation, pictorial and textual information, and short casual
discussions. The data was collected from university students and faculty, taxi driv
ers, passengers, passersby, shoppers and shopkeepers, hotel receptionists, and

speakers in the Arab region, and it is spoken as a heritage language by several
Nations. As the language of Islamic scholarship and liturgy, Arabic is used by
of the language itself, the systematic research on the social aspects of the Arabic
language has taken form only in the past century. Modern Arabic sociolinguistic
research has been inspired by the pioneering work of the American sociolinguist
Charles A. Ferguson (1959a), who was the first contemporary scholar to provide
The Arabic sociolinguistic situation is characterized by the coexistence of two
music, film, and some TV show broadcasts. Although Ferguson’s early delineation
2011; Fishman, 1971; Gumperz, 19
62; Hawkins, 1983; Hudson, 2002), this
framework has remained a viable base for studying various areas in the Arabic
Ferguson’s pioneering work laid the foundation for subsequent studies about
the notion of diglossia as well as the use, distribution, functions, and statuses
of SA and QA. Some of the main questions that motivated these studies were
of formality–informality that they never coexist in the same context or overlap in

This book revisits and expands the discussion on Arabic diglossia in conjunction
with four interrelated areas, namely, language attitudes, social identity, variation
and codeswitching. A
central premise
of this book is that an assessment of the
current Arabic diglossic situation requires considering the role of socioaffective
– i.e., language
attitudes and identity sentiments
change over time and space in tandem with changes in social life in general. Such
a change necessitates a periodic reanalysis of language use as well as a reas
sessment of its social, socioaffective, and sociocontextual foundations. Second,
Arabic sociolinguistics is still a developing field that is sensitive to developments
in linguistic research. Within this field of study, claims are often introduced, revised,
and countered by other researchers. The present work contributes to the ongoing
discussion on a number of major topics in Arabic sociolinguistics. In particular, the
book reexamines some of the main assumptions about the distribution of SA and
QA, their functions, and the attitudes and identity-related motives underlying their
deployment in the discursive practices of Arabic speakers. In addition, this book
connecting the areas under study to recent political, sociocultural, and ideological
developments in the Arab region, the book seeks to shed new lights on the study

In addition to this introductory chapter, the book consists of nine chapters. The
second chapter
functions, and uses of SA and QA in different social contexts. This chapter
revisits some of the controversies surrounding the labeling and grouping of dif
Mahmoud, 198
6; Mitchell,
1982; Ryding, 1991) receives special attention because of its implications for
approaching diglossia and the other areas under investigation. The “classical”
view of diglossia as context-based (Ferguson, 1959a, 1996) is reconsidered in
the light of recent developments and research findings in Arabic sociolinguistics.
The third chapter
examines the broad goals, paradigmatic assumptions,
highlights the importance of using contextually relevant analytic frame
concludes by explaining the researc
explores the relevance of language attitudes to under
examines the
of language attitudes on Arabic speakers’ language behavior. A
overshadowing the affective ones. Last, the relationship of language attitudes to
h Arabicization, will be examined.
The fifth chapter
overviews the concept of social identity as it relates to the
through forged historical narratives and negotiated discursively by speakers to
interactions). Empirical data is used to problematize the notions of the
for examining identity statements and identity acts in the study of the identity
The sixth chapter
focuses on variation and change in the Arabic language.
summarizes key developments in Arabic variationist research
disambiguate the outcome of language variation and change will always necessi
tate investigating a host of affective, social, historical, political, and power-related
factors. Language variation and change often signify practices of linguistic con
identities, or sociopragmatic ends. Therefore, language variation is one manifes
examines the phenomenon of codeswitc
Arabic sociolinguistic situation (both bilingual and bidialectal), its historical back
The different sociolinguistic approaches to CS are reviewed within their global
reports on a case study about educated Arabic speakers’ ability to sustain con
The eighth chapter
particularly social media, as a new mode of communication. A
Facebook-based communication. To this end, the chapter
focusing on Facebook
users’ language practices and their utilization of SA, QA,
tion of SA and QA in the physical and virtual worlds is relatively similar, which
change, such as the increasing presence of English and Arabizi (Arabic and
English mixed), emerge, and these are explicated in the light of language atti
tudes, identity dynamics, and the Arabic diglossic context in general. The chap
explores the prospect of the spread of multilingualism as a substitute to
he ninth chapter
attitudinal, and identity construction patterns do we expect from speakers of Ara
bic who are removed from the diglossic context? To this end, the chapter
on heritage Arabic speakers in the United States, i.e., those who are born and
ook and provides directions for future research. The chapter
some of the patterns of stasis and change in the Arabic sociolinguistic situation,
In this book, the “Arab World/Arab region” refers to the Arabic-speaking countries that
are members of the Arab League and whose main official and everyday language is
uwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauri
tania, Morocco, Oman, State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia,
United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
An-Namaara, Nabataea, P
guages (e.g.,
English and Frenc
Berber and Kurdish)
and styles in the Arab sociocultural scene, while simultaneously providing a wide
Arab audience with new veins of exposure to SA, the regional dialects, and a
number of global and local languages. These developments have the potential
language use in the Arab context.
as perceived and enacted by speakers of Arabic. Moreover, the presence of a
play in defining or redefining the Arabic sociolinguistic scene and Arabic speak
ers’ language behavior. This chapter
Arab region,
particularly with regard to the notions of diglossia, language varia
tion, codeswitching, identity, and attitudes. Before delving into these questions, it
As noted in the introductory chapter, Standard Arabic (SA) is the term used in
& El-Hassan, 1994;
Parkinson, 1991, 1993; Schulz,
1981). In the Maghreb/North Africa, for example, one may find certain lexical
items or expressions borrowed mainly from French, whereas most of the bor
rowed expressions come from English in the case of the Mashreq/Middle
Classical Arabic (CA) is often identified in the literature as the pre-renaissance
medieval and pre-Islamic literary tradition. We still do not have adequate historical
data to answer with any degree of certainty questions about the exact condition
of CA before Islam. What is clear to us, however, is that the emergence of Islam in
the seventh century CE enhanced the status of CA and ensured its durability for
many ages to come. On one hand, the selection of CA to be the language of the
Qur’an may be seen as an indication of both its wide presence in the Arab social
life at the time and its prestige among other Arabic dialects. On the other hand,
sition of CA (Chapter
hree other developments have led to the predominance of CA in the Arab
sociolinguistic scene. The first concerns the evolution of scholarship in Qur’anic
sciences, Hadith, and Islamic jurisprudence. This has helped in the establish
1263–1328), a well-known Muslim scholar, said “The Arabic language is in itself
bic language
.” (Abduljabbar, 19
96, p.
9). The need for CA in the religious
main goal of
literature was to impede any modifications that may affect the
of CA. Arab grammarians like Abu Al-Aswad Ad-Du’ali (
Al-Khalil Bn Ahmad Al-Faraheedi (
719–786), Sibawayh (
757–796), and
their students described and prescribed the rules and the standards of CA based
emergence of the term “Modern Standard Arabic,” whic
the changes that C
changes in
Abdulaziz (198
12) argues that European influence was bolstered by
“deliberate action on the part of the various agencies involved in the development
of modern standard Arabic.” He lists three main factors that have been actively
involved in the development of MSA. The first factor is the modernization, secular
ization, and Westernization processes that were induced into many urban centers
in the Arab region, such as Beirut, Cairo, and Baghdad. These processes were ini
tiated by the upper and middle classes whose members received their education
either in Europe or in European-model institutions in the Arab region. The upper
and middle classes first adopted then introduced the Western lifestyle into the
– a model
forms of govern
form of CA. When CA and MSA are viewed as basically identical, CA
survived the first linguistic and cultural encounter with the West, and it may likely
survive the electronic, social, and satellite encounter. Irrespective of the perspec
tive adopted, one is obliged to admit the dramatic changes that SA is undergoing
in tandem with the ongoing sociocultural changes that are occurring in several

Colloquial Arabic (QA) refers to several regional dialects that are spoken regu
larly by Arabic speakers in everyday conversations and other informal commu
nicative exchanges: sports, music, film, and some TV show broadcasts. These
“Regional differences are le
xical (and phonological) before they are grammatical.”
The structural homogeneity of the Arabic dialects is confirmed by a number of
studies on the structural comparability of the different Arabic dialects (e.g.,
Soltan, 200
7). Ferguson (1959b) identifies fourteen features that are shared
lects, “a koine.”
For example, all modern dialects have no feminine comparative
“big.f.”). Likewise, all use the suffix -
instead of the -
for marking
nouns and adjectives. In addition, all have lost the dual category, dropped
the gender-agreement feature in number+noun constructions, and come to have
Most of the early existing accounts of the old Arabic dialects present dialectal
characterize the speech of the illiterate or the common people (
, 1995, p.
480). As previously noted, the codification of
the grammar of CA may partly have been stimulated by the need to preserve SA
conquests (Blau, 1981; Owens, 1998; Versteegh, 2001). Nowadays the Arab
contact situations that the new information technologies, social media, and tele
vision are creating in the Arab homes, schools, communities, and other social
Blau’s argument raises important questions about the future of SA
few attempts have been made to bring recogni
tion to QA, particularly when various parts of the Arab World were colonized, and
to give it an official status alongside SA. These attempts found no appeal in many
Arab social circles and were resolutely resisted by several intellectuals because
of their weakening effects on counter-occupation, pan-Arab, and Islamic move
ments (Mejdell, 2006). Interest in QA has been recently revived by many scholars
and researchers, mainly from the USA and Western Europe or Western-educated
Arab scholars, who have engaged in important studies on the different dialects.
These studies have fueled some of the current debates in the Arab region con
cerning the roles of QA in education, media, business, and public life. The debate
put at the forefront of the debate. This topic will be revisited in Chapter
Last, while both SA and QA have been influenced by the e
concepts and expressions related to electronic, social, and satellite media, the
changes undertaking QA seem to be more dramatic than those affecting SA. In
experiences in 2012 and 2014, I
noted such e
k my email.” (Jordanian)
“You have to restart the program.
will do a search one more time.
will be online, God willing.” (Egyptian)
mahi zeina
“the coverge is not good here.” (Saudi)
related reasons. First, QA is not codified, and therefore new concepts, expres
& Benmamoun, 2015;
Khamis-Dakwar, Froud,
2012). This may have to do with the many factors that may influence the judg

roles in the Arabic-speaking communities. It is possible to classify these different
may refer to the first framework as “diglossia” and to the second as “polyglossia
and contiglossia.” In what follows, I
which these two frameworks are based.

The term diglossia was first used by the German linguist Karl Krumbacher (1902)
and then by the French orientalist William Marçais (1930). However, the earliest,
most comprehensive, and most widely discussed model for approaching the rela
, principles, theory
.” F
erguson exemplified his model of diglossia through
four prototypical situations, including Standard /Colloquial Arabic, Katharevousa/
Haiti. According to Ferguson,
Diglossia is a relatively stable situation in which, in addition to the local
dialect(s) of the language (which may include a standard or regional stan
informal communicative exchanges. To be more specific, Ferguson listed twelve
contexts exemplifying the domains of use for H and L. H is used
sermons in church or mosque,
conversations with family, friends, and colleagues,
Ferguson (1991, p.
60) pinpoints the conte
speak L, although in real life everyone spoke L in the situations presented in his
” Later commentaries on Ferguson’s model also noted its context-based
configuration. For example, Hudson (2002, p.
of the
variance in the use of H and L appears to be explained by situational con
text.” Likewise, Kaye (1994, p.
60) observes “Even Classical Arabic literature and
essors go home and speak their colloquial dialects with their chil
dren, families, and friends.” According to Ferguson (1959a, p. 328), a person who
Although his model disregarded the characteristics of the speaker (e.g.,
325). In particular, F
erguson was referring to educated speakers of
their children
of H in both formal and informal domains. In another scenario, L may gradu
338). Later researc
Ferguson’s predictions to propose a number of changes in his initial configura
tion of diglossia. For example, Walters (2003) argues that the three conditions
77) and the emergence of a “postdiglossic”
.” (p.
102). Tunisian Arabic, according to W
Ferguson’s delineation of diglossia was reviewed and reformulated across
to very official and formal (office). For Fishman, the most distinctive mark of
their speakers] as well as access to these roles” (197
78). T
clearly differentiated “in terms of when, where, and with whom they are felt to be
79). T
expanding the scope of the term
464) argues that diglossia can manif
itself as a “communication matrix” that represents the different functional roles
adopted by different groups of speakers in the community. Since each role has
its code or subcode that “serves as the norm for role behavior,” there exists a
464). Gumperz suggests that the codes and subcodes can
subcode can be functionally appropriate for a certain group in the community in
a particular context. For example, Sanskrit is part of the communication matrix of
but it is not relevant for certain Muslim groups in the same communities. There
fore, for Gumperz, diglossia is a marker of functionally differentiated usage of
or different communities. Community is therefore the single most critical player
in language use, function, and distribution. While it may be valid in a number of
speech communities, Gumperz’s contentions lack empirical support in the Arab
context because several studies do show that, even when the construct of com
munity is variable, the characteristics of the codes themselves, namely SA and
Saeed, 1997).
unstable situation where H and L interact constantly. Along similar lines, Hudson
The data came from thirty-five audio and video recordings for educated speakers
the Egyptian, Levantine, and Gulf dialects. Albirini describes the data examined
in all three contexts as a mixture of two codes that is characterized by frequent
based on the functional, rather than the contextual, compartmentalization of SA
Although Ferguson’s early delineation of diglossia has been refined in several

Although Ferguson’s model was criticized at all levels (Eisele, 2002; Hudson,
2002), the most widely articulated criticism concerns the rigid intercontex
tual compartmentalization of SA and QA. This line of criticism generated much
research and discussion on two related points: (1) the existence of a range of
7. In this section, however
period clearly captures this trend (Abou-
Seida, 1971; Belazi, 1991; Bouamrane,
1986; Hannaoui, 1987; Hussein, 1980; Jabeur, 1987; Rabie, 1991; Schmidt,
1974; Schulz, 1981, among many others).
first approach
Blanc, 196
0; Cadora, 1992; El-Hassan, 1977; Har
rell, 1964; Hawkins, 1983; Mahmoud, 1986; Meiseles, 1980; Mitchell, 1982,
1986; Ryding, 1991; Schulz, 1981; Youssi, 1995). For example, Blanc (1960)
Contextual versus functional diglossia
Formal Spoken Arabic
9; Mazraani, 1997; Ryding, 2009; Suleiman, 2011; Van Mol, 2003; Wilmsen,
2006). Mitchell (1982, p.
Arabics that provide the basis for the ‘koineised’ Arabic of intercommunication
.” Ryding (19
the Arabic-speaking world.” The definitions highlight three important aspects of

the difficulty of prescribing rules of “intercommunal communication” based on
INT the-state the-Lebanese capable on defending about the-South?
Where it the-arms
“Is the Lebanese state capable of defending the South (of Lebanon)?
Where are the arms?” (Albirini,
The second approac
of levels with varying degrees of overlap and borrowing from SA and QA. This
approach is resembled by Badawi’s
“Levels of Contemporary Arabic in Egypt,” which represents the most com
interacted endorsed three
rather than at the extreme ends of this continuum. However, the fact that he
identifies the location of utterances with specific levels requires distinguishing
these labels from one another in a systematic way. In fact, the testability of


anthropology). However, it

shop keepers, hotel receptionists, college students and professors (during visits
of Arabic do they speak? The majority of the respondents indicated
207) remarks, “T
he concept of MSA is unheard of in the Arab
region and it is assumed in fact to be FA [Al-fu
who have received their training in the West, particularly America, few people
recognize its existence. However, MSA has been hailed by some scholars as a
step toward the modernization and simplification of Arabic.” Likewise, Bassiouney
(2009b, p.
11) observes, “.
. this distinction
is a western invention that does not
). This linguistic rebirth coin
and intellectual life. This linguistic revival helped restore CA into use, while still
main charac
teristic of the restoration of CA is the maintenance of its basic structure and form.
This assumption, however, presumes that CA may have been in little use in the
“decay” period, which some historians and literary critics question on the basis of
From a structural viewpoint, many of those familiar with Arabic would agree
rary counterparts (e.g.,
scholars of Arabic have indicated (Abdulaziz, 198
6; Bateson, 1967; Blau, 1981;
Holes, 2004; Parkinson, 1991; Ryding, 2005; Versteegh, 2001), the variances
402) suggests:
SA is syntactically largely identical to Classical Arabic, which is the lan
treatise records “a great deal of internal variation” in CA, whic
flexible structure. Moreover, recent studies on the classic texts of CA, includ
ing the Qur’an, shows that they display notable structural flexibility, including its
word orders (Abdul-Raof, 2004; El-Yasin, 1985; Saidat, 2006). Structural simpli
fication is another property often associated with MSA, but this property has not
Overall, while one may justify the coinage of the term MSA considering the
new words, expressions, and stylistic features that CA has assimilated, the divi

number of properties at the syntactic, phonological, lexical, and morphological
2004; Mitchell
& El-Hassan, 1994; S
oltan, 2007; Versteegh, 2001). To illustrate
l-madiinah (SA)
aalib katab kitaab w-
ar mu
wiila fi l-maddiina (Egyptian)
aalib katab ktaab w-
ar mu
wiile fi l-madiine (Jordanian)
aalib kt
the-student wrote book and-attended lecture long in the-city
“The student wrote a book and attended a long lecture in the city.”
aayziin yi
aggaru eš-ša
a lli šaafuu-ha mbaari
a di (Egyptian)
n yista
n eš-šagga lli šaaf
n-ha mbaari
bi-haað l-
ayy (Jordanian)
Want.3FP rent the-apartment that saw-it yesterday in-this the-
“They (feminine) want to rent the apartment that they saw yesterday
in this neighborhood.”
The sentences in (8) are almost identical with the exception of some minor pho
nological and morphological differences, such as the presence of case markers
in the SA sentence and their absence in the QA sentences. However, the sen
generates complex paradigms both in the verbal and the nominal domains. For
example, in a phrase like
“a big girl,” the post-nominal adjective
“a girl” in terms of number (singular).
The adjective also agrees with the noun in gender (feminine), case (nominative),
and indefiniteness, which are realized respectively by-
. Compared to
SA, QA has a more simplified morphological system that often lacks the represen
tation of the dual and plural-feminine categories, except in some Gulf and Bedouin
al., 2010; Benmamoun,
2000). Whereas, with the exception of some Gulf and
Bedouin dialects, all of the colloquial Arabic dialects use different aspectual mark
ers, such as
(Levantine), and
(Maghreb dialects),
which encode the progressive aspect of the action (example (10)).
l (Jordanian)
-ya-akul (Moroccan)
“He is eating.”
fein l-kitaab? (or) al-kitaaf f
where the-book the-book
“Where is the b
. Some of these negative particles are tensed (
QA is typically realized by two negative particles, one often reserved for verbal
2000; Brustad, 2000;
Soltan, 2007). These particles are
(Egyptian, Maghrebi, and some Levantine dialects),
Levantine dialects), and
2000; Brustad, 2000; Holes, 1987). One of the distinctive aspects of negation in
some colloquial dialects is the deployment of a discontinuous form of negation,
which allows for a proclitic and enclitic at the left and right edges of the verb
(example (11)). In SA, yes/no questions are formed through the simple addition
colloquial dialects, however, yes/no questions can have the same structure as
hange residing only in the intonation (example
Lebanese), and others display a strong pref
for the in-situ option (Egyptian), which is rarely used in SA (example (13)).
There are a number of structures that are expressed uniquely in SA and QA.
For example, affirmative existential constructions in SA are introduced by locative
“exists.” However, QA existential
(Moroccan). In terms of phonology, some sounds found in SA
words, such as /q/, /ð/, /
/, and /j/, transpire differently in colloquial words.
Thus, most Arabic dialects change the SA /q/ to /
or /y/. Thus, as example (9) above shows, an SA word like
in Jordanian Arabic and
in Egyptian Arabic, and it may
SA has a richer vocabulary and fewer foreign words in comparison to QA. For
example, SA has various demonstratives that are used to refer to nouns that vary
in number, gender, and case, including
(these/those.DF), and
(these/those.P). Likewise,
SA deploys different relative complementizers (meaning “that”), including
(PF). QA generally is not as lexically rich as SA. For
example, QA has fewer demonstratives than SA because the dual is not repre
sented (Benmamoun, 2000; Brustad, 2000; Magidow, 2013). Thus, the Egyptian
colloquial Arabic dialects contain a substantial number of borrowed words, many
of which are shared by more than one Arabic dialect, such as

phonological, or prosodic similarities). Such studies have become more f
ble thanks to recent developments in human language technologies (e.g.,
al., 2007;
According to one common classification
divided into Eastern dialects and the Western dialects, corresponding respectively
to the dialects spoken in the Mashreq/Middle East (including Egypt) and the
Maghreb/North Africa (e.g.,
& Pellegrino,
1999; Bateson, 1967;
al., 2002; Newman, 2002; Palva, 200
6). The
also been ascertained by linguistic analyses. Bateson (1967), for example, justi
those found in SA with the exclusion of only the dual and feminine plural, whereas
in the Western dialects the /u/ suffix is generalized to all plural persons and the
al. (2007)
compared MSA, a representative Western dialect (Moroccan) and three repre
sentative Eastern dialects (Jordanian, Kuwaiti, and Yemini) in terms of the degree
of coarticulation in CV syllables. Embarki and his associates used locus equa
tions (i.e., linear regression techniques) to compare the degree of coarticulation
Nasser, Benmamoun,
2004; Shaalan, 2014; Versteegh, 2001). Again, this taxonomy is not merely based
in press;
Abu Nasser, Benmamoun,
& Hasegawa-Johnson, 2013;
2001). For example, Abu Nasser, Benmamoun, and Hasegawa-Johnson (2013)
particularly those
focusing on CS, dialect accommodation, and dialect-feature
even linguistically, these “local” dialects may vary to a degree no less than that
, bitaa
Yemeni and Moroccan) across the Arab region. On the
, even when their local dialects are different, and some may master differ
ent dialects due to contact with other speakers. Since the 1960s, the Egyptian
per se, but to attitudinal and ideological factors (Hachimi,
shared a bench with two
waited for my train from Casablanca to Fes. One of the
out the location of the train going to Fes. She spoke to me
in Moroccan Arabic. When I
replied to her in Syrian Arabic, she shifted
neously to the Egyptian dialect. After a short conversation about the purpose
asked her about her use of the Egyptian dialect. She
that she shifted to the Egyptian dialect to help me understand her.
Most of the male Moroccan informants, however, either conversed with me in
Moroccan dialect, SA, or a mixed Moroccan Arabic-SA speec
eral, the dynamics of interdialectal communication are changing slowly, especially
the increasing presence of the Syrian, Lebanese, and Gulf dialects on sat
ellite television. Television is also responsible for enhancing the familiarity of the
Maghreb dialects in the eastern part of the Arab World.
Arabic dialects have been classified using different taxonomies, scholars and
researchers often select the typology that is pertinent to their research focus,
population, and overall approach to the topic of study. There is an awareness
among the research community (as well as many speakers of Arabic) that any
possible classification would not always map accurately on the linguistic features
of a given dialect or the geographic areas or demographic characteristics of the
speech community that it represents.

& Safi, 2008; Sc
1997; Schulz, 1981; Suleiman, 2011; Walters, 2003). As a representative of
the viewpoint of SA being a second language, Schulz (1981, p.
. Everybody who knows classical Arabic learned it
in school. This means that, in reality, no matter how much MSA may resemble
CEA [Colloquial Egyptian Arabic], it is a second language for all Egyptians (and
other Arabs as well).” Suleiman (2011) argues that the “insider” and “nativist”
& Safi, 2008). However
cartoons and news),
hes and sermons, children’s books, siblings’ reading, adults’
prayers, and Qur’anic recitations. Some children read the Qur’an and attend reli
gious schools early in their lives (Aram, Korat,
al., 2011). Their e
rich as their exposure to QA, allows them to develop at least receptive skills in
SA. Thus, it is true that many Arab children may not be able to speak SA fluently,
but most of them do understand it. This is similar to passive bilingualism, where
children speak one language and can understand another but not speak it. It is
also similar to the situation of many heritage speakers who do not necessarily
Sabir and Safi (200
8) remark that, even before they start attending school,
Hijazi children in the city of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) exhibit “diglossic awareness”
in that they infuse their QA-based speech with items from SA early in their lives.
The authors examined the oral output of a male child aged 5:6 over a period of
nine months. The child has no formal schooling in SA. The interactions of the
child with his parents, siblings, and friends were recorded manually immediately
sayings, which could be mere memorized rehearsals in SA, were excluded from
the data. The authors found a significant presence of SA elements in the daily
conversations of the subject, which suggests that the acquisition of SA is not the
result of formal education. The findings of this case study may not be general
years. Thirty c
the study. The researchers narrated two unrelated stories (accompanied by illus
trations from two books) in spoken Arabic (i.e., colloquial Palestinian dialect) and
. children
at this developmental stage already suc
narrative texts. Therefore, children are capable of acquiring LA [Literary Arabic]
During my fieldwork in Jordan, I
conducted a pilot study that explored Arab
hildren’s comprehension of five video clips in SA. The study involved eight chil
different project (see Albirini, 2015). A
t the time of the study, none of the partici
pants had had formal education in SA. The clips were extracted from five cartoon
ikayaat ‘Aalamiyya
, and
aal Al-Malaa‘eb
. The
topics covered in these topics were, respectively, adventures, fighting, child nar
rative stories, animals, and soccer. From a developmental perspective, cartoons
are generally assumed to be thematically, structurally, lexically, and stylistically
appropriate for children at this age.
The length of each clip was about sixty sec
sure that
no real action was displayed in the clips so that the children could not
he/she came to a stop. The full, partial, and wrong answers were pre-defined
colleagues (see Appendices). This procedure was necessary to make sure that
reasons, such as shyness. The children were asked the questions in SA, but
they were not given specific instructions about the use of SA and QA (because
this is a comprehension task). The findings indicate that all of the eight children
& Safi, 2008).
if we accept that Arab children do not acquire SA in early childhood, the
as a medium of communication, but should also be considered from ideological,
& Pennycook, 200
The ideological, political, social, and communicative dimensions of language are
and Pennycook (2007) suggest that language is a social, political, and historical
76) in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia is: whic
? The responses fell
under three different patterns. A
first group
of respondents, which include the
majority of the interviewees (40.8%), identified SA as their mother tongue. When
asked for justification,
the participants indicated that SA is attached to their
Muslim faith (particularly the Qur’an), history, heritage, Arab identity, and social,
economic, and political membership in the Arab community. A
7, my fieldwork
the medium of instruction in the early years of children’s education. Thus, the
identification of SA as a mother tongue could partly be a reaction to this call. The
second group identified QA as their mother tongue (25.0%). The interviewees
will explain in Chapter
Language prestige is a complex sociolinguistic construct because it has historical,
socioeconomic, behavioral, and attitudinal dimensions. In this section, I
will focus
the sociohistorical, socioeconomic, and behavioral perspectives and
378) presents the following argument
for the superiority of CA, as perceived by its speakers: “God is all-knowing, all
powerful; He knows and can utilize all languages; He chose Arabic as the vehicle
of his ultimate revelations to the world; consequently, the Arabic language must
had the chance to interact with two college students
inquired about their
their future careers as a reporter/journalist and a religious leader.
everyday interactions. Ibrahim (1986, p.
use, thus
118). In other
words, the prestige of SA, which is often based on its historical,
religious, educational, and literary value, is different from the prestige of the dia
lects (see also Abdel-Jawad, 1987).
resources are concentrated. Moreover, the inhabitants of most Arab cities are
position. For example, the Cairene and Damascene dialects are often considered
the prestige dialects in Egypt and Syria, respectively (Ibrahim, 1986; Versteegh
which has often been attributed to the “prestige,” “beauty,” “sophistication,” and
“femininity” of the urban dialects (e.g.,
Abdel-Jawad, 1981,
1986; Al-Wer, 2002,
2007; Amara, 2005; Habib, 2010; Sawaie, 1994). For example, Jabeur (1987)
& El-Ali, 1989; Nader, 1962). This type of
proximity of the Bedouin dialects to SA),
than socioeconomically based, as is the case of the urban dialects. For example,
Ferguson (1968, p. 379) reports that his non-Bedouin subjects indicated that
the Bedouin speaks
the purest of Arabic.” Al-Wer (2007) found that urban men
context is complex and controversial because it is often intricately related to
migration (e.g.,
Persian), translation
Greek), and colonialism
in Morocco. These developments have extended the use of Berber to the public
& Maglaughlin, 2001; Vali, 2003). W
ithin the Arab context, Kurdish
ber, Kurdish had conventionally been a spoken language (McDowall, 2004; Vali,
2003). Since 2003, however, Kurdish has become an official language in Iraq,
and henceforward, it came to be used in administration, schools and universities,
media, and print. With the current conflict in Syria, the Kurds may replicate the
Iraq experience in terms of making Kurdish an official language within a pro
spective autonomous state. Outside the Kurd-dominated areas, however, Kurdish
dialects (O’Shea, 2004; Sheyholislami, 2008). However, the situation is changing,
particularly in the Iraqi context.
While the presence of Berber and Kurdish is confined to certain parts of the
Arab World, English and, to a lesser extent, French are two global languages
whose influence is felt in various parts of the Arabic sociolinguistic arena. French
and humanitarian aid and through the gate of Lebanon (Burrows, 1986; Walker,
2000). According to Burrows (1986), the French introduced themselves as a
protector of the Christians in Lebanon and thus paved the way for their linguistic,
cultural, and military intervention in Greater Syria, which came into effect in 1920
French plays a minor role. The influence of French is evident in the many French
French is also an everyday language of communication, writing, education, and
print, electronic, and satellite media in the Maghreb. It is part of the multilin
ness and education. Other attitudinal and identity-related factors are involved, but
rench, English is not as strongly associated with the British colo
nial experience in the Arab region (Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, and the
language and culture as their French counterparts (Suleiman, 2003). English
vehicle of the world’s commerce, science, technology
, computer activity, electron
ics, media, popular culture and entertainment.” In several Arab countries today,
English is a required subject in elementary schools. It is used as the language of
instruction in several Arab universities and schools. In most Arab countries, some
subjects (e.g.,
medicine) are taught
exclusively in English (or, less so, in French).
Many newspapers, magazines, radio and television channels use English as the
exclusive language. In 2012, I
The program included visits to museums, art galleries, historical sites, media insti
tutes, and financial institutions. The visits were arranged by the host university,
literature, because they involve social, political, economic, affective, and behav
ioral aspects, which will be discussed in the coming chapters.
This chapter
first perspective maintains
a structural dis
second account, however, conceptualizes SA and QA as two e
xtreme poles on
speakers’ educational level)
he chapter
pointed to a
number of local languages (Berber and Kurd
ish) and global languages (English and French), which are gaining greater visibil
ity across the Arab region. These languages have the potential to redistribute the
will move to tackle some of
The abbreviation QA is used in reference to Colloquial Arabic to distinguish it from
CA, whic
See Al-Jallad (2009) for a similar account.
Throughout the book, glosses are provided only when needed for understanding
All of the participants
in this study were educated speakers, and therefore it is not
likely that they switch to QA for lack of fluency in SA or to sustain their speech in
Alternative lexical items and morphological endings may be used in each of the four
Alternative negative sentences are available in SA, such as
The name is still widely used in reference to a number of tribes, particularly in eastern
Some also used mixed forms that involved both Moroccan and SA (e.g.,
/ instead of /q/ and the use of aspectual prefix b-).
See Chapter
I plan to extent this study to children from diff
duction tasks to it. This study will be published in a separate
for this and older group
confirm the dual
meaning of “mother tongue” and to request that they describe SA
5 for a discussion on the different forms of identity in the Arab conte
See Van Mol (2003) for a discussion
on standardization as it relates to the Arabic
The notion of
the superiority of SA has been reiterated in the writings of many schol
ars of religion, literature, and language (see Chejne, 1969 for a review).
Both indicated the importance of SA to them as individuals and community members.
The late periods of the Ottoman presence in the Arab World and the colonial period
Berber is spoken in a number of other African countries, but these are out of the
There is disagreement in the literature about the origins of the K
urds (see Vali, 2003).
The Frenc
gious schools mainly in Mount Lebanon. However, its impact was limited in this
provides a critical review of
– namely, diglossia,
, anthropology, philosophy, social
psychology, communication, education, and cultural studies. It is not surprising
& Bolonyai,
& Powesland,
1997; Gumperz, 1982; Heller, 1992; Myers-Scotton, 1993b;
& Bolonyai, 2001). Sociolinguists have adopted these approac
as useful frameworks for analyzing data in different bilingual contexts. By con
and richness to their analyses thereby. What is critical here is the illustration that
suggests, the goal
– which obviously need more than a single c
and are beyond the scope of this b
of the important issues connected with sociolinguistic research in these areas,
er suggestions that may enhance research outcomes, and contextualize the
Sociolinguistic research, like research in the social sciences in general, is led
2010; Tashakkori
& Teddlie, 2010). T
components of sociolinguistic research, which include
Creswell, 2003; Jones
al., 2014; Lincoln
& Guba,
Mertens, 2010; Tashakkori
& Teddlie, 2010).
h of the existing sociolinguistic research has been epistemologically
36) argues that “Sociolinguistic research is always
& Meyer, 200
9). This paradigm
186) in whic
h the researcher’s role is to
, not merely describe, certain social inequalities through research.
These epistemological frameworks inform the broad goals of sociolinguistic
he second component of research is
& p.
13). Quantitative researc
relies heavily on experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational designs in
research involves more open-ended research questions and a more inductive,
exploratory approach to investigating social phenomena (Creswell, 2003; Glesne,
. In my view, this argument
does not pertain to sociolinguistic research. Given the relativeness of what “max
imum” means, every study should aim to provide enough information to explain
The third and last basic component of research is
, which refers to

Y, A
Theory and practice are interlocked in a dialectic relationship in which the former
derives its reference from the latter and the latter feeds the former with themes
nology) to social factors (e.g.,
socioeconomic status) (Labov
, 1972). Theory in this
1991), politeness theory (Brown
& Levinson, 1987), and social capital theory
(Bourdieu, 1977) are e
or applied uncritically to contexts that are governed by diff
1998; Blommaert, 2010; Bucholtz, 2003; Bucholtz, Liang,
& Sutton
9; Fairclough, 1989; Hall, 1996; Kroskrity, 2000; Silverstein, 2003). There
fore, studying a complex sociolinguistic construct like identity depends first upon
adopting the definition that works within one’s approach. The same applies to
an equally complex sociolinguistic construct like language attitudes, which have
been defined and approached distinctly by different researchers. Although these
social and socioaffective constructs are part of the social reality of every speech
– when charted on the current political
map of the Arab World
– is an example of a description that is based on ideolog
ically mediated historical narratives. This means that understanding or untangling
gral part of conducting sociolinguistic research. Bourdieu’s social capital theory
provides an interesting case in point. Bourdieu (1977, 1999) argues that social
actors’ linguistic behavior is inextricably linked to such factors as their socio
economic situation, the structures of the social fields in which they operate, the
nature of their relationships within a given social structure, and their socialization
into what is valued and not valued in different
Hudson, 2002; Kaye,
sociolinguistic theory
, on the other hand, can make no such claim simply
because sociolinguistic patterns are influenced by the idiosyncrasies of distinct
cultural contexts (Heller, 1992). This does not mean that sociolinguistic theories
cannot be used outside the contexts in which they evolved; rather they apply
selectively to contexts undergirded by similar linguistic, sociocultural, and political
conditions. In some cases, ready-made models that have been used effectively
in one context may become unworkable in another context (Suleiman, 2011)
the adopting context. The credit that Ferguson’s model of diglossia has received
stems partly from its originality with respect to the Arabic sociolinguistic situation.
This leads to our next important question, namely, the importance of context in
sociolinguistic research.

In sociolinguistic research, context is simply indispensable for understanding lan
behavior. Language use evolves and acquires meaning within a given context that
informs its social significance. Gumperz (1992, p.
230) argues that the “situated
.” According
to Gumperz (1992), language
& Wodak, 19
97; Gumperz, 1982, 1993; Harris,
1988; Hymes, 1972; Silverstein, 1992). Some or all of these levels may contribute
prosody, Gumperz, 19
93) and “indexes” (e.g.,
references and associations in social reality
, Silverstein, 1992). For example, an
more seriously if said by a man on his sickbed than by the same man watc
first challenge relates to the nature and meaning of conte
xt: context
is not fixed but may change in accordance to shifts in social, political, economic,
and cultural circumstances (Gumperz, 1982; Hymes, 1972). The mutable nature
of context carries with it fluctuations in the social meanings context lends to
language use. This aspect of context is particularly important to Arabic because
the Arab region is changing rapidly at the cultural, social, political, and economic
levels (Nydell, 2012). These changes are redefining the meaning of relationships,
communities, social norms, nations, belonging, among many other concepts. The
Saudi Arabia of today is different from that of a few decades ago. Therefore, a dis
carry the same meanings as in the current Saudi context. Sociolinguistic patterns
and trends may change and evolve continually, and therefore a periodic assess
ment of emerging patterns is always needed. The meaning of context becomes
particularly fluid in the absence of contextual cues such as space, time, speaker
background, and community. In digitally mediated communications on the inter
contextual plasticity reflects directly on language use and communication
patterns. For example, expressing emotions may not be done by tone of speech,
facial expressions, or other contextual cues. Hence, online users have to cre
ate social and interactional meaning through their discursive practices, such as
choice of vocabulary. In other words, language itself becomes a context-creating
agent (van Dijk, 2008; Zimmerman, 1992). In fact, van Dijk (2008) argues that
context is
that an understanding of language use necessitates a grasp of the ever-changing
meaning of context in discourse.
overall trends in other Arab countries. Context selection should be considered
at an early stage of research because research questions ideally stem from the
need to understand well-defined contexts or to solve problems within them (Fer
guson, 1996).
A last concern with respect to context is the implementation of theories and
context because, according to him, it downplays the importance of politics, history,
and ideology, which are germane to identity politics in the Arab region.
argument may be extended to other “borrowed”
theories, approaches, and

In this book, the term
is used to refer to informants in a given study,
denotes the role of the researcher in the study. In every
research project, a decision has to be made concerning the participants and the
criteria for participant inclusion and exclusion. Selection of participants should
studying the phenomenon under exploration? (2) May they provide relevant and
rich information about the phenomenon under study? (3) Do they represent a
larger population about which the researcher may seek to make generalizations
(if any)? (4) Are they accessible? And (5) can they be selected in such a way that
selection bias does not influence the research findings? It is not always possible
& Airasian, 2000). This e
such as correlational, questionnaire-based studies, require more participants than
about the population, whereas the latter type, such as those involving interviews
techniques are far less common than purposeful sampling strategies in sociolin
guistic research. Patton (1990) identified sixteen common types of samples that
extreme case (exceptional representatives of the phenomenon of interest),
intensity (information-rich representatives of the phenomenon),
snowball or chain
(participants selected systematically, but without
These sampling procedures are not equally appropriate for all circumstances. For
example, a random purposeful sample may add more credibility to the results, but
it may not be the best option in cases where a certain criteria is pursued, in which
case criterion sampling is preferred. In sociolinguistic research, there is no “best”
option in terms of sample selection. However, researchers need to justify their
choices and explain how and why such choices do not bias the findings or limit
the transferability of results.
media within which participants’ language behavior, attitudes, or identity practices
data (e.g.,
songs), televised interviews or speeches, corpora (e.g.,
debates on Aljazeera website), printed texts (e.g.,
novels), and so on. The question
& Mirus, 2003; Labov
, 1972).
One concern that occasionally arises with respect to participants is the incom
& Sachdev
, 2000; Murad, 2007). Gaining an awareness of this
phenomenon may assist researchers in evaluating data sources to resolve this
making the participants aware of their participation could add to the trustworthi
her succeeds in building
trust and rapport with the participants, they become more inclined to cooperate
tionship impact the patterns observed? An informant who sees the researcher
as a friend or colleague may behave differently from when the latter is seen as
an investigator. Along the same line, a researcher who is seen as an insider may
receive different responses from one who is seen an outsider. This is why the
caution note concerns the researcher’s authority and voice. The investigator may
157) argue, “T
– which is supposed to be the main purpose of qualitative researc
(Peacock, 2001)
& Guba, 2000). Subjectivity may affect the researc
different stages or in various components such as the selection of topic, research
186) argues
that “.
. scien
research in the human sciences
.” In
fact, Phillips (1990) argues that objec
research endeavors are subjective. Assuming that subjec
tivity is inescapable in sociolinguistic research, whenever possible, researchers
need to reflect on and explicate their role, position, and voice in the research
(Bourdieu, 1977; Spencer, 2001; Suleiman, 2011). According to G.
(1989, p.
14), self-reflection or “reflexivity” should consider the interaction of five
(3) research data; (4) the researcher’s personal biases; and (5) the structural
and historical forces informing the social construction under study. Finlay (2002)
contends that researchers may follow different routes in demonstrating reflexivity,
such as (1) introspection; (2) intersubjective reflection; (3) mutual collaboration;
(4) social critique, and (5) discursive deconstruction. These steps could alleviate
concerns about the role of subjectivity in biasing the results. Moreover, once the
researcher’s role and position are clarified, it becomes then the reader’s respon
The questions of what counts as data and how we obtain and use it in research
are central to the study, description, and explanation of social language-related
and conclusions drawn from them could be unreliable and misleading.” This may
explain the notable attention paid to data and data collection in sociolinguistic
One of the central questions in addressing the topic of data collection is which
in sociolinguistic research. According to
Labov and several other variationist sociolinguists,
vernacular. Labov asserts that “the most systematic and regular form
al., 196
167). Coupland
7, p.
h products.”
The presumption
that authentic data comes from the vernacular implies that the non-vernacular
is a less naturalistic and a less authentic form of data. In the Arab context, this
claim would leave out many SA-delivered religious speeches, political speeches,
elicited speech is a speech derived from study participants for research purposes.
Typically, the participants are aware of their participation and the tasks required,
which may be whole narratives, descriptions, arranged interactions, or responses
to stimuli. This form of speech is considered less natural. However, it is possible
of elicited speech by embedding it in implicit tasks
narrating a story, talking ab
often based on conscious knowledge of the end to which it is put, which could
make this type of data less natural. Lastly, written texts are a highly monitored
because of their unique
features, which combine spoken and written discourses.
Each of these data forms has advantages and disadvantages. In general,
spontaneous, naturalistic speech is the preferred form of data in sociolinguistic
research because it represents speech as used in daily communications (Bucholtz,
2003; Coupland, 2007; Labov, 1972). Labov considers this type of speech as the
speech in everyday life. A
not always contain adequate instances of the examined phenomenon (e.g.,
of naturalist speech. This limitation
to naturalist speech as a source of data may instigate researchers to resort to
elicited speech, the main advantage of which is that it allows the researcher to
main advantage of
247). In other words, they do not represent participants’ actual speec
rather what they think their actual speech is. Written texts are useful for examin
However, they are rarely used in researching the norms or practices of everyday
Different types of data are relevant to diverse researc
background information, while another may use self-reflection as a form of evi
be used as an object of discourse analysis. Ideally, using more than one form of
data adds to the trustworthiness of the results (Creswell, 2003; Glesne, 2010).
In researching language attitudes to CS, for example, observation, introspective
data, and actual behavior may be used to probe the participants’ attitudes to this
social phenomenon. As a final remark, data needs to be systematically examined
and reexamined before it can become presentable information. Revisiting the
data often and examining it from different perspectives may help achieve this
& Guba, 2000). For e
book were largely based on preliminary work in 2012 and pilot interviews with
of these questions were posed to the participants in my pilot work, they emerged
as interesting areas of investigation after I
visited the transcribed data a few
This suggests that the researcher variable is involved before, during, and

Diglossia is a social and linguistic phenomenon that is subject to change, just as
The question of how to verify, capture, and represent this type of change is key
h, university, café). This is because the per
ceived (in)formality of context may be implicated in the distribution of SA and QA
(Hudson, 2002). Thus, the use of QA in domains or functions that are normally
reserved to SA may indicate a change in the diglossic situation. This is partic
(Al-Saleem, 2011; Gully, 2012; Haugbolle, 2007; Khalil, 2011; Panovic, 2010;
Warschauer, El Said,
& Zohry, 2002). Likewise, studying the acquisition of the
ow code demands socio-psychological studies on the devel
opment of SA and QA in young Arab children. Such studies may pave the way for
the Arab region (Abdulaliim, 2012). A
as well” (p.
10). Sociolinguistic intermediacy here ref
linguistic functions for the intermediate code. Moreover, when SA cannot cope
abiib, 2001; Al-Muusa, 2003; Al-Sa
2005; Bishr, 2007; Hamaada, 2012; Nourddiin, 2012).

Language attitudes
7) suggest that language attitudes embody “any aff
or their speakers.” According to this widely cited definition, language attitudes
Maslach, 19
& Fishman, 197
& Muysken, 198
challenge even more
xts concerns the existence of
in this section is that language attitudes are not stable (Baker, 19
1995); they change both in relation to external circumstances in the sociocul
tural milieu and internal psychological developments in individual speakers. This
may be needed in tandem with other sociocultural and historical changes.

Social identities
Like language attitudes, identity is a complex socioaffective construct simply
because identity is not a monolithic entity. Social identity can be defined and
5). Social actors generally do not have a single form
of identity, but “repertoires of identities” (Kroskrity, 1993). Therefore, they may
linguistically mobilize different identity forms for varying purposes, and they may
construct and reconstruct various identity forms based on changing contextual
factors. Joseph (2004) shows that Lebanese people may linguistically emphasize
of the subject, focus, or frame of analysis, it is generally accepted that the symbi
For e
struction in the Arab region differ from those found, say, in the United States. In
assume that
age Berber speakers as the historical narratives articulated in some of the relevant
This means that researching identity practices among the
Berber community in Morocco requires more than relying on historical discourses.
The same applies to
pan-Arab narratives, which lost much of their cre
distinction therefore
Gal, 2000; Pennycook, 2004). P
considered a given, identity is built up through an ongoing series of social and
that identity iconization occurs when particular characteristics of a speaker are
observed in their use of certain linguistic features. Therefore, acts of identity are
also possible venues for collecting data on identity. The appropriateness of one

From a sociolinguistic perspective, the study of language variation and change
involves two main tasks: (1) to pinpoint the exact linguistic aspects of varia
333). The “fluctuations”
(Wolfram, 2006).
333). The question of selection is relevant to b
. or the political context
. or the pre-existing social structures of the
6), “The researcher in this situation has no fixed
starting point by which to orientate himself, so criteria established by the linguist
play a crucial role in the search for communal norms.”
In terms of data-collection techniques, most of the existing studies adopt
Sociolinguistic surveys (anonymous or fieldwork-based),
Individual interviews (as speech events, techniques for elicitation of casual
30), that is, the tension stemming from the need to observe nat
of social processes and negotiable relationships than dichotomized categories,
h social variables empirically.
Thus, whereas some social variables may be assessed by rapid and anonymous
surveys, others may requires multiple assessment techniques, such question
naires, interviews, observations, historical records, and archival documents and
artifacts. These questions are relevant for planning variationist research because
Al-Essa, 2009; Al-W
er, 2007; Daher, 1999; Haeri, 1991; Ismail, 2007;
Miller, 2003; Walters, 1991). Haeri (1991) suggests understanding gender-based
variation necessitates, among other things, examining women’s participation in
modernization. Social variables are dependent not merely on one another but also
on the social, historical, and political context in which linguistic variation occurs.
world are intricate and vary across place, time, communities, and individuals. They
x ways with other social variables, such as education, age,
, 1999; Holes, 1983; Miller, 2007;
Owens, 2001; Taine-Cheikh, 2012). Besides, language variation and change is a

main issues concerning the study of CS in the Arab context.
have become an integral part of online communication (Al-Khatib
& Farghal,
9; Siraaj, 2013). The picture becomes even more nebulous in bidialectal CS
and intermediate forms (e.g.,
Regardless of the criteria used, these should be clearly delineated in the study of
A second consideration
1995, 19
98, 2002; Davies
& Bentahila, 2006b, 200
8). Thus, what constitutes a
among different Arab nationals). However
ited data should be presented with caution when the language behavior is influ
enced by the arrangement. The third and last type of data is reported patterns
of CS based on interviews, questionnaires, or other techniques of introspective
2008). T
this trend has been established in the literature. In such a case, studies may

This book is meant to serve as a reference for scholars and students with interest
social psycholinguistics, cultural studies, and communication studies. The book
also engages in scholarly discussion on a number of topics in Arabic sociolin
guistics through empirical work. The part of this book that seeks to provide a
reference should be clear from the topics surveyed in the second chapter
be clearer in the coming chapters, where I
provide a critical review of the existing
vious patterns, current trends, and prospects for the future. The book approaches
the topics under investigation from a sociohistorical perspective (Heller, 1988).
sociohistorical approach seeks to off
er a contextually situated understanding
attitudes, identities, variation, and behavior. It also views language users as social
actors that influence and are influenced by these social, political, and historical
dynamics. Almost every chapter
readers can gain a relatively broad picture of the examined areas. This does not
the empirical data reported in this book was mostly collected during my fieldwork
The idea behind fieldwork devel
During the program, I
carried out a
pilot study on the acquisition of plural mor
phology by Jordanian children (see Albirini, 2015). This experience encouraged
versity ab
out their attitudes toward SA, QA, and English. I
also had the chance
decided to expand them through dedicated fieldwork. T
for selecting Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia as sites for fieldwork.
First, each of these four countries represents a main region in the Arab World
respectively, including Egypt, the Levant, the Maghreb, and the Gulf. Second,
should note that my visit to Saudi Arabia was an extension of a conf
presentation in Riyadh. The interview questions were developed based on my
2012 study-abroad experience in Jordan and were expanded after conducting
In all my fieldwork, university campuses formed the hub of my research activ
ities. In each of the four countries, I
the projected data. At least one of the visited universities in eac
private, except in Saudi Arabia where this was not possible. My access to these
concentration of this population exists, and sampling is more convenient but less
and Egypt to do fieldwork there. In late November and early December, 2013,
through a
nine-day visit to Saudi Arabia for a three-day conference at a university
in Riyadh. Throughout my visits, I
the recorded narratives was transcribed verbatim on Word documents. As for the
used short question-and-answer interviews, which were always recorded
conducted these types
of interviews, for
example, as I
train station (Morocco), shops (in all four countries), and the hotels where I
(in all four countries). The goal was to obtain input from diverse members of
. These interviews will be published in a separate work because
this book will focus mainly on “educated Arabic speakers,” which may or may
are relevant to the book will be included in the discussions below. Last, I
used for this particular purpose. These rough notes were then turned into more
data requires more space than this book allows. In this b
ook, however, I
the general
about language attitudes does not include
reported in these types of studies. Moreover, language attitudes are presented
in a relatively atomistic manner, which in my opinion is not the best approach
for understanding language attitudes. However, presenting the overall patterns
the wealth of existing data in the areas under investigation and highlights some
first obvious motive for fieldwork is to collect data that
ook, which include mainly the questionnaire,
dismiss interviews done over the phone or other media because quality interview
data rests on the personal aspect of the interview, which is often lacking in phone
and digitally mediated interviews (Irvine, 2011; Rubin
& Rubin, 2005). Irvine
may lack in depth of meaning due to the absence of visual cues. The narrative
task, which required the participants to narrate in SA about three different top
7), involved “testing” the participants on the spot (i.e. without
This task demanded my physical presence at the data-collection
site. The goal was to ensure that the participants’ narratives were as natural and
spontaneous as possible. Moreover, when an informant stopped before the time
allotted to each narrative, I
had to pose questions to prompt them
to carry on the
Familiarizing myself with the context was a second motive in choosing field
work. As noted above, knowledge of context is part of understanding the partic
with data gathering, but a vital dimension of the subject matter.
.” Reading sc
arly articles about French-Arabic CS in Morocco is different from experiencing it
was able to experience firsthand the deep spread of English in Egypt, Jordan,
was staying. In the experience of living in Egypt,
Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, one learns so much just from observing peo
for example, I
into the early stages of education. I
speakers of Berber. These types of unplanned data provided additional insights
that were not part of my research agenda, but turned out to be very informative.
Third, one of the main advantages of fieldwork is that sociolinguistic pat
terns arise from the process of collecting and analyzing data (Wolfson, 1986). As
Wolfson suggests, some of the patterns that a researcher finds may seem coun
and non-verbal behavior, and the context in which they operate. The concept of
– such as to use it online, to travel abroad, or to acquire an
– were largely unexpected to
Fourth, fieldwork is one of the most eff
ective ways in which to interact and
build relationships with speakers within their speech communities. The idea of
obtaining unaffected, candid, and heartfelt responses (Glesne, 2010). Some of
the questions asked in face-to-face interactions could not be posed otherwise.
For example, in the course of the interviews, I
questions about their identities or their views of others, whic
to such questions would be avoided, either directly or indirectly. Moreover, speak
of examining “pre-e
xisting social groups,” where speakers’ language behavior is
This chapter
is the importance
attention to the importance of defining the researcher’s role in the study
implications of the paradigmatic (e.g.,
atomistic vs. holistic) choices on capturing this comple
x construct. With
be examined based not only on historical narratives but also on reported identity
feelings as well as identity statements and identity acts. The chapter examined
some of the main challenges surrounding the process of selecting and empir
ically capturing the social antecedents of language variation and change. The
also highlighted the need to clarify the mechanisms used to demarcate
h tokens rather than reported language choices is critical for avoiding the
Positivism and post-positivism are dominant paradigms in social sciences, but they
predominantly in sociolinguistic research (W
olfson, 1986). Although
such as “pragmatic,
” “advocacy,” “participatory,” “emancipatory” paradigms have been
used. However, these terms and concepts have similar assumptions (Creswell, 2003;
Crotty, 1998; Lather, 2003; Lincoln
It should be noted that sampling is not restricted
to people, but also covers con
texts, places, timeframes, events, media, and dates. I
because it is the most common form of sampling in sociolinguistic research.
See also Coupland (2001) for different types of “authentic” language.
interacted might have expressed their thoughts on
am an Arab. However, I
is the case because my hunches were confirmed by a P
akistani professor who has
Not all researchers agree on the social foundations of language variation change
7; Wolfram, 1991, 2006). However, in keeping with the themes of
this book, I
focus here on the sociolinguistic approach to variation.
See Coupland (2007) and Gordon (2013) for a critique of this technique and the
ovian paradigm in general. A
number of researc
Croft, 2000, 2006)
See Wolfram
(1991) for a discussion on linguistic rules that may be largely explained
Dorian (1994) distinguishes personal-pattern variation from social, geographic, sty
Language attitudes are an integral part of the study of language and key to
understanding an important dimension of its sociolinguistic context, namely
“The status, value and importance of a language is most often and mostly easily
ectly) measured by attitudes to that language.” This is important
in the Arab context because language prestige hinges mostly, but not solely, on
that exist in the Arabic sociolinguistic arena. For example, several studies have
dialects because of certain features, such as the replacement of /q/ with /
(Sawaie, 1994). In fact, Labov (1972) contends that a speech community may
& Fishman, 197
4; Fer
guson, 1996; Schiffman, 1996). For example, the success of second-language
number of studies in the Moroccan context have proposed that the “
cization” policy that sought to replace French with Arabic “failed” based on the
attitudes of pro-Moroccan Arabic, pro-French, and pro-Berber linguists, activ
& Williams,
2003; Schiffman,
1996; Williams, 1991). The revival of the Kurdish language, its
embracement by the Kurdish people, and its evolution into a national language
& Suleiman, 199
6). Likewise, Classical Arabic (CA) has survived
tive attitudes of ordinary Arabs and Muslims toward CA as a symbol of Arab and
Language attitudes are related to language behavior. Several attitude the
ing the behavior
not to perform the behavior. S
sizing the possibility of changing individuals’ behavior once their attitudes are
.” (p.
& Fishman, 197
2011; Saeed, 199
7; Sawaie, 1994; Shiri, 2002; Suleiman, 1993, 2003).
In this chapter, I
discuss language attitudes only as they relate to three areas
will start with a brief
kground of language attitudes in the Arab context,

Some of the earliest available attitudinal statements about the Arabic language
are contained in the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an. In at least ten different loca
tions, spread across ten separate chapters,
sizes the “Arabness” of its language. Through this linguistic aspect, the Qur’an
39: 28). Since the Qur’an was believed to be
701–774), author of the famous
Tafseer Ibn Katheer
(Ibn Katheer, 1999, p.
365). Likewise, Ibn Mandhoor (1232–1311
the renowned
speech over every other speech. It is enough honor for the Arabic speec
the Qur’an was revealed in it and that it is the speech of the people of heavens”
11). Given the
elevated style of the Qur’an, SA came to be perceived as a
2, classical Arabic literature, which
26). Today
are written in SA, which has in itself become part of this treasured heritage.
Moreover, as a code mutually intelligible across the Arab region, SA is viewed as
primary symbol of Arab unity, history, and heritage, which reminds many Arabs
of their glorious past (Al-Husari, 1985). As Fishman (1971, p.
has come to “be associated with the mission, glory, history, and uniqueness of an
.” T
part of their identity. According to Chejne (1969), both the revival of SA and the
17), for example, writes,
structure, just as the ecstasy and joy are not in the tones but in the ways they are composed.” Likewise, Taha Hussein states that “The educated Arabs who could
not command their language [SA] lack in their education, and their manhood is
17). Such overtly e
beliefs about the supremacy of SA and the need to acquire it have an undeniable
cation (V
ersteegh, 2001). As a
197). Similarly, most of the early Arab grammarians
depicted QA forms
as deviations from SA (Chejne, 1969). The description of
QA as a deviation from SA underlines two important facts about the relationship
associated with “colloquial,” “slang,” and the language of the uneducated masses.
As Al-Toma (1969, p.
xts such as songs, stage and
movies, the colloquial lacks the prestige enjoyed by the Classical and is
looked upon, often with a considerable degree of contempt, as a stigma of
The QA dialects are not typically written, although a certain amount of lit
erature exists in some of them (Eid, 2002; Mejdell, 2006; Rosenbaum, 2011).
However, as Semah (1995, p.
been seen as “a means of entertainment for the uneducated masses.”
to Versteegh (2001, p. 132), “It remains difficult in the Arab world to arouse
interest in the dialects as a serious object of study. Many speakers of Arabic still
12). For this reason, several Arab intellectu
In addition
to SA and QA, a number of global (particularly French and English)
and local languages (Berber and Kurdish) are part of the language repertoires
of some Arabic speakers. Therefore, it is necessary to have a brief overview
2, Frenc
(particularly Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Lebanon, and Syria) through
colonization, and it is still associated with the colonial experience in the writings
of the overwhelming majority of Arabic-speaking scholars and intellectuals, par
ticularly in the Maghreb where French has a notable presence (Abbasi, 1977;
Bentahila, 1983a; Chakrani, 2010; Ennaji, 2007; Sadiqi, 2003; Suleiman, 2003,
2004; Walters, 2011). French was diffused into the social, educational, economic,
political, administrative, technical, and commercial realms through a carrot-and-
stick approach in which the forced imposition of French on the local people was
reinforced by claims of modernity, prestige, enlightenment, and global influence.
Arabicization was the sociolinguistic reaction to French presence in the Maghreb
countries soon after they gained their independence. The Arabicization policies,
however, failed to loosen the grip of French on key educational and economic
elitist French educational system or those who studied in France have refused to
exclude French from the Maghreb linguistic map (Benmamoun, 2001). Second,
there seems to be no political will to make real changes in the current sociolin
– except L
where both French and English are popular
– whereas Frenc
in the Maghreb but is gradually losing ground to English (Battenburg, 2006;
Walters, 2011).
Last, the local languages (Berber and Kurdish) have a unique position in the
Arab sociolinguistic situation. These languages have been, until recently, mar
& Suleiman, 199
6; Chakrani, 2010; Ennaji, 2007;
Miller, 2003; Sadiqi, 2003). According to Ennaji (2007, p.
247), Berber
has tra
‘a dialect’ which is not worth introducing in schools
is neither standardized nor codified and is neither a language of wider
communication nor a language with a rich written literature.” The same applies
to Kurdish in Iraq prior to the second Gulf War. However, due to changes in the
of these languages, Berber and Kurdish have recently gained recognition as
national and/or official languages in a number of Arab countries, including Alge
ria, Morocco, and Iraq. These languages are no longer confined to the home and
television programming, and education. In fact, Kurdish enjoys social, legal, and
and intellectual discourse (Hassanpour, 2012; Sheyholislami, 2008). The follow
addressing Arabic speakers’ attitudes toward SA, QA, English, French, Berber,
and Kurdish.


One of the most important assumptions about language attitudes is that they are
part of the deep-seated norms, orientations, and beliefs in a given speech com
munity. As Saville-Troike (1989, p.
181) notes, “individuals can seldom choose
prescribed religious rituals from personal communication with God” (Haeri, 2003,
1). Ennaji (2007) reports that 7
3% of his 124 participants viewed SA a school
language, compared to 2% to Moroccan QA and 51% to French. Further, the
respondents viewed Moroccan QA as “a corrupt form of Arabic [SA] which is
274). Moreover
and the lack of systematicity in QA. Interestingly, Saidat (2010) found that SA
of use, which contradicts the
While SA seems to have a clear attitudinal edge over QA, the picture
h as French
and English. El-Dash and Tucker (1975) examined the attitudes of college and
high school students in Egypt toward SA, Cairene QA, American English, British
a matched guise test, the participants showed more favorable attitudes to SA in
Morocco, Chakrani (2010) found that French is contending the solidarity traits of
lect would be imitated if one were telling a joke” (p.
reported by Hussein and El-Ali (198
a sedentary center and usually have a higher socioeconomic status than the
Bedouins, their 303 participants displayed more favorable views to the Bedouin
dialect over their own. Sawaie (1994) probed the attitudes of 321 university
students toward SA and three dialects in Jordan, which are marked by the use of
/. Apart from SA, which received the most favorable ratings,
relative standing in the Arabic-speaking communities, but also in domains of use.
For example, some studies point out the participants’ preference for a multilin
gual reality where SA and French and English may exist in education and other
social domains (Chakrani, 2010; Marley, 2004; Shaaban
& Ghaith, 2002). Third,

The study focuses on the attitudes of Egyptian, Jordanian, Moroccan, and Saudi
college students toward SA, QA, English, French, and
languages, such as
Berber. The inclusion of the “Other languages” category was particularly neces
As noted in the previous chapter, the selection of participants from these four
countries aimed to represent four different areas in the Arab region that dif
fer in their historical (e.g., colonialism) and sociocultural (e.g., multilingualism in
Maghreb) experience. Language attitudes are investigated using three research
– which may

The purpose of the questionnaire was, first, to collect data on the attitudes of col
analysis of the questionnaire data is far beyond the scope of this chapter
keeping with the nature and goals of the book, the data presented here focus
on the attitude scale in the questionnaire and the relationship of language atti
few questionnaires were collected from smaller groups of
erent universities in Cairo and Al-Ismailia. In Morocco, data was col
lected from three campuses in Al-Jadida, Casablanca, and Ifrane. In Jordan, data
was the only country where the data was collected from two different universities
in a single city, Riyadh.
The questionnaire data was transcribed into an Excel document and then
analyzed using the SPSS.21 program. The demographics of the participants
appear in Table
4.1. The items used to c
As Table
4.1 shows, the female/male ratio was relatively balanced among
the participating groups except in the Saudi case where all the participants were
males; the ban on gender mixing did not permit the collection of data from both
“Other languages” category included German (six), Korean (two), and Spanish
(six). The Other languages spoken by the Jordanian participants included Circas
sian (five), German (three), Hebrew (two), Italian (one), Spanish (three), and Turk
choice (4)
, through
second favorable choice (3)
third favorable choice (2)
, and
fourth favorable choice (1)
least favorable choice (0)
. The range of possible
explained to them
7), and French
(1.29). Their positive attitudes toward SA were particularly visible in the affective
domain (3.26), unlike QA, which was favored in the behavioral domain (2.97)
and English, which was preferred in the cognition domain (2.82). The Jordanian
group was overall more favoring of English (2.91) than SA (2.68), QA (2.53),
and French (1.12). Their positive attitudes appeared particularly in the cogni
tive (3.01) and behavioral (2.80) domains and less so in the affective domain
Overall attitudes
tian counterparts, the Moroccans perceived SA (2.90) more favorably than QA
(1.99), English (2.64), and French (2.25). Their favorable attitudes to SA were
relatively consistent across the affective (3.24), cognitive (2.95), and behavioral
(2.47) domains. Similarly, SA received the most favorable ranking (2.89) by the
Saudi participants followed by English (2.83), then QA (2.55), and French (1.10).
A comparison of the language attitudes in the four groups reveals a number
to SA, thus identifying SA as their preferred language with respect to official
status, language maintenance, and use in different domains, such as religion,
business, literacy, media, education, government offices, and conversation (see
Appendices). This pattern is consistent with previous reports on Arab-speaking
people’s attitudes to SA (Al-Muhannadi, 1991; Chakrani, 2010 Ennaji, 2007;
& El-Ali, 198
9; Murad, 2007; Saidat, 2010). Cognitively, SA
was contested by English in terms of its utility and importance. While SA was still
rated highly on questionnaire statements related to culture, education, richness,
Standard ArabicColloquial ArabicEnglishFrenchOther
Overall attitudes2.68
Colloquial ArabicEnglishFrenchOther
Overall attitudes2.90
Standard ArabicColloquial ArabicEnglishFrenchOther
focusing on modernity, liberality, science and technology, professional careers,
and general usefulness in everyday life. With the exception of the Moroccan
Apart from these similarities, the four groups differed in a number of respects.
– a pattern
SA, the Saudi participants still demonstrated positive attitudes toward English.
Comparatively, the Moroccans held the most positive attitudes to French and to
Other languages. This is not surprising given the exposure of many Moroccans to
European languages due to their proximity to Europe and the continuous influx
English in the Maghreb region (Chakrani, 2010; Lawson-Soko
& Sachdev,
which is evident in the speakers’ more favorable attitudes to English. This attitudi
nal change may have to do with different sociopolitical factors (e.g., colonialism),
global lingua franca, especially in the areas of global business, technology, and
The relationships among the participants’ attitudes toward each of the lan
summary of the groups’ correlation matrices is presented
The correlation matrices revealed a number of general patterns. First, there

attitudes and demographic variables
SA attitudesQA attitudesEnglish
English attitudes–.453**–.256**1
French attitudes–.272**–.325**.246**1
Other attitudes–.263**–.310**.038–.220**1
as these may underline precarious situation of SA in the face of English, French,
and Other languages. They may also explain the ardent calls across the Arab
World for strengthening the position of SA relative to English (Abdulaliim, 2012;
Participants who claimed an Arab background were more positive about SA
than those who did not, only in the Egyptian situation. To understand this type of
attitudes, it is important to consider the fact that Egyptian speakers who claim a
non-Arab origin also view SA as an intruding language that has been imposed
on the Egyptian people (Suleiman, 2011). For these speakers, SA is neither
practically nor emotionally related to them, which may explain their less favor
able attitudes toward SA. By contrast, the positive attitudes toward SA were not

SA attitudesQA attitudesEnglish
English attitudes–.309**.305**1
French attitudes.500**.037.238**1
Other attitudes–.061.054.512**.497**1

SA attitudesQA attitudesEnglish
English attitudes–.230**–.1011
French attitudes–.160*–.003.297**1
Other attitudes–.008.016–.015.0061
4.1) are Circassian and
urkoman, and those who claimed a non-Arab origin are mostly Berber in the

and demographic variables
SA attitudesQA attitudesEnglish
SA attitudes1
QA attitudes.0551
English attitudes.030
French attitudes–.066–.009.222**1
Other attitudes–.180*.005.307**.475**1
No. of languages.
extent, behaviorally. QA receives the highest attitudinal scores in the behavioral

The quantitative analysis was supplemented by face-to-face, semi-structured
interviews (see Appendices). This qualitative element was employed not only to
gather more in-depth information about the participants’ language attitudes but
interview about their opinions toward the language situation in the Arab region
. The number of interviewees was as
follows: twenty Egyptians, twenty Jordanians, twenty Moroccans, and sixteen
interviews in
193). Interviews were
transcribed verbatim and
the literal meaning of words, phrases, and sentences to their larger contextual,
social, and symbolic representation). The relationships among these categories
The interviews probed the attitudes of the informants toward the various QA
dialects in relation to SA and to each other (see Appendices). One of the questions
asked is “in general, which do you
more: Al-Fus
The majority of the respondents (44.7%) favored SA. They explained that SA is
“a rich and beautiful language,” “the language of the Qur’an,” “the language of
politics,” and “the language of news.” To some interviewees, Arabic “enables [Ara
bic speakers] to communicate even when they live in different Arab countries,”
. is acknowledged in the
preferred QA because it is “easier,” “simpler,” “natural,” and “used by everyone.”
Five interviewees (two from Egypt, two from Saudi Arabia, and one from Jordan)
indicated that this was a personal preference because they were not good at
SA or because SA is “difficult” for them. The remaining interviewees (32.9%)
indicated that they had an equal preference for SA and QA because each is
important and is needed in some way. It should be noted that the Moroccan inter
attitudes to QA than their Egyptian, Jordanian, and Saudi counterparts. Thus,
out of the twenty Moroccan interviewees, twelve favored SA to QA, compared to
When asked about their favorite colloquial Arabic dialect and the rationale for
their choice, the majority of Egyptian speakers favored their own Egyptian dialect
because it “is understood by all Arabs” and “is the closest dialect to Al-Fu
The same applies to the Jordanian and Saudi speakers, who maintained that their
“lucid.” A
few Jordanian and Saudi participants cited their use of interdentals /ð/,
/ to assert the clarity of their dialects. Two Saudi participants invoked
the link and proximity of the Saudi dialect to the dialects of “old Arab tribes in
the Arabian Penninsula.” The Moroccan interviewees diverged from their Egyp
tian, Jordanian, and Saudi counterparts because only two Moroccan interview
ees viewed the Moroccan dialect as their preferred dialect. The majority of them
favored the Syrian dialect, followed by the Egyptian dialect. What is intriguing,
however, is that their liking of these dialects was not merely based on “linguistic”
aspects, but social aspects as well. Thus, the Syrian and Egyptian dialects were
identified as “beautiful,” “easy to understand,” and “close to SA.” However, a num
ber of participants also indicated that the Syrian people are “nice,” “good,” “close
to us,” and that the Egyptians are “good,” “witty,” and “likable.” This shows that
language attitudes are affected not only by the linguistic aspects of the dialects
as well. When asked about the most difficult dialect, the majority of the Egyptian,
hand, the majority of the Moroccan speakers indicated that the Tunisian, Iraqi, and
Gulf dialects were the most difficult. Follow-up questions revealed that these atti
tudes were not due only to “linguistic factors” but also due to sociocultural factors
(certain aspects of behavior) that are related to the speakers of these dialects.
For example, three of the Moroccan participants who affirmed the difficulty of
the Gulf dialect also expressed their disapproval of the behaviors of “many Gulf
In response to the question “if we were to replace Al-Fu
colloquial dialects, which one would you personally choose?” the majority of the
the reasons for the importance of SA for many Arabic speakers, which may be
expressive language .
. No one can learn it except if they
have lived in.
” SA is part of some Arabs’ nostalgia to the past, which is often
associated with social, political, and economic stability and prosperity. Moreover,
connection to the past by abandoning what would allow them to read the texts
of Arabic civilization. In contrast, QA reminds them of “scattered Arab states,”
“political divisions and problems,” “bad economy,” and “colonialism.” As for par
ticipants who chose one of the QA dialects, again, the Egyptian, Jordanian, and
mentioned above. On the other hand, the Moroccan speakers favored the Syrian
experiences with speakers of the evaluated languages or dialects.
Last, the participants were asked about their attitudes toward the spread
English positively as long as it is restricted to “some specific spheres, like tech
nology” and “it does not affect the culture and the behavior of people.” The major
for many jobs nowadays.” However, a few respondents were disappointed that
there were no mechanisms for controlling the many new English words that have
should have ways to control the flow of foreign words .
. flow of English
.” Moreover
use English in everyday speech because “they are trying to show off” or “they
are trying to be stylish.” Some interviewees described this practice as “disrespect
to the self and to the others,” “unacceptable,” “weird,” or “disturbing.” To many of
them, the use of English with people who speak Arabic is “unjustifiable.” As for
attitudes toward French, the majority of the Moroccan participants viewed the
existence of French and the learning of French in the Moroccan sociolinguistic
landscape positively. They explained that “many jobs here in Morocco require
French,” “French increases one’s opportunities to study abroad and find oppor
tunities for work,” and “science subjects are taught in French,” and “it is good
.” Likewise, the majority of the interviewees viewed
rench in daily interactions as “bad behavior,” although most of them
acknowledged its prevalence in the Moroccan context (see Bentahila, 1983a;
Walters, 2011 for similar findings). Again, most Moroccan interviewees indicated
that they support the persistence of French in the Moroccan context, but would
like to see the influence of the French culture diminish. Overall, the attitudes
toward English and French seem to be driven by pragmatic purposes, which is
quite different from how SA and QA are approached.

Language behavior
Language behavior is an important indicator of language attitudes. As noted
above, language attitudes usually guide language behavior through the forma
tion of behavioral intentions, which in turn become the basis of language behavior
& Fishbein, 198
to observations that I
noticed during my fieldwork. Whenever relevant, I
them to previous experiences or studies on the same topic.
Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, I
tried to alternate
conversed with them in the Syrian dialect. When I
spoke to them in SA, however,
my Syrian dialect or SA. This prof
fied his choice by stating that “the language of teaching and education should
personally do not pref
in fact I
interacted with them in SA. However, when I
a dialect different from their own in their interactions with
These diff
SA and QA. When I
spoke in SA, most of the informants tried to approximate my
speech, except for the Egyptian informants. This is because many Egyptian
emerged. First,
the Egyptians, Jordanians, and Saudi interviewees did not shift
away from their dialects. This may be related to their pride in or loyalty to their
dialects or simply based on their assumption that their dialects are intelligible
(see Ferguson, 1968; Ibrahim, 2000; Nader, 1962 for a similar observation).
The Moroccans displayed an inconsistent linguistic behavior. Some of the Moroc
As I
was in a train station in Casablanca waiting for my train to Fes, I
had a chance
dialect. When I
inquired about her use of the Egyptian dialect, she maintained
her about the Moroccan dialect, she said that it is a “difficult” dialect because
was in a shared taxi with three police trainees. At one point
started a conversation with them using SA. The first trainee to
dialect to
the fact that he thought that I
am from the
Gulf, and assumed I
rules, and it
contains many foreign words. This reflects the general attitude of
curity impact their linguistic behavior. Linguistic insecurity refers to the negative
especially when this dialect or language is perceived to be different from other
,” “more correct,” or “more
accompanied on a trip (see ne
xt chapter). The speakers used a mixed
SA-Moroccan Arabic speech in our informal conversation and then shifted to
SA in the course of a formal interview with them. At the end of the interview,
asked the informants
about their use of SA, to which one of them replied that
he only speaks in SA, elaborating that SA is the language that is “fitting .
belonging of
the majority of Moroccans.” On the other hand, the Moroccan dia
lect did not have the same value for him because it was not his mother tongue.
Again, language attitudes and issues of identity are materialized behaviorally
through language choice in this case. This pattern has been observed in contexts
attitudes to SA because of its religious attachments, unlike the QA dialects that
6). The use of English was more salient in the speec
the discourse of the Egyptian and Moroccan informants. For example, the Jor
danian and Saudi participants deployed words that are technical and circulated
in their English forms as well as words that are non-technical and have common
participants restricted their use of English mainly to technical terms, whereas
words that have Arabic equivalents were rendered in Arabic. It is possible that
the interviewees shifted to English because of my background, but the fact the
pattern among educated speakers in these countries. It is important to note that
the extent of English usage by the interviewees seems to correlate with their
which may explain their frequent shifts to English.
Overall, the behavioral patterns reported in this section exhibit the informants’
will explain in Chapter
7, the Moroccan participants

Standardization is one of main factors contributing to differences in the statuses
“the process
widely accepted
out the speech community as a supradialectal norm
– rated above regional and social
dialects.” According to F
The phenomenon of language standardization is inherently related to lan
tion because, as the definitions ab
38), the
” Similarly,
purity of the Arabic language, which led to concerns about the correctness of the
2, Ibrahim (198
Papapavlou, 2004). T
and identities
2003). This move eventually did not come to fruition due to many factors, but
had a chance to e
(which complements the call for entering QA in education). I
to collect issues of newspapers published over three days of my stay there,
Al-Akhbaar, Al-Massa’, Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahdaath Al-Maghrebiyya
are some of the headlines that appeared around this period in these newspapers
am against the trend that seeks to turn the Moroccan culture into a folk culture”
ةجرادلا ةسارد ىلع رداق ديدج هيوبيس ىلع رثعت نأ كيلع
“You have to find a new
“The gibberish over the situation of non-language” (
“Season of the extinction of Standard Arabic” (
“Have you heard about language infanticide?” (
r, 24. No.
317, 26
“War on Standard Arabic.
. Where to?” (, 7 November
“The call for vernacular education is an insult to the [Moroccan] people” (
These headlines underscore Moroccan intellectuals’ negative attitudes
the notion of the codifying QA or its adoption in education. There are four
about their attitudes toward the idea of using QA in writing after developing
ooks and orthographies, they raised four main concerns
about the possibility of codifying QA. The first concern is that QA does not have
agreed-upon rules. The second concern is whose dialect is to be standardized;
. of our religion,” “language of Arab
,” and “language of Arabs from old time.”
In general, language standardization is a complex topic in the Arab context

The notion of diglossia in the Arab region is interwoven with a number of social
and socio-psychological constructs, including language attitudes. Language atti
The notion of the “problematicity” of diglossia recurs frequently in the writ
ings of many contemporary scholars, writers, and intellectuals both inside and
outside the Arab region. For example, the renowned and influential advocate of
Al-Husari (1985) writes, “The question of Al-Fu
Al-‘Aamiyya is one of the most important problems that raise debate and dis
147) argues, “Reading diffi
in elementary school are usually attributed to the
language, whereby the spoken language is totally different from
ary Arabic,
the language of b
ooks and school instruction.” However, an alternative
approached analytically. Kaye (1975, p.
335) argues, “The word ‘problem’ is to
the Arab world.” K
aye, like Ferguson, asserts that some Arabic speakers do not
edly, addresses an attitudinal rather than a behavioral concern, and therefore it
should be explored attitudinally.
One of the questions that I
asked my informants
during my fieldwork is “Do
second group
of interviewees, represented by five Egyptians,
four Jordanians, nine Moroccans, and two Saudis (26.3%) considered diglossia
as a problem and blamed it on QA. For them, the Arabs should use a single com
mon language (i.e., SA) because the existence of QA “weakens” SA, dilutes one’s
. I do not see a need to stick to it because
people do not use it in their everyday life .
.” Only two Egyptians, two Jordanians,
he challenge of Arabic diglossia has been accentuated in the area of child
education in the Arab region (Abu-Rabia, 2000; Al-Husari, 1985; Al-Kahtany,
1997; Al-Toma, 1969; Ayari, 1996; Ibrahim, 1989; Khamis-Dakwar
& Froud,
7; Maamouni, 1998; Saiegh-Haddad, 2005; Schiffman, 1997; Zughoul,
1980 among many others). Two main interrelated arguments have been put for
ward concerning the adverse impact of diglossia on child education. The first
argument concerns the assumption that the difficulties in acquiring SA stem from
& Ibrahim, 2000; Ibrahim
There is a growing awareness among some Arab education specialists
literacy rates in most Arab countries are directly related to the complexities
of the standard Arabic language used in formal schooling and non-formal
education. The complexities mostly relate to the diglossic situation of the
language, which is making reading in Arabic an overly arduous process.
the “problem.” For example, it has been found that home literacy activities (e.g.,
using children’s books) enhance children’s reading performance at school (Aram,
report that children’s reading comprehension skills may be predicted by their
xposure to SA orthography (Abu-Rabia, 2000). These studies show that,
& Belnap, 2006; Alosh, 19
97, 2009; Brosh
& Olshtain, 1995;
oughlin, 2009; Palmer, 2008; Ryding, 1991; Trentman, 2011; Wilmsen,
2006; Younes, 2006, 2009). The “problematicity” of the diglossic situation has
given rise to the three approaches to teaching Arabic as a foreign language,
namely the SA approach, the QA approach, and the integrated approach (see
Alosh, 1997, 2009 for a summary of the main arguments). These approaches call
of each of these approaches, but to point out that these approaches emanate

region (see Chapter
5) because of the complex nature of the Arabic multidialec
& Smadi, 2012; Ayari, 19
96; Benmamoun, 2001; Ennaji,
2007; Faiza, 2013; Marley, 2002; Sayadi, 1982; Sirles, 1999; Spolsky, 2004;
Attitudinal studies on Arabicization suggest that Arabic speakers’ views of
anti-Arabicization position, and (3) critical position of Arabicization. The first posi
World from the linguistic and cultural hegemony that characterized the colonial
period. Thus, it serves to assert the Arab unique identity through the medium
of language, and to recognize the religious roots of the majority of the popula
tion in the Arab region (Al-Abed Al-Haq, 1994; Benmamoun, 2001; Benrabah,
2007; Chakrani, 2010; Ennaji 1988; Suleiman, 2003). Al-Abed Al-Haq (1998)
assessed the language attitudes of faculty members at Yarmouk University in
Jordan toward the Arabicization policy. The participating faculty members were
(i.e., using SA only) education at all levels. The respondents
communication among Arabs from different regions.
In his study on language
uniqueness and to reverse the linguistic and social inequalities created by French
The anti-Arabicization position is upheld by those who view languages through
either instrumental or identity lenses (Al-Abed Al-Haq, 1994; Bentahila, 1983a;
Chakrani, 2010; Faiza, 2013). Some proponents of this position suggest that Ara
in attaining its projected goals, and therefore try to explain why this is the case.
For example, Ibrahim (1989) suggests that Arabicization is not and cannot be
successful because it is not attended by Arabization, which is a more comprehen
sive sociocultural process of change. Ennaji (1988) contends that Arabicization
the modern, and the future. Gill (1999) maintains that the system that was built
by the colonial powers (particularly with reference to France in the Maghreb)
does not allow for the success of Arabicization because French is projected to
question that this
position raises is how to define the “failure” of Arabicization.
selectively in Arab countries, such as Morocco and Algeria. T
business, science, technology, and media have witnessed a strong presence of
English and/or French. While this is an important criterion, what is needed is an
limited diffusion of SA into such domains. More importantly, assessing “failure”
requires a more systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the different actors
and variables involved in the Arabicization policy. In education, for instance, these
could be policymakers, administrators, students, teachers, parents, textbooks, job
The controversies surrounding Arabicization in its first meaning as a promo
tion of the Arabic language in official and public spheres may be extended to
the second meaning of Arabicization as the process of transferring non-Arabic
words into the Arabic language. Again, there are three approaches to this pro
cess. One approach is represented by language purists in the Arab regions who
mately do violence to the language and overwhelm it” (Chenje, 1969, p.
similar argument is advanced by Anis Salloum, who cites the richness of
the Arabic language and its ability to absorb many new foreign words throughout
history to assert the need to coin new words based on the traditional derivational
second approach
the use of borrowed words as they are because replacing these words with
“old” Arabic terms would lead to the loss of their original meanings. For example,
Yaacoub Sarrouf (1929) questions the need to rummage the Arabic language
for words that may strip the borrowed words from their intended meanings in
the source language. Similarly, Jurji Zaidan (1988) argues that the proposed
filtering of foreign words through Arabicization limits people’s ability to cope with
the needs of the modern world and their growing exposure to new terms and
expressions. A
third approach advocates following the classical rules of word
derivation, but shows less reservation about the use of foreign words when these
orrowed words. This attitude
lines of most Arabic language academies. Regardless of the approach, the root
of the controversy over borrowed words is the lack of coordination among the
different Arab countries or among their Arabic language academies concerning
the establishment of accepted mechanisms and guidelines for Arabicizing such
In my fieldwork, I
asked the interviewees
about their opinions on the
Arabicization policy in education.
With the exception of two Egyptians, four
policy. The main rationalization is that Arab children should learn the Arabic lan
guage because it is the language of their heritage, history, and culture. Moreover,
the Arabicization policy, as one of the interviewees indicated, “.
speak Al-Fus
a well.” Most of these informants saw that SA still plays a marginal
role even in the official and public spheres: “the kids may hear Al-Fu
few minutes in the class .
. that is it.” All of
policies toward the integrative approach where SA and QA are employed at dif
ferent stages of education or cotaught in the same educational milieu. There is
abundant variation in how different Arab countries deal with this topic. For exam
the SA–QA debate is hardly relevant (Al-Abed Al-Haq, 1998; Al-Abed Al-Haq
Al-Masaeid, 2009; Al-
Oliemat, 1998; Mizher
اشاقن تسيلو ةيجولويديإ ةطلاغم ي
ا ةغل ىلإ يبرغملا ميلعتلا لشف عاجرإ
“Attributing the failure of Moroccan education to Standard Arabic is an ideolog
ical fallacy, not a scientific debate” (
317, 26 November
“Against the colloquial in Education .
identity” (
“Embracing the Moroccan dialect [in education] degrades and understates the
23–24 November
“We call for adopting the mother tongues in primary education to help the student
a few of the reporting titles presented the rationale for the QA-in-
education argument, the vast majority of the opinion and reporting headlines pre
The arguments put forward by proponents of QA integration in education can be
children; (2) it is easier and more accessible to children and, therefore, it may facil
itate the learning process; and (3) it allows children to start learning the subject
to Abdullah Al-‘arwi, a prominent Moroccan scholar and historian, selecting QA
would turn the Moroccan culture to a “folkloric culture,” “demote the value of
While in Morocco, I
tion of QA into education. With the exception of one, all of the respondents had
highly negative attitudes toward this step, arguing that QA “may not accepted by
& Al-Abed Al-Haq, 2014). Needless to say, although the attitudinal
tion policy, policymakers may not necessarily take it into account in deciding the
future direction of this policy.

In the Arabic diglossic communities, SA and QA are assumed to have different
statuses and roles. According to Ferguson (1959a), these statuses and roles
Arab speech community. For example, Nader (1962, p.
26) explains, “ .
Arabic and scolding a child would be mutually e
.” If this pattern is still
The negative attitudes toward CS appear particularly in written discourse. T
is a domain that has traditionally been reserved to SA, and, therefore, incorporating
QA in this domain violates the sociolinguistic conventions of the literary tradition
and may be seen as a sign of disrespect to a readership composed mostly of
elist Yuusif Al-Sibaa‘i, Abdel-Malek (1972, p. 134) reports the author’s attempt
“to erect an impregnable fence which would prevent colloquial expressions from
sneaking in”. As the author and Abdel-Malek also note, the author’s abidance
by SA stems from his apprehension of the rejection of his work, especially by
the language purists in Egypt. Moreover, although he resolved to use a heavily
QA-saturated style at one point in his literary career, Al-Sibaa‘i was forced later
37) describes the
common attitudes toward bilingual French-Arabic
37). The respondents viewed speakers who
h codes negatively, suggesting that they are ignorant, poorly educated, lack
ing in confidence and sense of identity. In another work focusing on rai music,
Davies and Bentahila (2008, pp.
18–19) argue that “The general public, who may
237) describes switc
While numerous studies have focused on Arabic speakers’ attitudes toward
196). Language attitudes on CS among national or local Arabic dialects have
xtent that it does not draw much attention.
interviewees about their opinions of mixing Arabic with other languages as well
three possible answers (positive, neutral, or negative) and explain their c
Out of the seventy-six participants, 65.8% expressed negative attitudes toward
bilingual CS, 26.3% accepted CS with no positive or negative evaluations, and
7.9% saw it as a positive social phenomenon. The explanations provided by the
interviewees largely replicated those found by Bentahila (1983a); some of the
reactions described CS as “an indication of bad education,” “a show of disrespect
to oneself and to others,” and “careless feelings about one’s language and iden
tity.” The respondents described those who use this type of CS as “spoiled youth,”
“uneducated generation,” and “people who hang on to the peels of civilizations.”
language behavior and attitude toward one’s own language. The informants were
also asked about their opinions of the occurrence of CS in religious and polit
ical speeches and in everyday discourse. In response to this question, 50.0%
of the interviewees disapproved the use of QA in religious speeches, 32.9%
were neutral, and 17.1% had favorable attitudes to this practice. Similar patterns
were reported with respect to political speeches with 47.4% expressing nega
that this is the place of Al-‘Ammiyya .
.”; and
“this is what happens when people
who do not know how to speak become religious leaders and politicians.” Those
who use QA in their religious speeches and political speeches were described
with such labels as “intruders in this profession” and “contribut[ing] to the defor
mation of the Arabic language.” However, the few informants who were in favor
of using QA in religious and political speeches pointed to its “ease to the ordinary
people,” arguing that “this is what people hear and speak with one another” and
that “using Al-‘Ammiyya attracts more ordinary people.” The third group, the neu
some indicated that “what is important is what is being said not how it is said.” As
for the use of SA in everyday speech, the interviewees who advocated this prac
of Al-Fu
a in common life makes it circulated among people”; and “this would
lead to the spread to Al-Fu
a, which is good.” On the other hand, those not in
favor of SA use in everyday speech rationalized that it would be “funny to hear .

“simply not acceptable by everyone .
to use for many people.” T
. a matter of choice.
In summary, the negative attitudes toward CS stem from two interrelated
factors. First, in the minds of many Arabs, SA and QA have different statuses,
functions, and roles, and so it is important to separate these two varieties not
only linguistically, but socially, contextually, and functionally (which is not often
especially when SA is expected because this means lowering the
standards of the discourse. It should be noted that, to date, no studies have
7). Therefore, it is difficult to speculate ab

understand individuals’ beliefs about the language repertoires in their commu
of a given community, but also from the necessity of investigating how atti
tudes may change, or should be changed, in a particular direction. This change
of their behavior. According to Katz (1960), understanding changes in attitudes
community. Katz classifies the functions of attitudes into four categories: (1)
instrumentalist, adjustive, or utilitarian; (2) ego-defensive; (3) value-expressive;
and (4) knowledge functions. The
around the notions of gain and loss based on language choices; attitudes toward
A second pattern of change concerns the increasing recognition of QA as
an integral part of the Arab sociolinguistic scene. Some of the early studies on
& Al-Masaeid, 2009; Chakrani, 2010; Murad, 200
2010). In fact, Mizher and Al-Abed Al-Haq (2014) report that their respondents
important role of QA, the literature underscores the mounting pressure from
pro-QA intellectuals and constituencies to accommodate QA in key SA domains,
including education and media. This trend has been more visible in some Arab
countries than others because of the specifics of their sociohistorical experience.
As noted above, Morocco is now at the forefront of this line of change. These two
patterns of change seem to be compatible with the
the speakers’ support of SA or QA (Katz, 1960).
A third form of change is the recognition of languages that have historically
been stigmatized, such as Berber and Kurdish (Blau
& Suleiman, 19
96; Chakrani,
2010; Ennaji, 2007; Sadiqi, 1997). After years of marginalization, both Berber
and Kurdish, as the two main local languages in the Arabic sociolinguistic sphere,
Morocco). This is anticipated and attended by developments of positive attitudes
6; Ennaji, 2007). This recognition has various implications for the dissemina
tion of these two languages in the public sphere. For example, Ennaji reports that
72% of his Berber respondents were in favor of using Berber in Moroccan school
realize that the Kurdish language is concurrently gaining sociopolitical capital
by all scholars, including one of a Kurdish descent. For speakers of the Berber
and Kurdish languages as mother tongue, these positive attitudes toward their
languages have a value-expressive function, which reflects their beliefs about
the importance of these languages. For non-Berber and non-Kurdish speakers,
A last pattern of language attitude change concerns the growing espousal of
English in key social domains and functions, including education. This attitudinal
pattern does not seem to be restricted to a single Arab country, region, community,
or social class. For example, even in countries where French is well-established,
English is receiving more favorable attitudes than French and is proliferating
in areas formerly dominated by SA and French (Battenburg, 2006; Chakrani,
2010). This type of change may be seen as a reflection of broader sociocultural
values, which favor the instrumental view of language. However, because of its
& Al-Abed Al-Haq, 2014). The value-e
function of attitudes is manifest in the reactions that resist the increasing influ
practicality, and prestige. T
this chapter. These positive attitudes are more visible in the responses of the
of the United States in Jordan. Thus, the emulation of the American model in
business and technology is reflected in language attitudes as well. The notably
positive attitudes to English may reflect a change in language attitudes from a
value-expressive perspective to an instrumentalist one; English is gaining atti
tudinal mileage because of its global prestige and utility. Compared to English,
French receives less favorable attitudes because of its receding global presence,
One of the ongoing debates in a number of Arab countries concerns the Ara
This policy, however, has led to the marginalization of minority local languages,
including Berber and Kurdish. It is not surprising that many minority-language
speakers have stood against this policy. Moreover, because of the weak repre
sentation of Arabic in international business and technology, which could be a
corollary of the fragmented Arab polities, English and French are taking the lead
in the teaching of science and technology across the majority of Arab countries.
The Arabicization policy has been and is still under criticism by pro-QA intel
lectuals, who seek to introduce QA into education. This chapter explored the
ambivalent attitudes toward Arabicization, which, although still favoring this policy,
are also critical of the practices surrounding its implementation in different Arab
Speech and attitudinal acts are used in general sense here without reference to a
The chapters and verses in the Qur’an that contain direct ref
the Qur’an are: 12 (2), 13 (37), 16 (103), 20 (113), 26 (195), 39 (28), 41 (3), 42 (7),
43 (3), and 46 (12).
This observation is based on my personal experience.
French is also taught as a third language in a number of Arab countries (e.g., Syria),
The study will be published separately in a different venue. W
According to Maamouri (1998), Arabization started with the Islamic conquests in the
independence of many Arab countries (see also Faiza, 2013).
Social identity
The Arabic language has been the soul and the substance of identity dynam
of identity in the Arab region without considering its linguistic dimension. The
nexus is integral to a number of sociolinguistic phenomena. For example, our
partly on how they speak. Our views of languages are influenced by the way we
eration of the identity of the people with whom we interact. The development of
national languages is connected to national identities just as national languages
are involved in shaping national identities. The inseparability of language and
identity is particularly relevant here because the “Arab World,” as a sociopolitical
entity that has never been materialized in modern history, rests heavily on the
existence of a shared language among its inhabitants. The Arab League defines
and who is in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic-speaking peo
who an Arab is. Moreover, the various state-based and local identities are largely
dictated by factors related to linguistic diversity.
Research within the framework of social identity theory has demonstrated the
critical role of language in the construction of social and personal identities and,
conversely, the impact of identity dynamics on social actors’ language behavior in
daily communication and interaction (Bucholtz
& Hall, 2004; Hall, 199
6). While
ships with others” (Holmes, 200
6, p.
167). Diverse disciplines, suc
h as sociology,
anthropology, social psychology, history, communication studies, political sci
al., 199
& Widdicombe, 19
98), social and discursive practice
(Fairclough, 1989), and indexicality (Blommaert, 2010; Silverstein, 2003).
immediate situational elements such as time, place, event, and occasion as well
concepts, and discursive practices (Bourdieu, 1999; Eckert, 2000; Fairclough,
1989; Fowler, 1985; Goodwin, 2003; Hall, 1996; Rampton, 1995). Since the
dimensions of context are not uniform cross-culturally, the semiotic relationship
Hall, 2004; Elster, 19
79; Myers-Scotton
Individuals living within the same politically
in the Arab World may have different sociocultural environments, historical roots,
Berber-speaking Moroccan,
Arabic-speaking Moroccan, a Kurdish-speaking Iraqi, and an Arabic-speaking
Iraqi may have a common religious identity, but may have divergent political,
second question
that is
pertinent to the Arab context concerns the impact of diglossia on identity forma
tion and the role of SA and QA in indexing different social and personal identities.
third question relates to the implications of the coexistence of a number of
This chapter
examines these
questions with particular emphasis on three
on historical narratives as well as identity statements and identity acts. Before
the development of various identity forms in the current political map of the Arab
ness of their unique identity, mainly because Arabic was the
“eminent historical role.” T
sense of pride in their language and then their identity as a reaction to the expan
xpense of the existing linguistic
A number of researchers have argued that the Arabs paid much attention
literature being the
two main ones (see also Suleiman, 2012).
Hamad (1913)
Unlike the Umaayyads, the succeeding Abbasid dynasty favored the Per
sians and the Turks in most military and administrative positions. Aldwari (1984)
examined some of the main treatises written in the Abbasid period, when notable
44). Similarly, Al-Jaa

(1983, p. 10) argues, “when the Arabs were united, they were similar in upbringing,
. Moreover, the Arabic literature
during the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties abounds with statements concern
ing the superiority, sacredness, eloquence, and distinctiveness of the
Seljuks, Ghaznavids, Buyids,
and eventually the Ottoman Turks).
This identity devaluation led to the withdrawal of SA from public life (except for
religion-related purposes) and the predominance of the dialects (Chejne, 1969).
These historical coincidences provide insights into the interdependence of Arab
This situation persisted throughout the Ottoman rule of the Arab region, which
lasted for about four centuries (1516–1919). Despite the relegation of Arabic
mainly to the religious domain, many Arabs felt no threat to their identity because
the Ottomans implemented no anti-Arabic policies, as they recognized the value
of the language to the Arab people and Muslims (Chejne, 1969). Moreover, the
Muslim Arabs considered the Turks as their associates in faith (Makdisi, 1996,
2002). However, several factors eventually led to the rupture of this religious link.
and their implementation of the Turkification policy, the Arabs’ contact with the
European civilization, and the active role of many Arab intellectuals in rebuilding
the Arabs’ glorious history and language to assert the Arabs’ unique identity.
This sociocultural movement went hand in hand with an attempt to revitalize the
568). However
of collective identity, and the prospect of building a “nation” for Arabic speakers
soon evaporated when the British and the French divided among themselves
much of the land that was under the Ottoman control. This started a new chap
– a quest in which language played a
ers. The Arabs have different experiences with Western colonialism with some
barely affected by it (e.g.,
control for longer (e.g.,
colonizers who followed diverse approaches to Arabic language and Arab iden
to the Arabic language. Three main types of identity will be discussed: national
National identity, in its modern sociopolitical sense, is a relatively new concept
in the Arab history. It evolved under the influence of the European nationalist
The European concept of
nationalism was transferred to the Arab region through three main channels: (1)
are usually ensconced on a particular historical territory, and who have a sense of
affinity to people sharing that identity.
Smith (1981, p.
187) defines the
” He diff
77). T
because the meaning of nationalism has been constantly changing, and with this
change comes new forms of national identity.
Although the denotation of national identity has been changing in the Arab
has often involved a linguistic dimension. This is not surprising as the Arabic lan
[SA], along with the study of Arab history, has long been regarded as the most
the one they enjoyed in the past.” Arab nationalism therefore falls under what
Smith (1986) calls the “essentialist” view of the nation, in which the nation is
materialized or theorized through political myths of common descent, history, cul
ture, territory, sense of solidarity, and other sociocultural symbols. In this approach,
According to
Suleiman (2003, p.
10), “Relying on
standard Arabic, nationalism in
inside and outside its immediate geographical context.” SA was, and still is, one of
Syrians). Proponents of Egyptian
nationalism gradually summoned up their Pharaonic origins, history, and cultural
heritage to substantiate and legitimize their claim to a unique national identity. As
229) argues, “The construction of a national identity depends
tices that authenticates and helps define contemporary national identity.” This
newspapers and music, which used the colloquial Egyptian dialects on a wide
scale (Fahmy, 2010).
The promotion of Egyptian nationalism generated much controversy among
the Egyptian intelligentsia concerning the language of the “Egyptian nation.” Some,
such as Rifaa‘a Al-
aawi, Taha Hussein, and Mohammad Abdu, maintained
their support to standard Arabic because it was still part of the “culture,” even when
third group, repre
more (1856–1931) and William Willcoc
ks (1852–1932). Thus, it was, and still
Egyptian nationalist movement lost much of its momentum after Egypt’s
independence and the reemergence of pan-Arab identity, especially after the
ascendance of Jamal Abdulnasser to power. However, the failure of Nasser’s
pan-Arab agenda after the collapse of the Egyptian-Syrian United Arab Repub
lic and the loss of the 1967 war to Israel, brought to surface a new form of
328) observes, “A
different type of demand
timents, as was the case of Egypt in the 1920s and Lebanon in the 1930s.
The resurgence of pan-Arab nationalism in most post-independence Arab coun
tries was reflected in the language policies that the Arab states followed. The
establishment of several language academies to protect, regulate, and modernize
SA is another manifestation of pan-Arab nationalism. The first Arabic language
academy was established in Damascus in 1919, which was followed by others
in Amman, Cairo, Baghdad, and Rabat (Sawaie, 2006). This also was manifest
in the proliferation of many pan-Arab nationalist parties in this period, such as
Al-Ba’th Party and the Democratic Arab Nasserist Party, which invoked the socio
“Arab nation” has been used fluidly to refer to the com
and historical heritage of the Arab people. The coercive statisms that
nationalisms. This has resulted in the spread of localized movements whose pri
basic rights of citizens, such as democracy, dignity, religion, and citizenship. The
Arab Spring may be considered a manifestation of this emergent form of civic
nationalism. The Tunisian, Libyan, Egyptian, Yemeni, Bahraini, and Syrian upris
ings demanded freedom, democracy, and other basic human rights. The focus
on the basic civil rights has left the issue of language in the background. During
host universities about the liveliness of the QA–SA controversy
indicated that, given the sociopolitical situation in the country, language was no
longer a substantive issue at the time. The same applies to Syria and Libya, where
This does not mean that pan-Arab nationalist sentiments and their related
language-identity link are outworn; rather, they are mostly immobilized by the
sociopolitical atmosphere in the region. The reactions of the ordinary Arab to the
events in Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen show that pan-Arab identity is
still alive among a sizable sector of the Arab populace. The spread of the modern
their linguistic similarities as well as the similarity of their sociopolitical challenges.
There is no doubt that the new technologies have also brought consciousness of
counterbalanced by various similarities as well, including SA. For many Arabs, the
use of SA by different Arab nationals on information and communication technol

“a collectivity or community that makes assumptions about
& Doyle, 1993, p.
47). Conversi
Arabized Turkomans in Syria), or
Druze in Lebanon).
“hi,” “bye,
balized identity (Al-Sa‘di, 2012; Rayhaan, 2012; Siraaj, 2013). This is a likely
scenario because “modernity” and “sophistication,” which are desirable socie
spheres, particularly the linguistic one.” To preserve the Arab identity, Abdulaliim
argues, the Arabs should focus on strengthening the position of SA in education,
. if Al-Fu
becomes extinct
. , the Arab nation will lose its identity.
, and cultural identity of the nation which an Arab who belongs to
this nation has to be aware of.” QA, however, “represents an alien, beastly body
that is unintelligible among speakers of the different dialects” (Al-Sa‘di, 2012,
10). This line of argument is not very diff
This has been achieved through underrepresenting minority groups, excluding
(Benmamoun, 2001; Benrabah, 2013; Ennaji, 2005; Vali, 2003). The politiciza
distinct language/dialects that are often mutually unintelligible (Ennaji, 199
Maddy-Weitzman, 2001; Maddy-Weitzman
in 682, carrying the message of Islam to this region. The Berbers embraced
2013; Benrabah, 2013). The Arabic colloquial dialects have accumulated more
mamoun (2001), many Berber speakers became Arabized due to the prestige
of SA and its use in education and religious preaching, the migration of Arab
Banu Hilal and Banu Maqil in the twelfth century), and
. However, many
& Martin-Jones,
“cause,” however, have forced the Moroccan and Algerian governments to rec
Algeria (Benrabah, 2013; Ennaji, 2007; Miller, 2003). This was followed by the
adoption of the Berber languages in Moroccan schools and in Berber-dominant
Algerian schools (Benrabah, 2013; Hoffman, 2006). More recently, there has
the Berber “nation,” as opposed to the Arab or Moroccan nations. For example,
one of the objectives of the Amazigh World Congress is “the defense and promo
105). The national–political
dimension of these calls may require new
people speak many distinct languages and dialects, which fall under four main
language groups: Kurmanji, Sorani, Gorani, and Kirmashani (Hassanpour, 2012;
Vali, 2003). The languages are written in three different scripts: Arabic, Roman,
and Cyrillic (Ghazi, 2009; Hassanpour, 2012). These linguistic differences are
to “others” (Sheyholislami, 2008). Like the Berber, the Kurds embraced Islam
Berbers, too, many Kurds soon assimilated into the Arab–Islamic culture for
& Suleiman, 19
96). Arabized Kurds figure
the Arabic–Islamic history, contributing such important names as Abu
Al-Daynawari (828–896), Ibn Salaah Al-Shahrazuuri (1181–1245), Shams
Al-Diin Ibn Khallakaan (1211–1282). The acclaimed Ayyoubi dynasty and their
prominent Saladdin leader have a Kurdish descent. As was the case with the
According to Blau and Suleiman (1996), the Kurds were largely an invisi
second language of the country and was used in schools and universities (Meho
a proposal to institutionalize Kurdish in all official and government bodies, whic
the United States. When I
was informed
that a Kurdish scholar, who was in the group, favored
English over Arabic in this context. English here is a neutral language that does
Muysken, 1987; Heugh, 2002).
urdistan, the language rights of the different Kurdish com
munities, and the potential impact of the linguistic plurality of Kurdish on the frag
The Berber and Kurdish cases are similar in that the Berber and Kurdish
languages have been used effectively as “othering” mechanisms, which have
become a typical process in the construction of social and political identities in
the post-colonial era (Critchfield, 2010; Genoni, 2010; Said, 1978). The politics
guistic fragmentation of the various Berber and Kurdish communities. The Berber
.” However
, the Berber and Kurdish experiences
differ in an important respect. In the Berber case, the religious and cultural bonds

Religious identity refers to “belonging based on beliefs held in common” (Fox,
him/herself in relation to others who have similar or different spiritual beliefs and
belonging (Webber, 1997). For example, some Arabs may identify themselves as
Muslims because they were born to a Muslim family and because Islam is the
Islam as a main marker of their identity. This means that religious identity may not
& Coyle, 2010;
Rosowsky, 2007; Ward, 2000). Religious
language among the diverse communities of Muslim adherents, but also a major
symbol of Muslim identity (Chejne, 1969).
, which joined all Muslims in a single community. This concept
remains vague till our present day, mainly because the Qur’an does not specify
7: 34; 10: 47), and
community of believers since the time of Adam (Chapter
21: 92). T
his does
their religious identities. What is important here is that, as Khan (1958) suggests,
Under the Ottoman rule, the Muslim Arabs’ religious identity was couched
within the caliphate, which, for many Muslim Arabs, then represented the Mus
lim ummah (Dawisha, 2002; Patel, 2013). The Ottomans presented no threat to
religious domain, (2) used the Arabic script in writing the Turkish language, and
permitted the teaching of Arabic in the T
urkish religious schools as a school
subject. This explains the reluctance of most Muslim Arab intellectuals to agitate
lectuals criticized the Ottomans’ policies in the Arab provinces and called for exten
sive reforms. Arab reformers, such as Abdulra
man Al-Kawaakibi (1855–1902),
amid Al-Zahrawi (1871–1916), Rafiq Al-‘A
m (1867–1925), Shakib
Arsalaan (1869–1946), called for ameliorating the status of Arabs and their
language in the Ottoman state. This reformist approach also appeared in the pub
lications of Arab associations and organizations (tan
iimaat). For example, the
first manifesto of the Arab-Ottoman Association (established in 9 August
guage and the glorious past.” The manifesto also declared that the Association
Ottoman union” (cited in Aldawri, 1984, p.
198). Similarly
aims of the Arab Renaissance Association (founded in 1906) was “to revive the
historic role of the Arabs by reviving the Arabic language” (cited in Aldawri, 1984,
198). It seems that, to many Arabs at that time, the elevated religious status of
24). Makdisi (199
6) argues that some of the Christian Maronite elites
appealed to the Europeans, along religious lines, to strengthen their position in
the volatile Mount Lebanon. While the Maronite elites were highly skilled in Arabic,
many of them embraced French as a mark of their modern Europeanized identity.
– an argument that was then
ebanese intellectuals. The construction of
the Phoenician identity may be seen as part of the West’s scheme to redefine
the East (Said, 1978). Arabic was presented as an interposing language that is
neither rooted in ancient Lebanon nor germane to “modern” Lebanon (especially
language). This pro-French position was key to the formation of Lebanon with its
religion-based division of power and its secular and multilingual character. The
Hall, 2004). The power of the nationalist sentiments explains the popularity of
trend, Sayyed Qutb (190
6–1966) in his book
ummah back into existence” (p.
3). The emergent religious discourses sought to
oundaries of the prospective political, geographic, or religious entity that holds
The emergence of the Islamist movements and their religion-based narra
tives has reinvigorated religious-sectarian sentiments among minority groups as
well, particularly Christian Arabs (Eid, 2003, 2007). Eid traces the emergence
of these sectarian sentiments to suppressive practices during the Ottoman rule
and to the intervention of the European colonial powers in the region. This may
explain why Christian intellectuals in Greater Syria took the lead in promoting
Arab nationalism, which, although appealed to the Arabic language, history, and
& Lin, 2009;
Stiffler, 2010). Again, language has been mobilized directly or indirectly to legiti
mize the boundaries of the emergent forms of identity.
Since the second Gulf War, sectarianism has become the dominant mode
of identity expression in the Arab region. According to Makdisi (1996, p.
territorially-bounded liberal nation-state.
identity borders and recreates new boundaries based on religious–political com
mitments to the sect. For example, the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah party
has occasionally announced his loyalty to the Iranian religious authority (Tabarani,
2008). Such a sect-based loyalty may discredit common language, nationality,
and geography as markers of identity. The current conflicts in Syria, Lebanon,
Maronites vs Eastern Orthodox)
estation of the sect-based identities. This sectarianism is slip
ping into a sectisim similar to the statism discussed above, where loyalty is to
an individual, rather than a social or political group. This is certainly the case
of one’s self-identification. The Saudi support of the military coup against the
Muslim-Brotherhood-led Egyptian government in 2013 is another manifestation
of this secticism; the Saudi state, which projects itself as a representative of
the Sunni order, stands against Sunni religious movements that challenge its
religious authority. The trajectory of the transformation of Islamic religious iden
The Clash
, Huntington (1996) presented Muslims as a monolithic, unified
group with a universal worldview and religious identity. This conceptualization
runs against the current sectarian-based identity politics, which may eventually
Language planning has often been used interchangeably with language policy,
both of which refer to “deliberate efforts to influence the behavior of others with
respect to the acquisition, structure, or functional allocation of their language
codes” (Cooper, 1989, p.
45). Researchers disagree, however
79) argues that “language planning ref
conscious governmental efforts to affect the structure and function of language
language acquisition and language use.” Eastman (19
efforts of political, educational, economic, and linguistic authorities.” Similarly,
Shohamy (2006) argues that the “overt” mechanisms deployed by official bodies
are just one actor in language policy; “covert” mechanisms, such as language
testing and research in the linguistics field, may have an even more enduring
impact. Most often, language planning is governed by official bodies that operate
420) suggests, “Language planning can
ening national bonds and ties, and for maximising educational and economic
. However, language planning can also be used to maintain and
.” In this section, however
, the focus is on language planning only as it
relates to identity dynamics. As Wright (2004) argues, identity politics are at the
the values that they
activism, particularly with respect to its emphasis on restoring the role of Arabic in
urkish/English/French. Hence,
language policies may underscore the projection of Arab identity in relation to
Language planning in the post-independence Arab states sought to undo
the culturally hegemonic policies of the colonial powers, to turn back the tides
of French and English, and to assert the unique identity of the Arab people.
These post-independence language policies were largely a reaction to colo
nial language policies that sought to exclude Arabic from the public domain
in general and from official, political, and educational domains in particular.
– two main paradigms that
to undermine the colonial presence in the Arab region. Speaking
of the linguistic situation of Arabic in the Moroccan context during the French
100) suggests that “The linguistic dimen
sion of this [French] educational policy was to avoid giving any prominent posi
tion to Arabic within the Berber community, since Arabic was the language
of Islam, the faith of both Arabs and Berbers, and also the linguistic anchor
that linked the Maghreb to the East.” Although Arabic was designated as an
official language along with French and English in most Arab states, these lan
guages enjoyed more prestige than Arabic and prevailed in key domains, such
as media, administration, technology, and higher education (Shaaban, 2006).
Such a privileged position of French and English presented the risk of accultur
ating the Arab youth into Western values and lifestyles and enforced a linguistic
in Naples, Vienna, L
those carried out by Wilhelm Spitta, Carl V
ollers, Selden Willmore), and
(3) publications explicating the advantages of adopting QA in reading and writ
Salama Musa, Qasim Amin, William W
their weakening effects on counter-occupation and pan-Arab sentiments. They
were also opposed by many Muslim scholars because of their harmful effects on
historical era where such unity made genuine political sense.
their linguistic unity, and their unique identity. Moreover, the Arabicization policies
prestigious English and French languages. Language planners hoped that, with
the increasing literacy rates, speakers from different parts of the Arab World
would be able to communicate using SA (Abdulaziz, 1986).
different routes in implementing this policy with the expected result that the out
come of this policy was dissimilar. In Syria, for example, the Arabicization policy
started shortly after the Turks’ withdrawal from the Arab region and before the
French occupied Syria in 1920. Within this short period, two official institutions
were established in 1919: the Knowledge Bureau and the Arab Academy. These
two bodies undertook several tasks, the most important of which was “purifying”
SA from Turkish words, “modernizing” SA, Arabicizing education, creating text
books that conform to specific SA-based standards, and training teachers in SA
(Shahiid, 2002). The Arabicization was halted during the French occupation, but
resumed its course after Syria’s independence from France in 1946. The period
after independence witnessed the Arabicization of education from pre-school
Dictionary in 1956), the use of Arabic in teaching all disciplines, including
medicine, and the development of Arabic mathematical symbols and expressions
(Shahiid, 2002). The Syrian Arabicization experience is generally considered
the most pervasive and successful among all other Arabicization experiences
because of its ability to Arabicize all disciplines and to produce graduates who
international average, even though the exams were in English and the language
of instruction in the Syrian medical schools was
Arabicization policy has been proceeding less smoothly in the Maghreb
because of the complexity of the multilingual situation, the identity tensions, and
the persistent influence of French in language policies. In Algeria, the Arabi
cization experience focused on SA because of its unifying influence after the
French have used the colloquial Algerian dialect and Berber to rule and divide
the country (Ager, 2001; Buziani, 2012; Dawood, 2012). Ager (2001, p.
rench had defined Classical Arabic as a foreign language
in 1938, rejecting it for internal use, it became the sole official and national lan
guage in 1963.” In other words, SA represented the identity of the unified Algeria
state in opposition to the French identity of the colonized Algeria, which favored
French, Algerian Arabic, and Berber. However, the deep-rootedness of French in
the social system, the resistance of the pro-French Algerian elites who had polit
ical and/or economic ties with the French, and the lack of trained teachers and
teaching materials were main obstacles to the full implementation of the Ara
bicization policy. This has necessitated the amendment of this policy more than
once. Thus, in 1976, the Algerian government banned the use of “any foreign
28). In 197
7, it reacted to
the lack of SA-speaking staff by importing a large number of Egyptian teachers
(Ager, 2001). In 1998, the Algerian government issued the General Use of the
Arabic Language Law, which required the use of Arabic in all government and
public spheres. While this policy was notably successful at the school level, it
was not so at the college level because of the privatization of some Higher Level
Institutions and the need to produce graduates who can function in companies
owned by French businessmen or pro-French Algerians. Moreover, the colonially
propagated notion that SA is incompatible with modern science still persists
(Dawood, 2012). Thus, SA is now used for teaching subjects in the humanities
and social sciences, whereas French is still used in teaching science, medicine,
The Algerian Arabicization experience is not very different from its counter
parts in the rest of the Arab states. SA is considered as a main marker of the
Kurdish in the case of Iraq). In most Arab countries nowadays, SA is taught at all
school levels, while it is one of the languages used at the college level
The call to codify QA, recognize its national status, and adopt it in education
second justification for
third major reason is that the time that students use
their mother tongue, which is more accessible to them. Among the contemporary
Ayyoush in Morocco and Said Akil in Lebanon, the latter has been using Roman
orthography (e.g.,
in SA and QA) (see Al-T
oma, 1961; Maamouri, 1998 for a review). Although
these changes are projected to maintain the general structure and character of
Arabic language (Al-Sa‘di, 2012; Chejne, 1969). Most advocates of this trend are
classical literature enthusiasts and religious figures or groups, like most Wahhabi
scholars. In this case, language planning is as much about communicative utility
as about identity maintenance.
& Samimi, 2010; Zakharia, 2008). F
rench and English are
still used in teaching science, engineering, and medicine in most Arab countries.
They are taught as “foreign languages” starting in elementary school, and some
times they carry more weight than Arabic in the grading schemes in most private
schools across the Arab region. A
growing number of private schools use English/
rench as the medium of instruction. English and French are increasingly used in
business and technology-related fields. Language planners who rejected the role
of colonial languages (British and French) are now faced with the question of how
to regulate the presence of English and French in schools, academia, media, and
public domains. For language planners, the goal of redeeming the Arab states’
is no longer a realistic undertaking. Therefore, the main question is how language
703) suggests, “educational authorities
ebanese education, “mundane school practices
served to undermine the Arabic language” for the sake of French and English.
Arabic are mixed in a systematic way in the Lebanese context in particular (see
schools that use English as the language of instruction to those that use Arabic
& Samimi, 2010). The eff
anchor of Arabs’ collective identity, namely the Arabic language, is becoming
tional circles is how to instill a sense of belonging and identity in Arab children
and youth, given their daily exposure to non-Arabic languages in the educational
2001; Al-Jaabiri, 1995; Al-Muusa, 2003; Al-Sa
maraani, 2002; Bayyoumi,
of SA, the
symposium titled “The Phenomenon of Lin
– at the same time, its understanding and use.” W
interesting is that the status of SA, which was taken for granted after the Arab
states’ independence, is highly contested today. Thus, Arab intellectuals have to
elaborately justify the importance of SA for the Arab and Muslim identity. It is also
As noted above, the construction of social identities rests heavily on forging dis
language, and
shared territory) for a given group. These discursive narratives
to political statehood. However, historical narratives are not the only way through
which social actors create their social and personal identities. Cummins (2000)
argues that social actors may enact their identity through “identity statements,”
which often articulate their language attitudes and at the same time establish
their identities in relation to other speakers and social groups. Le Page and
situation concerns Ferguson’s definition of SA as “transposed/superposed” vari
& Muysken, 198
7; De Fina, 2007; Heller,
participants who did not subscribe to this practice. However, the Shi’a participants
used Turkish forms in their interaction with the then-dominant Sunni group. Iden
al. 1991).
xts, as in Lebanon and the Maghreb, different language
that Berber women in Morocco use various types of “loanwords” from Moroccan
Arabic to form composite identities, which is a form of “prestige.” Marley (2004)
found that her participants saw SA as a representative of their religious identity,
whereas Moroccan Arabic and Berber represented the local Moroccan identity. In
contrast, Chakrani (2010) found that his participants associate French with the
guage. Similarly, SA contests French in terms of locality and modernity, although
it is associated more with religious identity and Arab culture and traditions.
Several recent studies point to a tendency among the Moroccan youth to embrace
– a pattern that coincides with the emergence of a new form of
identity is represented by the Berber language (Anderson, 2013; Todd, 2011).
French and English, as global languages, are both accepted for their utilitarian
uses (Anderson, 2013). For example, Marley (2004) found that, although partic
ipants saw SA as the “national language,” they were still in favor of bilingualism,
which merits openness to other cultures as an advantage for future success.
acts to construct their preferred identities, social actors are usually attentive to

This case study focuses on identity sentiments as reported, conceptualized, and
practiced in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. In addition, the section
out the specific type of identity to be examined among
the multiple forms of identity characterizing Arabic speakers’ personal and social
dedicated to more specific issues about different forms of identity that the partic
the enactment of identity through verbal practices and performances. The use of

In the questionnaire, the identity scale assessed the extent to which the partici
cent distribution, means, and standard deviations of the scores derived from the
As the
percent distribution of
the responses in Table
5.1 shows,
the majority
of the participants’ responses fell under the “strongly agree” and “agree” catego
Thus, the participants in the four groups had comparably very favorable or
favorable views of the Arab identity in terms of feeling positively about the Arab
Percent distribution of responses on the identity
Strongly disagreeDisagreeNeutralAgree
the traditions and practices associated with the Arab culture. The participants’
overall feelings toward their identity were close to positive with an overall mean
score of 3.02, 2.96, 2.84, and 3.07 (out of 4) for the Egyptian, Jordanian, Moroc
can, and Saudi participants, respectively. The participating Moroccans, Jordani
ans, and Egyptians showed greater variance in their responses than the Saudis
danian and Egyptian participants also identified themselves as non-Arabs (see
5.3 point
Arab-identity sentiments than those who did not. There is no doubt that some
orld (Hammond, 2007; Kayyali, 2006). The data, however,

.160; r
with positive Arab-identity feelings have positive attitudes toward QA. T
o explain
Arab countries, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and Syria. One of the distinctive
possible explanation for the Egyptian case is that some Egyptians see
– though these attitudes seem to be changing slowly
. Overall, identity feelings
seem to operate more at the affective level than at the practical plain, which may
explain their weak connection to the realities of language

The interviews were needed to provide possible
naire data and to explore other forms of identities that the speakers may claim.
In this study, the data collected from the questionnaire and interviews served as
& Airasian, 2000; Glesne, 2010). As Lincoln and Guba (2000) note, such a
and English and their relationship to different identity forms (see Appendices).
The questions were meant to be broad for probing purposes, but they were sup-
is relevant to theme of this section and the chapter
The first identity-related interview question was: “W
hat does Al-Fu
sent for you?” The question triggered little variance in the speakers’ responses;
with the exception of one Egyptian interviewee, all of the participants explic
such as “it resembles my identity as an Arab and Muslim,” “it is part of the Arab
history,” “it is the most important language to me
. as an Arab,” and “it is part
Muslim identities, describing SA as, for example, “the language of Qur’an,” “the
language of the religion,” or “the language of all Islamic sciences and texts.” The
. an intruding language
. it is not the natural
language ordinary people speak.”
The interviewee indicated that the Egyptians do not have an Arab background,
and, therefore, SA is forced on them. This pattern exemplifies the tenacious inter
play of language and state–national identity in the Egyptian context. In general,
however, the interviewees saw SA as a mark of their membership in the larger
others who claim the same background.
However, the participants varied in their responses to the question, “What
does Egyptian/Jordanian/Moroccan/Saudi ‘Aamiyya/Daarija represent for you?”
Less than half of the participants saw their colloquial dialects as “the language
of everyday communication with those around us,” “the thing we use in daily life,”
. or as one who is living in Egypt.” Another
up speaking as children
this dialect.” Similarly
loquial represents me
from other Arab countries.” T
he Moroccan participants had the least fervor for the
symbolic value of the Moroccan dialect as a representative of the Moroccan iden
tity, with some depicting the Moroccan dialect as “the reason that other Arabs
do not understand us we Moroccans,” “it is not one thing
. it is many dialects,”
Moroccans.” W
hat was distinctive in the interviewees’ responses about QA is
the lack of consensus about its link to their state-based identities. However, the
Egyptian informants were comparatively the group most positive about this sym
bolic value of their dialects and the Moroccans were least
To probe the identity–language link more directly
two separate questions: “Whic
an Arab?” and “Which language or dialect represents your identity as an Egyp
tian/Jordanian/Moroccan/Saudi?” In response to the first question, all of the
interviewees, with the exception of one Egyptian informant, indicated that SA
represents them. What is interesting is that four of the Moroccan interviewees
SA as a representative of their identities. This trend has been reported in the
previous literature (Chakrani, 2010). A
single Egyptian interviewee
stated that he
dialect represents their Egyptian identity. The Jordanian participants, however,
were split, with the majority identifying the Jordanian dialect as a representative
of their state-based identities and only a few self-identifying with the “dialect
used in Amman.” The Saudi interviewees were also split with some pointing out
the “Saudi dialect” and a few others pointing to “the dialect of the Gulf people”
as markers of their Saudi identity. The Moroccans were unique in that they were
the only group in which seven out of twenty participants identified SA as the rep
resentative of themselves as Moroccans. Four participants indicated that Berber
and SA represented their Moroccan identity, and the remaining nine assigned the
Moroccan dialect to their Moroccan identity.
As for the question, “What does English represent for you?” all of the inter
them, some for personal reasons, others for professional reasons, and most for
both. Follow-up questions, such as “So which is more important to you, English or
symbolic values of English and Arabic. The difference may be captured by two
“The English language is the most important language in the world
. nobody
. English is more important these days than Arabic.”
he other Jordanian interviewee, however, stated that “English is necessary now
important because it represents me as an Arab and as a Muslim.” In general, the
on their perception of English. The Saudi students were also
positive about English, with only a few apprehending “the negative influence of
the extra spread of English on the language of religion.” Most of the Moroccan
and Egyptian speakers viewed English as instrumentally useful, but symbolically
remote from them. As one of the Moroccan interviewees stated, “To me, English
represents the language of sciences, technology, and jobs, but it is not the lan
guage of culture, or history or ordinary dealings.” Again, the importance of English
bolic, identity-based value, which is consistent with previous studies (Chakrani,
2010; Marely, 2004).
A last question with respect to the language–identity nexus was “Which lan
guage or dialect represents your identity in general?” The question did not name
composed of seven Egyptians, six Jordanians, twelve Moroccans, and
seven Saudis (42.1%), described SA as representative of their identity. Since
SA is associated with pan-Arab and Muslim identities, respondents in this group
probably viewed one or both of these two identity forms as most valuable to them.
second group, which consisted of five Egyptians, five Jordanians, two Moroc
cans, and three Saudis (19.7%), self-identified with QA, which indicates their
prioritization of their country affiliations over other attachments. The last group
(38.2%) remarked that both SA and QA are representatives of their identities.
as well as their pan-Arab or Muslim identities. When one compares these patterns
Haeri, 2000; Zughoul, 198
pan-Arab and Muslim identities are foregrounded, it becomes clear that more
because of the current political atmosphere in the Arab region and the media-fed
. ,” whereas others said that
think of using Al-Fu
or they think of me as living in Al-Jaahiliyya era.”
cated, “I
like to use Al-Fu
a little strange
.” Generally
to use SA either because of fear of making mistakes or because of the generally
8). However, others indicated that they use English because
see it as a must. As a Jordanian student indicated, “these days you cannot
do not learn English, you will be a failure
but also to the Egyptian, Saudi, and Moroccan contexts as well. For example, a

focus on identity as displayed in Arabic speakers’ verbal
behavior. T
he anecdotes reported here are based on observations made during
my fieldwork, two study-abroad programs in Jordan in 2012 and 2014, a short
visit to Lebanon in 2014, a visit to Syria in 2009, and a 2014 conference
experience in Saudi Arabia. There is no claim of generalizability here, unless
one accepts the idea that identity feelings are constructed more socially than
individually or that they reflect what is accepted or unacceptable in a given
speech community, which is open to discussion (Hall, 1996; Kroskrity, 2000;
Saville-Troike, 1989). However, the insights offered by these anecdotes reflect
some of the extant or emergent identity patterns and corroborate some of the
trends reported above.
first observation occurred in 2009, during a summer trip to Syria. T
vation took place during a feast to which I
largest governorate in Syria. The f
In such feasts, it is customary for religious figures to give short speeches after
speakers used SA and because the attendance included several educated mem
, I
chose to deliver my narrative in SA. T
he story was about
a student of mine, who changed his attitudes toward the Arab people and cul
ture after a study-abroad program, and eventually acquired a Bedouin nickname,
which came to be associated with him while in Jordan. The story was based on
had with the student earlier that year. A
t the end of my story,
came from another distant relative whom I
Arab. What is sociolinguistically remarkable is that my previous interactions with
this person in the local dialect did not trigger the remark about my “Arabness,”
The idea of judging an immigrant Arab’s
to speak in SA recurred during a conference on Arabic as a second language in
Riyadh in 2014 (February
2014). The conf
ber of scholars from the Arab region, Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa.
As is the norm in such public speeches, all the speakers delivered their presen
collected data
essor in one of the host universities, she directed me to her Syrian
colleague who works in the same department. What is special about this profes
came to know that he speaks SA fluently and faultlessly (based on my short
asked about his c
hoice of SA, he indicated that
it was not proper for him to use QA in public just as it was not proper for him
to wear “sleeping pajamas” at work. He also indicated his keenness to present
himself to people at work and elsewhere through SA rather than QA. He further
asserted that he restricts his use of QA to interactions with his children. This
informant rationalized that, “part of our problems today as Arabs is that we do
. We do not respect what it represents to us as peo
ples and as a nation.” For this informant, the use of SA is a way for preserving
the language from becoming “dead.” It is also a marker of his personal identity
dan. On my Royal Jordanian flight from Chicago to Amman, I
behind an old woman before a couple came to claim their seat. The middle-aged
Arabic. It was clear that the woman had limited proficiency in English. The couple
her speech. Eventually the couple called upon the flight attendant, who explained
to the couple. After sitting in their seats, the couple started talking in Kurdish,
and they uttered a few Arabic sentences in the course of their discussion of the
encounter. It seemed to me that the couple was reluctant to speak to the woman
their unwillingness to compromise their identities as non-Arabs. This incident is
revealing about identity dynamics because the situation of the Kurdish couple
on the plane somehow mimics the situation of many Kurds in real-life encoun
ters, especially in areas where a Kurdish minority lives among an Arab majority.
Since Kurds are subsumed within larger Arab communities, many of them seek
to emphasize their non-Arab identity, mainly through language.
In my stay in Morocco, I
had to commute
was introduced to a professor who
resided in the same city where I
was staying. A
t the end of our short encounter,
the professor offered to give me a ride to the host university. The next day, the
professor, I, and two other persons whom he picked on our way drove to campus.
On our hour-long trip to the university, I
. The professor asked me a few questions about the purpose of my
trip and subsequently about the end product of my research. I
explained briefly
the reasons for the trip and where it was to appear. The professor offered to help
with the study and expressed his willingness to answer questions relevant to my
topics. The professor conversed with me in a mixed SA-Moroccan speech up till
his offer to help with the interview. However, once the interview started, he shifted
to SA. The two other individuals, who also volunteered to answer questions about
the Moroccan sociolinguistic situation, followed his lead insofar as the use of SA
identity was confirmed in the student interviews. All the Berber interviewees (the
three professors and four students) considered SA as a major dimension of their
shared identity with the Moroccan Arabs. This pattern diverges from previous
studies that identify the local dialects with “national identity.” For example, Sher
azade (1993) found that Arab and Berber participants in her study have simi
lar attitudes toward Algerian Arabic because it is the language that symbolizes
112). At the same time, the Berber participants were keen to
– a pattern that is confirmed in this study.
undertook a two-day weekend visit to Leba
non. On the way back from Beirut to Amman, I
verbal behavior of a couple with their toddler who were standing before me. What
ew occasions where the father addressed the baby, he also used
heavily-accented English. However, when the father in particular addressed the
mother, he used Lebanese Arabic and she responded using the same dialect.
had a chance to comment on the toddler’s cuteness, whic
short interaction with the father, mainly triggered by my curiosity. Through this
came to know that he and his wife live in L
to Jordan just for a visit. However, they use English with their child so that he
acquires it at an early age. Although this use may not be directly related to iden
children for practical purposes. From this perspective, language acquisition is
This pattern is not unique to an individual Arab country
abroad experience in Jordan, I
referred me to a number of students, two of whom were f
were born in the United States and moved with their families to Jordan toward
school age (six and five years). The two students spoke English as well as native
speakers in the United States. When I
inquired about their notable proficiency
esting. The student’s mother is American, and, therefore, the student did not have
to use Arabic at home. However, according to the student, both of her parents
at one point, she, as an American citizen, could go back to the United States to
before moving back to Jordan and establishing his own business in Amman. T
restaurant is mainly a fast food restaurant with a few small dining tables. As I
quented this restaurant,
United States and was visiting Jordan for the study-abroad program. In my next
ew visits to the restaurant, the owner started to converse with me mostly in
English. This pattern recurred in different contexts. For example, in my communi
cation with a number of students in the host university, several of them interacted
speakers knew about my Arab bac
viewed simply as a matter of language choice; the uncalled-for use of English in

distribution of Arabic speakers on the political map of the Arab World, but it also
relates these speakers to a shared heritage and history. Last, the Arabic lan
guage is a main symbol of Islam, and therefore it is often invoked for constructing
or reaffirming Muslim identity.
or religious
– lines. The emphasis on the Arabs’ unique culture and language
region since the 1990s. The conceptualization the Arab identity as a form of
which the new Arab generations are liable because of globalization, the spread
Obviously, this
definition does not cover many people who reside in the Arab region.
For example, some people who identify themselves as Arabs may not speak Arabic,
as is the case in Somalia.
An additional explanation that Aldawri (1984) provides is that the Ummayads’ policy
assigning important government posts to Arabs raised the Arabs’ sense of pride in
their identity.
a [1865–1935], Ahmad Fares Al-Shidiyaq
[1804–1887], Ibrahim Yaziji [1847–1906], and Adiib Ishaaq [1856–1885]) did not
linguistic and cultural distinctiveness, which became the major mark of their distinct
The prospective
mainly included the Levant, Iraq, and the
The situation
force or political
hosting anti-T
urkish activists). The start of the 2011 Syrian Revolution
against the Syrian regime has given the Kurds the momentum to replicate the Iraqi
experience. In 2013, the Syrian Kurds indeed declared Qamishli as a self-governing
Muslim Brotherhood, whic
h was established in Egypt in 1928 and then spread to the
See Kaplan and Baldauf (199
colonial narratives. It is also generally accepted that the Frenc
in the colonized Maghreb still impact the Arabicization policies in the post-colonial
Walters, 2011).
It should be noted that French is used in Muslim sc
Al-Jaahiliyya refers to the pre-Islamic
I have some basic knowledge of Kurdish, and the couple also indicated that they
were going to Al-Suleimaniyyah in
This does not apply to Iraqi Kurdistan where K
Language variation and change
Variation is an intrinsic attribute of all human languages. It has been observed
in individual speakers, among members of the same speech community, and
naturally, across different social groups.
variation refers to stylistic
variation in individual speakers (Schilling-Estes, 2013). This type of variation, in
2, Sibaweih observed various morphosyntactic differ
concerning the “deviating” features and their comparability to their CA counter
about variation in his b
“The Attributes”
(Ibrahim, 2007). Palva (2013) refers to phonological variation in Ibn Manzuur’s
renowned thirteenth-century dictionary,
Lisan Al-‘Arab
“Arabic Tongue,” and
“The Illustrator in Language Sciences”
1445–1505). Among the aspects of variation recorded in these works were
, each of which were attached to
particular tribes or social groups. Phonological and lexical variation is widely
documented in the pre-Islamic and early-Islamic Arabic dialects (Holes, 1995;
Versteegh, 1997). This variation appears even in Islamic scholarship, particularly
Quraysh). However, variation was not studied as a topic
was examined mostly for religious and prescriptive purposes.
The systematic study of variation as a socially conditioned phenomenon can
be traced back to the 1960s. William Labov carried out a number of studies on the
& Schilling, 2013 for a review).
& Herzog, 196
100). Weinreic
internal and external. Internal constrains involve the linguistic environment, whic
either permits or prevents the occurrence of a specific linguistic form. For exam
ple, the aspectual marker in the Palestinian dialect spoken in Amman may be
after closed syllables (e.g.,
) (Al-Wer, 2008). External constraints may deal
with social, geographical, psychological, or stylistic factors. For example, the use
of certain linguistic forms may be constrained by the gender of the speaker.
second assumption in variationist research is that language is always mutable,
h necessitates the investigation of factors that affect language evolution and
change. Third, language is not merely a means of communication, but a mirror
Because these factors vary from one context to another, the same social cate
gory (gender, for example) may not affect linguistic forms and processes in the
of the main approaches used in addressing language variation. T
means the only approaches to analyzing the phenomenon, but each of them has
been used frequently in researching variation in both the Arabic sociolinguistic


Prior to Labov’s work in the 1960s, the study of linguistic variation focused mainly
on regional and contextual variation. The study of regional and contextual varia
– such as immigration and urbanization
– on language differ
entiation. Researchers in this line attributed non-regional and non-contextual dif
ferentiations either to dialect mixing or free variation
& Swann, 2009).
his approach still inspires variationist research in the Arab region and worldwide,
as will be explained below.
Beginning in the 1960s, variationist studies started to approach language
– e.g.,
the use of
the centralized /
i/ diphthong instead
– and their attempt to display their identity as authentic Vineyarders who
h summer visitors. This
In a similar fashion, in his New York study
, Labov (1966) showed a correlation
who are bound by direct and strong ties. A
of friends,” whose relationship ties are usually not as strong nor as direct. T
& Milroy, 19
By contrast, communities lacking these strong relationships are more prone to
Eckert (2000, 2012) argues that language use in the social world involves
gendered identities. In particular contexts, certain linguistic features become
attached to particular social meanings, and these meanings vary from one con
text to another. Social actors are capable of invoking their desired social mean
a larger social order. In essence, then, language variation is a
kert’s approach is, therefore, to view language variation not only in terms
Croft, 2000; K
eller, 1994; Ritt, 2004). According to Croft (2000,
2006), language may be seen as a “historical entity,” and therefore it is suscepti
ble to the laws of life, evolution, and extinction (Croft, 2006, p.
98). T
case, however, language use is still the main trigger of variation and c
These various approaches to language variation reflect differences in con

Regional dialectology refers to the study of language variation within a given
geographical area or among distinct geographical areas. Thus, it involves both
descriptive regional dialectology as well as the sociolinguistic study of phenom
ena related to language contact, such as koineization and pidginizaton. Descrip
& Woidic
301). As the definition suggests, descriptive regional dialectology helps b
identify the linguistic features of different dialects and map those features onto
Research on regional dialectology also describes contact-induced variation
and change.
Two outcomes of language contact particularly relevant to the Arab
context are examined: (1) koineization and (2) pidginization and creolization.
These two processes are responsible for much of the variation found among the

Descriptive regional dialectology
& Woidic
& Woidic
h, 2013). Moreover,
as a geographical entity, the Arab world did not have the political weight it later
achieved after most Arab countries gained their independence in the wake of
h, 2013 for a review). The early studies were relatively limited in terms of
arduous by limitations in transportation and modern technologies. Toward the
Spitta, 188
0). They focused mainly on more widely spoken dialects with
well-established linguistic features, such as the Cairene dialect.
& De Jong, 2009 and in Haak, De
& Versteegh, 2004). F
or example, Eades (2009) examined the Šawaawi
dialect in northern Oman, which up to the time of this publication had not found
defined by a single isogloss, dialect borders may be delineated by a bundle of
third challenge
concerns speakers’ perceptions
of dialect borders, often named “mental maps” (Behnstedt, 2006, p.
585). When
language use. Computational linguists have recently joined efforts to examine
& Benmamoun, in press). Dynamic online
Cambridge survey, 200
in this trend, Cohen and his associates (Cohen, 197
these situations. Among the most researched processes are koineization and
pidginization, which will be covered in the following two subsections.

18) suggests, “Koineization involves elimina
with the
53). The modern
dialects are a continuation of this koine with the differences attributed mainly
to borrowings and innovations. Ferguson rationalizes his hypothesis by arguing
that “The modern dialects agree with one another as against Classical Arabic in
a striking number of features” (p.
52). Ferguson
identifies fourteen features of
ther argues that these features cannot be ascribed to an analogous evolutionary
process by the different dialects, but rather to a single ancestor. While Ferguson
explained the common origin of the dialects by focusing on such similarities, he
also suggested that the differences are due to independent processes of devel
opment. Cohen (1962) advanced a similar view, but pointed to multiple urban
koines instead of one. Corriente (1976) suggested that the modern dialects
evolved from a pre-Islamic commercial urban koine, which was modified due to
Koineization has possibly been the most significant process in dialect for
mation and re-formation across the Arab region. At least since the Arab-Islamic
conquests, cities and towns have often been the center of the koineization
Versteegh, 199
7, 2001). The idea of koineization in the Arab context assumes
that there are specific features associated with Bedouin dialects and others
related to the sedentary (urban and rural) dialects. However, as Miller (2007, p.
of the origin(s) of the Arabic vernaculars.” Moreover, the labels “Bedouin,” “sed
entary,” “rural,” and “urban” are not used as
categories because that would
implicate ideological and identity-based factors. These factors may not only shift
over time across and within communities, but may also be viewed differently by
individuals within a given community at any given time. This does not mean that
these labels have not been studied as social categories, but that the regional
variationist approaches have focused more on their characteristic linguistic fea
existing studies suggest that Bedouinization was the chief propeller of language
change in most Arab cities until the emergence of centralized Arab states in the
and they were until recently more recalcitrant to state authority (Chatty, 2010;
Hitti, 1996). The impact of Najdi tribes on the sociolinguistic landscape of east
ern Syria and western Iraq, and the influence of the Banu Hilaal and Banu Sulaym
on the local Maghrebi dialects are two well-documented examples of language
change driven by an imbalance in power (Cantineau, 1937; Cohen, 1973; Zakaria
1983). Second, from a socioaffective standpoint, Bedouins were generally more
attached to their dialects as emblems of their heritage and history (Abdel-Jawad
1981; Sawaie 1994; Suleiman 1993).
Therefore, they were less disposed to
give up or change their dialects than the sedentary people. Last, from a social
“you.FP”) and affixes (e.g.,
“walk.3FP”). In
prefix in the first person singular form of imperfect verbs
write”). Besides these features, certain plural forms are derived from
“girls”). The koineization of these dialects also appears in
lexical choice, which integrates several Bedouin words, such as
73). T
individuals relocate to the city, many choose to integrate socially into city life
(Habib, 2010; Jabeur, 1987; Messaoudi, 2001). An important part of this social
Some studies have ascribed the linguistic assimilation of rural and
(Abdel-Jawad, 1981, 198
6; Al-Wer, 2002, 2007; Amara, 2005; Habib, 2010;
Sawaie, 1994). For example, Abdel-Jawad (1981) examined the dynamics of
language variation and change in two Jordanian cities: Amman and Irbid, both
of which host speakers of three main dialects, including the urban Palestinian,
two age groups (or two generations): parents and children. The author found that
the rural and Bedouin groups converged linguistically with the urban group. For
example, all of the three groups have adopted the urban variant /
the /k/ and /g/ variants, which are characteristic of the speech of the rural Pal
estinians and rural and Bedouin Jordanians, respectively. Abdel-Jawad attributes
In general, the existing studies reveal a host of social, historical, and politi

Pidgins and creoles
Arabic-based pidgins and creoles are particular outcomes of language contact
language developed by speakers who do not have a common language but need
has been nativized and stabilized by children who acquire and use it as a pri
mary means of communication. According to Trudgill (2009, p.
174), “pidgin and
, high transparency, no morphological cate
gories, and no syntagmatic redundancy.” The most distinctive feature of pidgins
and creoles is linguistic simplification, which is marked by the regularization of
irregularities, increase in lexical and morphological transparency, and the loss of
redundancy (Britain, 2009; Trudgill, 2009).
Versteegh (1984, 2004) suggests that the Arabic colloquial dialects devel
process of decreolization. According to Versteegh, the development of the mod
77). T
order, question formation, genitive forms, and the indefinite articles. According
to Aune, evidence for the pidginization and subsequent creolization of Moroccan
Arabic appears in the dialect’s simplified and severely reduced tense, mode, and
aspect morphology, as well as by the absence of embedded clauses, unmarked
SVO word order, and polymorphemic interrogatives. Moreover, Moroccan Arabic
employs analytic genitives and an indefinite article derived from a lexical item
meaning “one.” Aune states that all of these features are identified in the liter
ature as characteristic of Arabic pidgins and creoles. The author also argues
that Moroccan Arabic is currently undergoing a process of decreolization in the
sense that it is shifting closer to SA as speakers of the Moroccan dialect are
constantly exposed to SA in its spoken and written forms. The decreolization of
the Moroccan dialect will, in due course, bring the reclassicization process to
full fruition. Aune describes Morrocan’s common perception of their dialect as
a simplified version of SA as evidence for the pidginization and creolization of
lished Arabic-based pidgins and creoles are Turku, Bongor Arabic, Kinubi, and
Juba Arabic (Tosco
& Manfredi, 2013). These languages are ref
Sudan-based pidgins both because they originated in South Sudan and grew out
Heine, 1982; L
uffin, 2007; Mahmud, 1979; Miller, 2002,
2006; Owens, 1985, 1991; Tosco, 1995; Versteegh, 1993; Wellens, 2005).
both because of its relative prestige compared to the substrate languages, and
& Manfredi, 2013).
This explains
& Manfredi, 2013).
Like all pidgins, each of these grew out of the need for
& Manfredi, 2013). Turku and Bongor Arabic are spoken in
enya and Tanzania and Juba Arabic
in Juba, South Sudan.
9) list a number of linguistic features that are
/ and /ð/ are changed into dental stops /t/ and /d/ or into
In morphosyntax, the following changes are reported:
The definite article
The construct state is lost and is replaced by the analytic genitive,
SVO is the dominant word order.
The lexicon is severely reduced, and semantically transparent compound expres
sions are used to compensate for the lack of specific terms.
One less-conventionalized Arabic pidgin is Gulf Pidgin (Bakir, 2010; Næss,
continuous influx of expatriate laborers from
different parts of the world, particularly Iran and South Asia, accompanied this
socioeconomic boom (Bakir, 2010), and Gulf Pidgin surfaced as a way to facili
94), Gulf Pidgin is based on “immigrant talk,” whic
h is a simplified form of
ized Arabic pidgins. Avram (2010) reports of a pidgin Arabic that was used in Iraqi
oil camps before the eruption of the first Gulf War, though it is no longer in existence
into a real pidgin because housemaids interact with their Lebanese employers

Following Labov’s work, a large number of studies have focused on the relation
the dissertations produced during the 198
0s and 1990s reveals that perhaps
only diglossia received as much scholarly attention as the study of the social
Abdel-Jawad, 1981; Abdul-Hassan,
88; Al-Ahdal, 1989; Al-Dashti, 1998; Al-Jehani, 1985; Al-Khatib, 1988;
Al-Muhannadi, 1991; Al-Shehri, 1993; Al-Wer, 1991; Daher, 1999; Haeri, 1991;
Jabeur, 1987; Khatani, 1992; Walters, 1989). Most of these studies have adopted
a quantitative approach to language variation and change, exploring possible cor

Variation in relation to gender
Gender is the most widely researched social variable in relationship to language
variation and change. Gender is a socially and culturally developed construct, dis
tinguishable from sex, which refers to biological characteristics. Cameron (2006,
724) defines gender as “the cultural traits and behaviors deemed appropriate
category and to describe it instead in terms of gendered identities.
In other
words, gender is no longer seen as a dichotomy, but as a continuum of identities
and roles. The term “gender identities” postulates the possibility of accepting or
rejecting certain social expectations, roles, and behaviors associated with one’s
sex. However, in the vast majority of variationist studies
tionist researc
As a social category, gender has been approac
, examin
conversation styles, speech acts, communicative practices, dominance tactics,
discursive politeness, speech performances, gender positioning, and ideologi
cal articulations (Eckert
Sadiqi, 2003, 2006a). Not all of these topics have been studied in the Arab
xt, partly because the study of gender as a social construct is relatively new
to Arabic sociolinguistic research (Sadiqi, 2003, 2006a; Vicente, 2009). A
the personal opinions of their authors. Feminine gender is seen as a
form because feminine words are generally derived from masculine counterparts
(Hachimi, 2007). In Arabic, a word like
“female engineer” is derived
“male engineer” by adding the singular feminine marker
The fact that the derivation is realized through addition rather than subtraction
is taken as a sign of “formal androcentricity” (Sadiqi, 2006a, p.
masculine (Sadiqi, 2006a). Sadiqi gives the e
“a person,” which
El Saadawi, 198
0; Mernissi, 1997), Sadiqi
(2003, 2006a) proposes a “space dichotomy,” which allocates men to public
space and women to private space, a dichotomy “not only spatial but also linguis
tic and symbolic” (Sadiqi, 2006a, p.
645). The outside space is the site of power
whereas the inside space is the place of subordination. Women’s inability to
access the public domain of men restricts their language choices in such venues
as religion, politics, law, and literacy. For example, certain religious terms, such
“female religious leader” or
“female religious legislator,” are
absent in women’s everyday language use. With respect to politics, women are
explains the shift of many feminist writers and activists from French to Arabic
since the mid-1980s as an effort to make their voices heard in the legal space.
Lastly, Sadiqi cites high illiteracy rates among women as the cause of women’s
exclusion from using Arabic, which has traditionally been associated with literacy.
In general, women’s lack of access to the spaces of power limits their linguistic
choices or dictates upon them particular language usage, especially considering
69). Similarly
, working women switch
tion, however, women avoid non-standard language features because these are
perceived as “tough,” “uncivilized,” and “uneducated,” compared to the standard
forms, which are seen as “intelligent,” “independent,” and “sophisticated” (p.
omen are selective in their word choice. For example, women’s language is
& Ziamari, 2009;
& Dbayyat, 2006; Sa’ar
, 2007). Barontini and Ziamari (2009) used
audio recordings and a survey to examine language choice among six urban girls
from the city of Meknes, ranging in age from seventeen to twenty, and one rural
woman of forty-five years from a neighboring village. The rural woman worked in
agriculture, mostly with men, and therefore she had adapted her speech to mas
culine style. Barontini and Ziamari describe the woman’s choice as emanating
from a need to cope with the dominantly male environment and to protect herself
164). In a slightly differ
ent study, Sa’ar (2007) showed how the use of “masculine talk,
” particularly with
respect to grammatical gender, pervades female speakers of Hebrew and Arabic.
For example, speakers avoid feminine grammatical forms in favor of masculine
forms both in reference to themselves and in generic or gender inclusive refer
ence. According to Sa’ar, this practice is part of the construction of cultural gen
der and makes the speaker less offensive to cultural norms. Moreover, women
use this strategy to achieve “fuller cultural participation” (p.
99) divides
terms of address into two categories: neutral
and connotative. She associates neutral forms of address with stable, denotative
attributes, such as
for someone who has performed pilgrimage. However, this
terms of address are largely unaffected by gender. For example, a father would
“my father,” and a mother would
address her children, using the term
“my mother,” regardless of their gen
der. El-Anani (1971) argues that terms of address cannot be understood without
understanding the interlocutors’ backgrounds and relationships. For example, the
could be offensive among distantly related women or in another context.
A group of studies have examined the politeness strategies employed by
men and women with the expectation that these strategies may reflect their
social status or position (Muñoz-Cobo, 2008; Sadiqi, 1995). In particular, it is pre
to address their interlocutors more politely and less forcefully. Several research
need of the commodity, he/she must initiate and sustain the bargaining process
women rely upon different strategies in the bargaining process. Men are more
do so as this threatens the reputation of the vender. Moreover, women are more
indicate that understanding the dynamics of politeness requires first and fore
An important trend in gender research deals with the analysis of women’s
discourse, particularly with respect to the issues of “voice” and authority. Voice
refers to “the capacity to make oneself heard” and therefore is connected to
the issues of authority, power, and inequity (Juffermans
& V
an der Aa, 2013,
112). In a pioneering work, Abu-Lughod (19
86, 1990) examined the dis
cursive practices of Bedouin women in Egypt’s Western Desert. In particular,
the author focused on forms of resistance that women use to undermine “the
ideology of sexual difference
. as a form of power” (199
46). Abu-L
identified a number subversive discourses among Bedouin women, including
resist arranged marriages, and they mobilize jokes and folktales to make fun of
men and manhood. In addition, they violate the two codes by which the Bedouin
Abdel-Jawad, 1981,
1986; Abdul-Hassan, 1988;
Abu-Haidar, 1989; Al-Essa, 2009; al-Rojaie, 2013; Al-Wer, 1991, 1999, 2007;
Daher, 1999; Hachimi, 2007, 2011; Haeri, 1991; Ismail, 2007; Jaber, 2013;
Jabeur, 1987; Miller, 2006; Royal, 1985; Taqi, 2010; Trabelsi, 1991; Walters,
1989). Most of the existing studies reveal that gender is intertwined with other
social variables, such as age and education, in affecting language variation. Con
this subsection may be attributed to gender alone. In fact, the findings about the
out (Cheshire, 2002; Labov, 1972; Tagliamonte, 2011; Trudgill, 1986; Wolfram
Fasold, 197
forms because they are often under greater social scrutiny.
Women are more likely to use linguistic forms that reflect social class
6) lexical items whose equivalents are either b
in the colloquial dialect. The participants were the investigator’s friends or col
the elevation of their discourse through the use of SA variants in formal speech
(Mejdell, 2006; Walters, 2003).
Another group of studies, however, has concluded that men are more prone
to use SA features than women (e.g.,
Abdel-Jawad, 1981; Abdul-Hassan, 19
Al-Wer, 1999; Daher, 1998; Ibrahim, 1986; Kojak, 1999; Schmidt, 1986). For
example, Abdel-Jawad (1981) reports that men use the standard /q/ phoneme
or the formality of their speech. By contrast, most women prefer the urban /
variant. Abdul-Hassan (1988) found that Iraqi men produce the standard /k/
is true of Iraqi women. Al-Wer (1999) also reports that Jordanian men tend to
use the SA [q] or Bedouin [g] in their speech, while women are more inclined to
use the urban Palestinian [
]. Al-Dashti (1998) found that Egyptian women in
Kuwait were more successful than Egyptian men in acquiring the Kuwaiti vari
/, which correspond to the variant /d
– whose profession requires the use of SA
than women because it is associated with the “traditional
values” represented by SA, and it indexes the identity of the educated, literary,
women often hold in higher regard than men do.
of these contradictory findings. These discussions explored potential reasons
speech. Ibrahim provided one explanation, which was subsequently adopted by
many researchers working on Arabic. Ibrahim (1986, p. 124) maintained that
“All available data indicate that Arab women in speaking Arabic employ the
locally prestigious features of L more than men. This is in perfect conformity
sex differentiation
. For Ibrahim, then, women do tend to adopt features of the
prestigious dialects. However, prestige is not necessarily associated with SA, but
to mark their masculinity. As women generally live under more social pressure to
& Dbayyat, 2006; Sa’ar
, 2007; Walters, 1991). As an example, in
his study of the speech of female and male speakers in Korba, Tunisia, Walters
(1991) found that many young educated women tend to use the local /z/ vari
male speech. The use of the local variant, according to Walters, is a way for
54). These findings suggest that rather
features is liable to vary based on context and is influenced by several social
novel linguistic forms compared to men, who seem to prefer traditional forms.
number of studies
have found that women, particularly younger women,
embrace novel linguistic forms more quickly and pervasively than men. As noted
above, Haeri (1991) found that middle-class women lead new phonological
change in the Cairene dialect. Al-Wer (1991) found that women
dialect. In Amman, Al-Wer (2007) also reports that women were ahead of men
in adopting novel non-local features. Alghamdi (2014) shows that Saudi women
consistently use more foreign-borrowed words than local Saudi Arabic words to
identify colors. The same pattern was reported by Lawson-Sako and Sachdev
(1996) in the Tunisian context. Lawson-Sako and Sachdev suggest that young
middle-class women tend to deploy foreign words in their speech because such
words index modernity, which is a favorable social attribute in Tunisia. Al-Essa
(2009) examined language variation among a Najdi community in the city of
women have maintained their Najdi dialect to a greater extent than Najdi men did.
The author attributes this trend to gender segregation and lack of access to
the majority dialect. Younger women, however, were found to accommodate the
Hijazi features in their dialects more frequently than men do. For example, women
mark feminine gender in the second person less by using the Najdi variant [ts]
generation has greater access to the Hijazi dialect and is less affected by gender
However, most of these studies reveal that gender interacts with age in
explaining language variation; only younger women seem to be involved in this
linguistic innovation and change, whereas older women do not (see the following
ied in gender
, education, and age were interviewed by a male interviewer and a
298) concludes:
are intimately tied to their life experiences, to possibilities offered them
Research indicates again and again that gender does not work alone in pro
ducing language variation. Haeri (1996) argues that approaching gender-based
variation requires a consideration of such aspects as modernization and wom
en’s participation in public life. Vicente (2009) suggests that women’s access to
number of
is also a factor; it is educated women who tend to lead language change (Al-Wer,
modate for the biological imbalance in natural ability. Biology-based language
variation, however, does not explain the discordant patterns of variation across
Arabic-speaking communities, nor those occurring cross-culturally. Labov (2001)
suggests that the impact of gender on language variation is largely defined by the
roles assigned to men and women in their social context, though his argument
also does not explain the notable cross-cultural similarities in certain aspects of
women’s language behavior even when contextual factors are constant. Compar
ative studies on gender effects are needed to make any generalizations, espe
cially as each culture defines gender roles differently.

Variation in relation to social class and education
Social class refers to culturally and discursively constructed categories that mark
people’s unequal access to power, valued resources, and career opportunities
Habib, 2010; Haeri, 1991; Ibrahim, 19
86; Schmidt, 1974). Several studies
– to a lesser e
women had a significantly higher
medium and lower middle classes. Weak palatalization occurs when dental stops
of upper-middle-class women; they use weak palatalization more frequently than
the other social classes, and this use increases in formal style. Jabeur (1987)
– represented by
people of
income, residential area, occupation, and education. The data analysis showed
or more accurately
consider themselves
– a social class apart
from other urban
populations. The presence of these tribal/ancestry-related factors necessitates
defining social class locally, within the specific context in which social actors
is often associated with formal learning and therefore scholastic or academic
or experience-based education is often not taken into account as it is not always
easy to measure. Most existing variationist studies in the Arab context involve
Abdel-Jawad, 1981; Al-Jehani, 19
Khtani, 1993; Al-Muhannadi, 1991; Al-Shehri, 1993; Al-Wer, 2002; Haeri, 1991;
Holes, 1983; Schmidt, 1974). Some of these studies demonstrate education’s
role in language variation. For example, Holes (1983) examined several phono
logical and lexical variants in Bahrain and their correlation with education (literate
El Salman’s findings concerning educated speakers’ adoption of linguis
tic variables less associated with SA and more linked to QA are mirrored in a

Based on previously reported patterns, Al-Wer (2008, p.
This is not surprising, as the process of “modernizing” classical Arabic was
initiated by educated speakers (Abdulaziz, 1986). Educated speakers are also
data, as well as other relevant works, Al-Wer (2002) suggests that education is
proxy variable,” which stands in for a number of less obvious variables. The main
underlying variable, according to Al-Wer, is the number and nature of contacts

and social experiences that have become integral
– seem to motivate much of the variation and c
possibly, power-related factors. One interesting finding in Blanc’s study is that the
Christian and Jewish communities were able to maintain the unique features of
their dialects despite their coexistence with the Muslim community in the same
city and for a long period of time, which is not a common scenario in majority-
Using Blanc’s study as a main point of reference, Abu-Haidar (1991) reports
of a recent case of language change affecting the Christian dialect in Baghdad.
The data came from interview-based recordings from Christians in Baghdad and
in the diaspora. Nine of the participants lived in Baghdad at the time of the exper
iment, whereas eleven resided in Britain, and a single woman lived in Italy. The
baani yaani
(f.s.) am tired.” (p.
undergoing “levelling,” which she attributes to the influence of the Muslim dialect.
This linguistic influence, according to Abu-Haidar, is the outcome of a power
has become indistinguishable from the speech of the surrounding Sunnis. Holes
attributes the Bedouinization of the sedentary dialect of the Baharna to the fact
that speakers of the Bedouin dialect represent the “social group in which political
acquired a locally prestigious status” (Holes, 1983, p.
38). Holes also observes
dialect associated with the Sunnis. This is true even in cases where features of
Several other studies have documented variation in communal dialects in the
& Tushyeh, 19
99; Behnstedt, 1989;
Cohen, 1981; Levy, 1998). Amara (2005) and Amara, Spolsky, and Tushyeh
(1999) examined the deployment of the phonemes /q/ and /
with non-Arabic speakers, usually in a context where Arabic is a minority lan
guage (Owens, 1995, 2000, 2001). And a third line of research handles changes
in a single Arabic dialect as a result of its contact with a typologically distinct lan
guage, which cause that dialect to drift away from other Arabic dialects. This third
category is by far the most researched type of variation and change in relation
come from the region of Najd
in current Saudi Arabia, whereas the Ajamis origi
nate from Iran. According to Taqi, the Najdis have a higher social status than the
). The language contact situation
generated changes in both variants. Owen’s survey of thirty speakers of Nigerian
origin revealed that only 82% maintained their original
agreement form. Simi
larly, only 83% of the Chadian-origin speakers maintained their original Chadian
. -
word-initially, -medially and -finally, as in
with the Nigerian and Chadian Arabic dialects in northern Nigeria. The direction

Variation in relation to time and locality
Languages naturally evolve over time. Change becomes almost inevitable in lan
guage contact situations, particularly among minority languages and dialects. All
follow two approaches in bridging this gap of knowledge. One approach is to com
Abdel-Jawad, 1981; Al-Essa, 200
Al-Wer, 1991, 1999; Daher, 1999; Dendane, 2007; Ismail, 2007; Jabeur, 1987;
Taqi, 2010; Walters, 1989).
Probably one of the most consistent findings in Arabic variationist research is
that young people lead language change; they often adopt novel and innovative
forms that deviate from the established linguistic norms of their speech communi
ties (al-Rojaie, 2013; Al-Wer, 1991; Dendane, 2007; Ismail, 2007; Jabeur, 1987;
and may not play a role in language change for this group (Abdel-Jawad, 1986).
It is also possible that old people are more resistant to change because of their
nostalgia for and idealization of past experiences, including their attitudes toward
their childhood language.
Age interacts with gender. Several studies have shown that, in cities where
The impact of locality on language variation has been studied extensively in
relation to the relocation of Palestinians to Jordan and their contact with the Jor
danian dialects. The Palestinian dialects are historically urban and rural in nature,
1986). Abdel-Jawad (1986) investigated the distribution of the standard linguis
tic variable /q/ in the speech of urban Palestinians, rural Palestinians, and rural
and Bedouin Jordanians. The phoneme /q/ is realized as /
/ in the urban Pal
estinian dialect, /k/ in the rural Palestinian dialect, and /g/ in the Jordanian dia
replaced by more prestigious urban forms. This trend appears more in the speech
older ones. Interestingly, certain stigmatized linguistic forms, such as the variant
/g/, are more maintained than others because they are “symbols of local identity,
solidarity, pride in origin, and nationalism” (p.
61). As the author suggests, the
ing language variation and change. In a similar study, Al-Wer (1999) investigated
/, /
speech of 116 speakers from three Jordanian towns: Sult, Ajloun, and K
These variables have local variants, /g/, /
Palestinian variants, including /
/, and /j/. The author found that /g/ is
the local variant most immune to change because of its symbolic function as an
identity marker. Language maintenance here is motivated by community pressure
to conform to a linguistically and geographically localized identity that is different
from the “non-local and Palestinian identity” (p.
46). L
mixed in the speech of the participants because they carry less symbolic weight
and change. However, when considering their role, it is important to consider the
different sociocultural and demographic associations attached to each of these
variables. Age differences may also mark differences in literacy skills, access to
Language variation and change in the Arab region cannot be fully explained with
out understanding its diglossic context and the interdependence of its linguistic,
political, historical, social, and ideological dimensions. With this in mind, in this
145). Fairclough (19
89) argues that power is
implicated in defining social categories. Social class, for example, involves the
stratification of community members based on either their access to different
other social groups (Bourdieu, 197
7; Fairclough, 1989). Language itself may
become a marker of power or a means of extending influence (Bourdieu, 1977),
and used. A
Messaoudi, 2001). Fear of identity loss has been responsible for the preservation
h as the Jewish and Christian dialects in Iraq
(Blanc, 1964). Although identity dynamics are more subtle and less conscious
than many other social factors, the reported patterns provide ample evidence
for identity’s role in language variation and change in different Arabic-speaking
It is important to indicate that none of these social factors work single-handedly
or in isolation from others. As noted above, each of these variables works within a
wider social, historical, and political reality, which reinforces the main claim of this
book concerning the interrelatedness of diglossia, language attitudes, identity
dynamics, and language use and behavior.

This chapter
examined language variation and its different manifestations and
phenomena in the Arab region. The discussion in this chapter has focused on
two broad topics. The first examines the evolution of regional dialectology in the
Arab region and its expansion to involve other areas of research. The earliest line
of research on language variation in the Arab World has generated important
descriptive studies on various Arabic dialects. The second half of the past cen
tury witnessed more research into phenomena related to language contact, par
ticularly koineization and pidginization. The chapter
examined the potential role
– which
is realized through a number of interrelated processes,
such as leveling, mixing, and accommodation
of several Arabic dialects. Koineization is also e
of a number of hypotheses concerning the development of CA and the modern
regional dialects in the Arab region (Anis, 1959; Cohen 1962; Corriente, 1976;
Ferguson, 1959b). Recent examples of koineization have been highlighted, par
and Cairo (Al-Wer, 2007; Woidich, 1994). As for pidginization, the chapter
ined Versteegh’s (1984) hypothesis about the progression of the modern Arabic
recent cases of Arabic-based pidiginization and creolization in Africa and the Gulf
Social dialectology has gained a prominent place at the locus of variationist
research since the 1960s, particularly with the emergence of the Labovian para
change. Thus, the second part of this chapter
focused on social dialectology, with
Haeri, 1991),
not have a fixed meaning but rather change cross-culturally.
trend has been focusing on language perception as
Language variation and change has also been explained within the framework of
number of less common approaches
h as Implications Scales (DeCamp, 1971; see also Gibson,
2006), but these are rarely used in approaching variation in the Arab context.
Language contact involves several areas, such as bilingualism, language mainte
hapter, I
variation and change, namely koineization and pidgins and creoles.
Researchers disagree on the definition of a koine and the exact processes involved
The literature abounds with other terms that overlap to a great e
xtent (see Trudgill,
1986). Researchers also disagree with respect to the meanings of these terms.
The picture of the linguistic situation in the pre-Islamic era is far from clear, although
erent hypotheses have been proposed to explain the situation then (see
Abboud-Haggar, 2006; Versteegh, 2004 for an overview of the different hypotheses).
This has been dramatically changing after the independence of the Arab countries.
This argument has been recently challenged by Herin (2010), who argues that the
Al-Sharkawi (2010)
proposes that the dialects were the result of different linguistic
and non-linguistic factors. However, the primary factor, according to Al-Sharkawi,
was modified input by Arabic speakers, which underlines the role of the learners in
The Gulf States include Bahrain, Kuwdfait, Oman, Qatar
The study of women-related genres is not part of variationist research, and muc
These forms also diverge from those found in most other Arabic dialects.
In sociolinguistic terms, codeswitching (CS) describes the speech of bilinguals/
grammatical approach
psycholinguistic approach
deals with the cognitive aspect of CS for the purpose of pinpointing the mecha
how this organization affects their language acquisition and production. Studies
in second language acquisition often adopt the psycholinguistic framework in
approach is concerned with the role of social and pragmatic factors in CS, the
Mainstream research in bilingualism posits that CS is a creative act of
& Muysken, 198
7; Bentahila, 1983b; Clyne, 2003; Eid, 2002; Gumperz,
1982; Heller, 1988; Holes, 2004; Myers-Scotton, 1993b; Valdés, 1981). For
example, CS is viewed as a mechanism for identity negotiation, situational mark
ing, social-group membership, upward mobility, social solidarity, face manage
ment, discursive salience, and linguistic economy (Auer, 1998; Bentahila, 1983b;
& Bolonyai, 2011; Kachru, 1977; Myers-Scotton, 1993b; Wei, 1994). It
explores the social and pragmatic functions of CS in the Arab
xt. Before examining these functions, I
will start
with a short discussion of
the terminology used to describe CS and related phenomenon. The short dis

Y: C
The existing literature abounds with terms pertaining to language-contact phe
nomena, including codeswitching, borrowing, code-mixing, and style shifting. The
70). Callahan (2004, p.
that borrowed “word forms” become part of the grammar of the receiving
language, whereas in CS “the forms from each language, though contiguous,
Myers-Scotton, 19
term code-mixing in reference to what has been identified by mainstream stud
Ho, 2007). A
number of researc
hers have distinguished the two
terms on a functional rather than structural basis. For example, Auer (1998, p.
– both involve
& Muysken, 1995; Myers-
1993a). For example, Eastman (1992, p.
” stressing that “When people use a
represents the norm” [italics added]. East
2). Likewise, Romaine (1995) asserts that from a sociolinguistic
ripp, 2001; Labov, 1966). Labov
uses the term “style shifting” to refer to consistent changes in the linguistic forms
used by a speaker in accordance to changes in topics, participants, or the social
will follow Myers-Scotton (19
1993a), Muysken (2000), among others, in adopting the term CS as a cover term
that refers to the use of different elements from two languages, dialects, or styles

The early descriptive studies of bilingual communities gave rise to three basic
sociolinguistic questions: why does language alternation occur? What is its
meaning? And, how is it socially relevant? For example, in his study on Mexican
Americans in Tucson, Arizona, Barker (1947) was perplexed to find that bilinguals
Barker, however, did observe these bilinguals often
allocating Spanish to intimate interactions with family members and English to
formal conversation involving Anglo-Americans. However, their language choice
73) maintained that “the ideal bilingual switc
another according to appropriate changes in the speech situation (interlocutors,
per se, Ferguson, in
describe as situational CS. Ferguson suggested that in diglossic communities,
‘Proper’ usage dictates that only one of
Deeper analyses
Blom and Gumperz’s 197
75–82) grouped these communica
tive effects into six social functions: (1) quotation; (2) addressee specification;
vs. objectification. Moreover, he recast the social dimension of CS on the basis of
The nature and function of CS is further explored by Goffman (1981), who
linked the functions of CS to the notions of
framing, footing
, and
. Framing
128) within the interaction. This self-projection is a
common feature of daily interactions and can occur within a single sentence or
speaker can assume different roles based on his/her pro
jected alignment in relation to listeners, type of activity, and content of speech.
Although footing is not solely related to language alternation, it often involves
is a means by which an utterance or an action is understood in rela
tion to another and in the context of a particular framework. Thus, according to
Goffman, a consideration of the functions of CS for the speaker should involve
not merely the context in which shifting occurs but also the frame and mode of
the conversation, the assumptions of the interlocutors, and the dynamics of the
Based on conversation-analysis techniques and Goffman’s notion of “inter
action order,” Auer (1998) proposed a sequential approach to CS. According to
Auer (1998, pp.
attention to
to CS analysis, code choice emerges in the course of interaction as a result of
4). Such an approac
h pays little attention to social, macro-contextual
structure. Auer’s sequential approach implies that understanding every instance
Another framework within which CS has been analyzed is Bourdieu’s (1977)
social capital theory. According to Bourdieu (1977, 1999), social actors are
positioned within macro- and micro-systems of power relations. The relation
ships highlighting differences in social standing are regulated through valued
(symbolic violence). Bourdieu conceptualizes valued resources as capital that
can be acquired, used, and recreated. Capital can take different forms, including
that give access to power), and social (access to individuals or organizations
associated with power) capital. Capital exists in various social
, which link
& Giles, 198
pland, 19
91; Giles
& Smith, 197
9) propose that much of the adjustments and
shifts in people’s interactions may be explained by their attempts to accommo
al. (1991, p.
2) see accommodation as “a multiply organized
listener adaptedness, person-centered/other-directed speech, and role/perspec
& Levinson, 19
87). The two main
ing the speakers’ attempt to reduce verbal and non-verbal differences with others
and the latter denoting the individuals’ endeavor to accentuate these differences.
al., 1991, p.
Taking insight from Grice’s cooperative principle, Myers-
Scotton (1993b,
2005) presents her “Markedness Model” to explain the social motivations driv
ing CS. The Markedness Model rests on the negotiation principle, which posits
that speakers choose a particular code based on the rights and obligations (RO)
114). The marked c
states “Make a marked code choice which is not the unmarked index of the
131). The e
xploratory choice maxim stip
ulates, “When an unmarked choice is not clear, use CS to make alternate explor
atory choices as candidates for an unmarked choice and thereby as an index of
132). Marked choices are often
eatures such as distinct pauses or extended commen
tary on the switch. Myers-Scotton argues that “unmarked CS should not occur at
East, at least, if not the other exemplars included in Ferguson 1959)” (p.
Myers-Scotton bases her argument on the assumption that speakers of Arabic
More recently, Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai (2001, p.
1) reformulated the
Markedness Model into their more explicit Rational Choice model. They criti
cize previous accounts of CS, which ascribe language choices to larger socie
tal conventions, constraints, actors, or discourse structure. Instead, they invoke
Rational Choice Theory to propose that “choices lie ultimately with the individ
ual and are rationally based.” As rational beings, speakers assess the possible
choices available to them in terms of cost–benefit analysis and choose the one
that is most productive in their current context. In this process, speakers con
sider the internal consistency of their choice and the best available evidence
for the soundness of their rationale. For example, Myers-Scotton and Bolonyai
123). CS becomes part of other symbolic resources used to
and regulate access to other forms of power. In elaborating her argument,
communities. These principles include Faith, Power, Solidarity, Face, and Perspec
tive. In any community, the optimal output of the process of ranking these princi
2). This suggests that variance
in the functions of CS in different communities is established by the way in which
these principles are ordered in relation to one another. To illustrate their model, Bhatt
and Bolonyai compared CS in Hindi–Kashmiri–English to Hungarian–English CS.
They found that in Hindi–Kashmiri–English CS, Face outweighs Power, which in
turn outweighs Solidarity, whereas in the Hungarian–English CS, Solidarity out
ranks Face and Power, both of which share a similar ranking.
Overall, discord characterizes the literature on the social aspect of CS. Differ
ent researchers disagree not only in regards to the social function and meaning
of CS within discourse, but also on the appropriate approach for analysis. While
some sociolinguists attribute code alternation to situational factors, others link it
to social conventions, identity negotiation, self-assertion, speech accommodation,
& Muysken, 198
7; Auer, 1998; Benta
hila, 1983b; Bhatt
& Gumperz, 197
1998; Giles
& Powesland, 19
97; Gumperz, 1982; Heller, 1988; Kachru, 1977;
& Wei, 19
95; Myers-Scotton, 1993b; Valdés, 1981; Wei, 1994). Still oth
ers suggest that the meaning of code choice resides mainly in the conversation
structure with respect to the negotiation process. Some of these differences are


Abbasi, 197
7; Al-Dashti, 1998; Al-Enazi, 2002; Belazi,
1991; Bentahila, 1983b; Bentahila
Bentahila, 200
6b, 2008; Ennaji, 2005; Sadiqi, 2003; Safi, 1992). Some of these
studies focused on QA–French CS in the Maghreb region simply because French
and QA are used in everyday interactions at home, at schools and universities, and
in the media, business, and other social spheres. However, most of the studies on
QA–English CS are contextualized in English-speaking countries, particularly the
will outline two representative studies of QA–Frenc
CS and two studies focusing on QA–English CS in informal face-to-face inter
will examine other domains in whic
Bentahila (1983b) e
“he doesn’t like me, what, he doesn’t like me.” (Bentahila, 1983b, p.
Turning to QA–English CS, Safi (1992) e
) are expressed in both Arabic and English. Similarly, both languages contribute
to interjections. However, whereas Saudi Arabic is used to mark politeness and
Arabic appears in phrases that convey religious and national feelings, whereas
discussion. These distinct functions are illustrated in examples (3) and (4). The
first example is spoken by a male student and the second by a female student
They had a beautiful
They had a beautiful
incense burner.” (Safi, 1992, p.
Talabni wah
“He asked for one of the
have.” (Safi, 1992, p.
burner” is more compatible with feelings of national belonging, whereas shift
underscores the business format of the offi
cer’s request and allows the speaker to avoid the potential negative connotations
associated with the corresponding Arabic term if used in this context (namely,
Like Safi (1992), Al-Enazi (2002) examined the syntactic constraints and
“dissertation,” “presentation,”
and “comprehensive exam”),
ments. Speakers also used English to claim prestige or authority, often by using
, such as
religious expressions (
“forbidden,” and
of Mecca”), discourse markers (e.g.
“coffee”). Speakers also use Arabic to give oaths or make confirma
– two forms of music that
lar in the Maghreb and the West. In a series of studies on this topic, Davies and
Bentahila (2006b, 2008; Bentahila
& Davies, 2002) illustrate the ways in which
does not seem to have a notable presence in bilingual CS. This is not surprising if
we consider the fact that most of these studies focused on informal everyday life
conversations where SA is rarely used. Future research may want to investigate

their discursive practices (Hudson, 2002).
This question highlights one of the fun
damental assumptions in bidialectal CS research, namely, that educated
use it strategically to attain different sociolinguistic and pragmatic goals. Another
The study of the social and pragmatic functions of CS presupposes that bilin
codes for different purposes. This assumption has been explicitly or implicitly
questioned by a number of researchers (Hudson, 2002; Parkinson, 1993, 1996)
but, to date, only a very few studies have investigated this important postulation
understood but it is rife with mistakes and colloquialisms (p.
69). Egyptians
report on a
3, much of my researc
conveniently selected sample of forty professors and forty college stu
dents participated in the study.
The participants were distributed equally among
the four countries, that is, each country was represented by ten professors and
ten college students. The focus on both professors and students aimed to trace
7.1. T
he analysis reported here does not investigate the role of gender,
discipline, or school simply because the sample is relatively small to allow com
The participants were simply asked to talk exclusively in SA about three top
minutes allocated to each. W
asked one or more questions (based on the content
P. science*
S. science2
*P. science
ambiguous cases arose. The verification process was conducted mainly with the
help of Arab students at Utah State University.
56). For e
xample, the
“factor” cannot start a switch to SA or QA because it belongs to
[chair] in
55–56). For
xample, a word like
“went.3SM” is considered a QA form, even though it
ends with SA indicative-mood marker, namely -
. This is because the alterna
was conceivably available to the speaker (just as it would
expectedly be available to educated speakers of Arabic in general). It is for this
“went.3SM” is counted as SA even when
it ends with no indicative-mood marking (which is characteristic of SA verbs).
Finally, words that exist exclusively in SA but whose phonological forms have
“why” instead of
). When produced by Egyptian participants, SA words pronounced with
the Egyptian /g/ were classified as SA elements if their other properties and
context marks them as SA.
from those that are not. According to Callahan, “borrowed” words and expressions
are characterized by their use in everyday speech, their phonological adaptation
to the rules of the borrowing language, and their lack of clear discourse function.
7.2 and 7.3 summarize the number
of words produced by the professor and student groups in the four countries.
per minute assigned to each topic, a number of
of the professor
and student groups. Among professors, Moroccans have greater fluency in SA
than their Egyptian, Jordanian, and Saudi counterparts, while fluency rates were
similar among the latter three groups. With students, Moroccan speakers again
Word count
the professor and student groups indicates that the Jordanian and Saudi pro
fessors have a comparatively higher fluency in SA than the Jordanian and Saudi
students, whereas the Egyptian professors lag slightly behind Egyptian students
in terms of fluency in SA. The Moroccan professors and students display a com
of switches in eac
The switches were classified into eight
Whole clause,
affixes were considered one unit, based on Maratsos’s [1991] notion of the
also fell under this category),
Function words (pronouns, demonstratives, relativizers, prepositions,
The selection of these categories was informed by Bentahila and Davies’s
(1995) study on bilingual CS in the Moroccan context. The data lacked any
switches to French. All of the switches to English were single words (e.g.,
or compound nouns (e.g.,
was done to English switches. T
he following examples illustrate these switches
in context (also see Appendices for sample narratives):
Mafeeš h
yatruk kul šei
“There is no dependence on others in Islam.
There is not a thing
.” (Egyptian)
“They brough to us, of course, a beautiful civilization,
which is
baths.” (Egyptian)
“Therefore this is really
in a big emptiness.” (Egyptian)
amdu lilah
anni mah
ah fi xtiyaar as
“Thanks to God. I
am lucky in c
only.” (Jordanian)
“Therefore this environment
considered a fertile field for any other
country.” (Egyptian)
aluuna-hum bi-šaklin xaas

an ra
ukuumati-him fi
“And they ask them particularly about their opinion ab
. in their decisions.”
faalii al
ah laa yuujad
“No my children
my children are now grown up in the
. they do not have time.” (Jordanian)
a drink basiit
. perhabs with a small drink.” (Jordanian)
, the speaker switches to QA only in a sentence fragment,
“which is.” Similarly, in (7), (8), and (9), the speakers shift to QA
“living/sitting in,” the function word
and the bound morpheme
, which is the marker of the progressive case. Exam

Frequency and type of switches in religion-focused narratives
Whole clause
Phrase or part of a clause20
Function word

Frequency and type of switches in politics-focused narratives
Whole clause
Phrase or part of a clause21
Function word
third and last commonality is that, generally speaking, the four
groups shifted to QA more often in addressing the topic of pastime activities
than when discussing religious or political themes. This may be attributed to
the nature of these topics in context, as some everyday activities are typically
expressed in specific QA and English words (e.g.,
“no evil”). The four
groups, however, diverged in a number of respects. For example, the Egyptian
group surpassed their counterparts in terms of the overall number of switches to
QA. On the other hand, the Moroccan speakers exhibited the least amount of QA
elements in their production. Moreover, the Moroccan speakers showed less of a
across the four groups. Like the professors, the college students resorted to QA
played notable variability in the number and type of switches, with some gener
QA and English elements into their productions. For all four groups, the non-SA
similarity is that all of the participants switched more at the word and phrase lev

Frequency and type of switches in pastime-focused narratives
Whole clause
Function word

Overall number and range of switches in professors’ narratives on
In terms of differences, the data shows that the Moroccan college students
were clearly ahead of their Egyptian, Jordanian, and Saudi counterparts in terms
professors, Moroccan students were also less inclined to mix SA with English.
Contrastingly, the Jordanian group showed a comparably high presence of
in their output. However, when we compare the professors and
students, it becomes clear that the Jordanian college students were the group
that showed the most notable divergence from their senior counterparts in terms
of the number of switches to QA and English, followed by the Saudi and Egyptian
When we compare the numbers and types of switches produced by pro
fessors versus students, a number of patterns emerge. The students in each of
the four groups use more English elements in their narratives than professors,

Frequency and type of switches in religion-focused narratives
Whole clause
Phrase or part of a clause4
Function word

Frequency and type of switches in politics-focused narratives
Whole clause
Phrase or part of a clause7
Function word
particularly in the pastime narrative. This may be due the spread of information
and communication technologies, which provide younger generations with new
contact opportunities with the outside world. This may also have to do with the

Frequency and type of switches in pastime-focused narratives
Whole clause
Phrase or part of a clause9
Function word

Overall number and range of switches in students’ narratives on
greater exposure to SA, which was not always available to the older generation.
Third, although Egyptian dialect is still widely used in television programs, other
dialects such as those of the Gulf and the Levant are becoming profuse on
different media, and therefore the Egyptians’ attitudes toward their dialect as
The results present a comple
x picture of the participants’ abilities to use SA
notable variability in the extent to which different speakers resort to QA to develop
their narratives. While some narratives were rendered in unmixed SA, others were
however, the majority of speakers may be described as
introductions of QA. This is evidenced by the fact the speakers in all of the stu
dent and professor groups rarely shift to QA or English at the clause level, the
exception being the Egyptian professors. While they may resort frequently to their
constituents of speech, and not with full sentences. This type of
The disparity in the performance of the Moroccan and Mashriqi groups (i.e.,
Egyptians, Jordanians, and Saudis) may be explained by four main interrelated
reasons. These reasons are not exhaustive, nor do they apply to every speaker of
the dialects under study, but they may reflect general trends in the four speech
nationalities. By contrast, their Moroccan counterparts lack this advantage and
The third reason driving Moroccans’ superior use of SA is that Egyptian
speakers generally have relatively more positive views of their dialects than
Moroccan speakers, as has been confirmed in the two previous chapters. The
fourth factor
concerns the widely invoked relation
The diff
attitudes toward English than the other two groups. This suggests that speakers’
(i.e., English), the Moroccan data does not show a single instance of French.
Bentahila and Davies (1995) compared the linguistic output of old-generation
Moroccans and Moroccan youth. They found a notable presence of French in
the speech of the older generation, whereas younger Moroccan speakers used
French parsimoniously, mainly in small constituents, such as noun phrases. Again,
the receding role of French in the international arena, the Moroccan speakers’
views of French in comparison to English, and the fact that French is generally
am planning to expand the data collection to verify the
ed speech versus
unmonitored speech
number of scholars have alluded
Holes, 1995, 2004; Mejdell, 19
The concept of monitored speech, as used in this work, goes beyond the issue
al., 196
8). However, this postulation originates in and
often relates to the American and similar contexts. The application of this crite
rion to the Arabic diglossic context would leave the majority of news reports, reli
gious sermons, political speeches, university lecturers, and several other forms of
SA-rendered speech out of the scope of the
of a wider audience of Arabic interlocutors and listeners. Monitored speech some
all types of speech and communication. Albirini’s (2011) function-based repre
2) is based on monitored speech.
al., 196
167). Unlike monitored speec
h, which often adheres to the speech
community’s discursive and communicative norms, everyday interactions often
depend on demographic, interpersonal/group, contextual, and pragmatic factors.
Moreover, because it is typically based on one-on-one interactions in everyday
life, unmonitored speech often involves negotiation of roles, meanings, and iden
tities. Therefore, one would expect more variance in the patterns and functions of
CS in unmonitored speech than in speech under observation. However, as it will
be shown below, even in this form of speech, there are some patterns of CS that
SA–QA discourse. Thus, SA is often designated for important or serious issues,
whereas QA is adopted for less significant topics. For example, Saeed (1997)
focused on the pragmatic functions of switching from SA to each of three Arabic
regional dialects (Egyptian, Kuwaiti, and Yemeni) in the formal context of religious
to quote or to simplify);
(2) structural (triggered by
to Jamal Abdulnasser
and Mu’ammar Al-Qadhdhafi. Mazraani found that the three politicians employ
ectiveness of their speeches and
to appeal to their audiences’ emotions. Based on her study of the former Tuni
sian president Ben Ali’s final speech, Jarraya (2013) similarly found that Ben Ali
infused his language with QA elements to convey emotions more persuasively.
Moreover, language choice in her data was not always related to a particular
discourse function. That being said, she found that speakers often state abstract
facts in MSA, or employ MSA to lend a tone of seriousness to the topic, and
– which
. We [Palestinians], as part of this nation,
expect help from our brothers in the Arab states.” (Albirini, 2010, p.
Why is this severe campaign?
We are Muslims and we are proud about
that.” (Albirini, 2010, p.
In (13), the speaker expresses his astonishment at the criticism raised
are expected help rather than criticize Palestinians. The speaker here appeals to
Arab national identity to imply the obligation of Arab regimes to support the Pal
estinians. In (14), the preacher speaks about what he sees as a disparagement
of Islamic symbols. Then, he shifts to SA to highlight the pride involved in Muslim
occurred with notable frequency in the religious discourse of this particular
and identity-related factors, which enter into the communication equation and
affect the patterns of
were conducted
to elucidate the participants’ language choices and attitudes.
Abu-Melhim based his analysis on the assumption that speakers have the choice
of using Classical Arabic (CA), Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), Educated Spo
ken Arabic (ESA), their respective colloquial dialects, and English. The findings
English in their communication. They rarely shift to CA, MSA, or the colloquial
230). Moreover
the participants switched away from their respective dialects, female partici
of rejection, reduction of differences, and show of friendliness) and long-held
attitudes toward the Sharqi and Maghrebi dialects (Maghrebi dialects are often
viewed unfavorably, whereas the Sharqi dialects are considered closer to
In addition, the participants’ language usage reflected their attempts to “show
off” their linguistic skills as multilingual speakers (which is viewed positively
in Tunisia) and their bid to mark common membership in the Arabic-speaking
Taking insights from previous work on accommodation and making use of
Content Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis techniques, Albirini (in prog
ress) examines the dynamics of interdialectal and bilingual CS in informal and
listeners linguistically, the study examined when, where, how, and why speech
sociopolitical aspects (power, ideology, and language insecurity).
A number of patterns emerge from the three studies reviewed above. First,
economic, literary symbols
– is not projected to operate at the local level. Thus,
wedding party), because
These intra-tribal social connections are, for Bedouins, a form of social capital
and socioeconomic power. In the workplace, however, they resort to the urban
Abdel-Jawad, 1981, 19
86; Habib, 2010; Sawaie, 1994). Suleiman (1993)
argues that Bedouin speakers switch to the rural and urban dialects in the multi
92) underscores the fact that some Arabic speakers infuse their
h with QA numbers to make themselves “accessible” to their listeners. In
this context, shifting to the interlocutor’s code becomes a form of communicative
accommodation strategy, in which the speaker approximates his speech to that of
& Powesland, 19
97, p.
– a
xts where educated speakers
of Arabic are involved. Al-Wer (2007) shows that many urban Palestinian speak
ers in Jordan adopt variables from the Bedouin dialects because of the national
acclaim of Bedouin traditions and customs. These studies indicate that social con
siderations may inspire CS even when it operates below the word level, and it may
result in enduring changes in the features of a given dialect.
The CS literature suggests that the functions allotted to SA and QA in mon
itored speech may also appear in unmonitored speech situations. Holes (1993)
indicates speakers may use SA when they are in a “teaching” mode. He illus
trates this through two anecdotes, one involving an agricultural extension offi
schoolteacher addressing a group of Jordanian visitors (who are still part of the
Levant). In both cases, the speakers use SA in the process of formally addressing
their audiences, often concluding their SA-delivered teaching with QA commen
tary. A
often infuse their elicited QA speech tokens with different SA elements or may
switch to SA, although these types of interaction may not be considered as part
of monitored speech. Versteegh, however, attributes this form of switching to the
especially topics of pan-Arab concern, they rely mainly on SA. However, when
they tackle non-serious topics, especially topics pertaining to local affairs, they
resort to QA. Irrespective of the motive or explanation, these patterns of CS are
speech may in some cases be replicated in unmonitored speech. In other words,
most of which

Written discourse is dissimilar to oral communication because of its nature as a
are not always compatible with the oral form. The writer’s ability to edit and polish
discourse and the general expectations of the readership in a given context. This
is significant in the Arab context because of the common assumption that SA is
2006; Rosenbaum, 2011). Traditionally, written discourse was assigned to SA
226). For
example, Soueif draws on such words as
“maternal uncle,” which are titles of respect in the Egyptian cul
ture. The novelist also brings into play a number of words and expressions that
refer to Arab customs, traditions, history, and social life such as
of traditional music,”
“meal eaten in preparation for fasting,”
“may God increase your bounty; thanks,” and
expression of admiration.” Interestingly, the novelist also sprinkles her text with
a few SA words, such as
“a man with no facial hair,” to mark a character’s
high educational level or to signal a change in contextual formality. This pattern
diglossic distribution of SA and QA even in written discourse. The juxtaposition
ers (Mejdell, 2008b; Rosenbaum, 2011). Most of the existing studies have exam
ined CS patterns as they relate to a single literary text or the literary work of a
single author. Abdel-Malek (1972) examined the implications of diglossia on the
novels of Yuusif Al-Sibaa‘i. Abdel-Malek traces the Egyptian novelist’s “linguistic
struggle” to reconcile his literary style with the realities of the diglossic situation
in which he and his characters live. Although he started his novel-writing career
with a conscious effort to “prevent colloquial expressions from sneaking in,”
Al-Sibaa‘i eventually found “the characters of the novel conversing
– in colloquial” (cited in Abdel-Malek, 19
72, p.
134). The novelist eventually
number of mechanisms that the novelist
“excuse me,”
“not too bad”), “Low-Standard”
“sleeping”), modified Egyptian expres
(Abdel-Malek, 1972). Abdel-Malek suggests that the style that Al-Sibaa‘i has
Eid, 2002; Holes, 1995, 2004; Mejdell, 19
2006; Radwan, 2004; Rosenbaum, 2000, 2011; Semah, 1995). Some of these
studies have focused on the evolution and spread of new branches of colloquial
81). Two further
general population because of their accessible style, vocabulary, and themes,
CS in the sense of coexistence of SA and QA side by side in the same te
observed in literary genres involving dialogues, such as novels, short stories, and
the use of SA for this purpose may place the authenticity of the text at risk. Holes
(2004) provides a rich description of the different strategies that playwrights,
and authority figures. In some of his works, Idris uses SA to reflect formality and
xamined language choice in written discourse by eight Egyptian
331) comes to
the conclusion that “Today the use of CEA
[Colloquial Egyptian Arabic] side by side with MSA is not only tolerated by Egyp
tian writers, but in many cases is sought for and desired.” Similarly, in a survey of
a collection of Egyptian literary works in the period 2003–2005, Mejdell (2006)
found that dialogues written in
represented only about 50% of dialogic
A number
of studies have investigated CS practices in newspapers
(Abuhakema, 2013; Gully, 199
31). Abuhakema (2013) examined 27
ments in two Jordanian and two Palestinian newspapers:
. The researcher reported a notable presence of the col
loquial dialects in the advertisements, which affects lexical choice and the mor
phosyntactic structure of the advertisements. Abuhakema argues that switching
to the colloquial varieities has become characteristic of a new literary genre that
The existing studies provide a complex picture of the distribution and mixing
of SA and QA in written discourse. While in some cases the “traditional” functions
and statuses of SA and QA seem to be preserved (Albakry
& Hancock,
(Mejdell, 2006; Rosenbaum, 2000, 2011). QA transpires particularly in dialogues
, which shows the authors’ sensitivity to the
diglossic distribution of SA and QA. However, as Rosenbaum (2011) observes,
context. The tradition of writing in the Egyptian dialect is well-established and
well-documented (Rosenbaum, 2011). The use of the Egyptian dialect in literary
genres is made possible by the Egyptians’ positive attitudes toward their dialect;

The patterns of CS presented above demonstrate the complex relationship
tudes toward their colloquial dialect and the Moroccans have the least positive
also be involved, but language attitudes seem to be implicated in the extent to
which the participants resort to their colloquial dialects in SA-based narratives.
Educated Arabic speakers are generally aware of the implications of choos
shifting from comic
Identity factors also impact CS behavior. Not only are diverse identity forms
shaped by social discourses and realities, but they are also indexed by the daily
resist acts of linguistic accommodation (Abu-Melhim, 1992). Even at a more
local level, speakers may use CS to construct, instate, or recreate their preferred
identities (Albirini, 2014a; Al-Wer, 2007; Gibson, 2002; Holes, 1995; Suleiman,
1993). The most striking examples of identity–language relationship appear in
cases when one’s identity is challenged (Albirini, in progress). In such a case,
speakers would mobilize their linguistic resources to construct their preferred
This chapter
examined the use of CS for different social and pragmatic pur
poses. Three
general types of CS were examined: bilingual CS, bidialectal CS,
is often allocated to religious and culturally specific topics, whereas English/
French are used for technical, academic, and business-related topics. SA seems
to be absent within the realm of bilingual CS, except in literary writing. In bidia
Egyptians toward their dialect and their strong sense of national identity. It should
be noted that some patterns of bidialectal CS can be partially explained by the
xisting models of CS, even though these were mostly based on the experiences
of bilingual communities. For example, switching to QA, the simpler code, in reli
& Powesland, 19
97), who may find difficulty grasping certain
SA terms and expressions. Likewise, CS may be seen as a politeness strategy
& Levinson, 19
87) employed by speakers who are compelled to threaten
an addressee’s positive or negative face (e.g.,
in cursing). T
his suggests that,
although bidialectal CS is motivated by reasons that may be historically, linguisti
cally, and ideologically different from those found in bilingual contexts, they dis
& Toribio, 19
& Davies, 1983, 19
97; Boumans,
Since the participants
to take part in this study, it is possible that their
This case study does not focus on grammatical or stylistic errors.
I plan to expand the focus and scope of this study and to involve more participants in
How “large” an audience is relative and depends on context. For e
political speech may be in the thousands or even
The constructs of
am using these two words in very general sense. F
or example, a discussion
about entertainment media is often not considered a serious topic, whereas a debate
about the Arab Spring
This argument has been challenged in the relevant literature (e.g.,
The past two decades have witnessed an unprecedented worldwide diffusion
of various digital communication technologies and media.
million with a growth rate of 60%
2011. The same report indicates that the total
number of active Face
5. The average
up from 12% in
2012. The percentage of users
below the age of thirty was 68% of the total
number of Facebook users. The total number of active Twitter users in the Arab
region reached 3,766,160 as of March
In 2013, the estimated number
& Carr,
involves spoken and written linguistic features (Perez-Sabater, 2012). Moreover,
single entity, which problematizes the concepts of authorship, readership, text
authority, and linguistic norms. In cyber-activism, for example, any individual with
classic distinctions
These areas have not received equal scholarly attention in different social con
texts due to the dissimilar circumstances surrounding the introduction and use of
55). These ideologies were directly cor
related to two interrelated issues, the first being the Western powers’ fear of
losing their political and economic edge in the aftermath of World War II, and
the second being the national liberation movements throughout the “third world.”
9). T
The shift to an information-based economy has necessitated new
billion, Faceb
billion, and Yahoo 1.4
billion. The internationalization of
utilize the new media (Abdulla, 2007). Another reason was the high cost of inter
& Dickinson, 2013). Moreover
computer science majors became widespread across the Arab region. While in
some countries, this discipline is taught either in English or French (e.g., Oman,
UAE, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), others have used Arabicizied textbooks that
& Hussain, 2013;
promotion of minority languages,
such as Kurdish and Berber (Merolla, 2002;
The Bias of Communication
that the development of new means of communication always leads to the dom
parchment codex and the concomitant emergence of Latin as the lingua franca
in the Christian world. The spread of Islam westward, its reliance on paper, and
and the weakening of Latin, which eventually led to the development of the many
European dialects. The development of the press helped create standardized
national languages that were promoted within the boundaries of the European
research on information and communication technologies point to the emer
itself, which is also reflected in real-life communications.
One of the main features of digital communication technologies is multilin
gualism, which has been recently been cast in several interrelated terms, such as
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
published a special issue
rooms, and emails, which are often encoded in different languages, but particu
where Arabic and English texts appear side by side on a single webpage. This
and Twitter (2012). The same applies to educational websites and applications,
which are rare in the Arab region.
& Ramsay,
Sociolinguistic Study
Ramsay, 2012; Sakr,
& Hareb, 2012; Warsc
arrived in Jordan a few days ago, and I
. You know the mall .

forgot the name
. in the mall.”
Another remarked, “I
arabi l-Kuwaiti .
.” Six of
English. Typical responses for this group were “No English. Speak Arabic?” or “No
speak English.” The remaining two respondents replied back in Arabic, indicating
dents in the first group, “W
inquired about the language
most of the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Saudi informants indicated
English exclusively in their online communications (two Egyptians, four Jordani
the other hand, indicated that they employ Arabic in addition to English and/or
French. When I
asked why they
use English (and French in the case of the Moroc
cans), some participants indicated that they learned most of the technical words
in English/French, and that is why it is “easier” or “quicker” for them to come up
with the English/French words than to think of their Arabic equivalents. This is
consistent with previous findings about the use of English in digital communica
& Ramsay, 2012). Another group viewed their use of English
their use
Such websites have been used by Berber and Kurdish speakers to maintain their
speech. These online activities seek to strengthen the presence of Berber and
Kurdish online and increase their speakers’ dedication to their languages not only
Apart from multilingualism as a feature of the media themselves or of their con
tent, there is a growing scholarly interest in multilingual
in electronically
& Nortier, 200
9; Hinrichs, 2006). It is not sur
prising therefore that this type of CS has been approached from the same per
& Sabbah, 2008; Bianc
hi, 2013; Mimouna, 2012; Pal
& al Khalil, 2003; Salia, 2011; Warsc
the participants switched codes when discussing all of these themes, the highest
percent of intra-sentential CS occurred in the topics of gossip and humor. Arabic
was used in religious topics, whereas English was mainly used for technical and
academic terms. These findings suggest that the topic of discussion affects the
amount and type of switches.
Bianchi (2013) examined a 323-message thread on to identify
Mimouna (2012) uncovered similar patterns of CS
in his study of Algerian college students’ use of email; the participants shifted
customarily away from Algerian Arabic to English or French to fulfil certain com
municative needs, such as the need to use technical terms or to economize in the
email. In a study of instant messaging among female students in the United Arab
Emirates, Palfreyman and al Khalil (2003) observed that Arabic is used for formu
laic phrases, unlike English, which is reserved for university-related topics. Salia
(2011) explored the comments made by a group of Moroccan friends and class
mates on shared Facebook posts. It is reported that all speakers use the colloquial
Moroccan dialect most of the time, but occasionally shift to English or French.
23–24). Salia cites words like “thanks, merci,
7); Arabic is used for cultural and religious subjects, whereas
hnical, academic, and business topics. Moreover, the func
special symbols to represent affixes (e.g., @ for the plural suffix –
Yaghan notes that there are other conventions that are specific to individual Arab
& Sabbah, 2008;
9; Mimouna, 2012; Palfreyman
Yaghan, 200
8). Yaghan summarizes these reasons in four main points based on
where a single sound may have different represen
tations in different Arabic dialects (e.g., the standard q sound can be expressed
found that both the posts and the comments on their pages are largely in
the posts and comments made on the Facebook pages of several singers were
largely in the colloquial dialects. The imagined audience could be educated and
use in context. When multiple linguistic models or options are available, these
speakers would usually choose among linguistic forms depending on their inter
actional objectives. Linguistic choices may lead to large-scale linguistic changes
when certain linguistic forms are adopted by many individuals. Thus, social, atti
tudinal, and identity-related factors are only secondary to language use and indi
. that is, it
The linguistic c
hanges induced by the digital media present challenges to
in its broad sense. Digital technologies open up new rela
users choose to participate and is mediated by languages that may not be their
daily use languages in the physical world. Wilson and Dunn (2011) examined the
of different languages in diverse virtual communities just as their identity per
patterns. However, although the youth are influenced by their online language
use, they are still anchored in the sociolinguistic, sociopolitical, and socioeco
nomic realities of their offline communities, which exert influences on their iden
tities. Thus, despite their importance, digital media remain only one of several
Apart from English, Arabic is also being challenged by minority languages,
such as Berber and Kurdish. Eriksen (2007) argues that, contrary to the common
cites the fact that members of these
nations maintain a strong presence on the
fragmentation and reconfiguration therefore occur across the Arab region, even
The language-identity axis is problematized on a third frontier in the Arab
1) argues that activists used QA “for a freer, more direct approac
their readers, which has been more effective in communicating their message
that Classical Arabic was the least preferred code in online interactions by Egyp
attention to “The prolif
eration of YouTube video clips available in a range of Arabic
dialects.” The increasing presence of QA online and its growing use in writing
the changing role of SA and QA online. In an interview on Aljazeera Channel,
awqan, a Jordanian high school teacher of Arabic and a presenter at a
2009 conference titled
The Arabic Language in Jordanian Institutions: Its Real
ities and Ways to Elevate It
2009). It should be noted that,
The proliferation of websites, Facebook pages, and blogs that are dedicated
for promoting QA represents another linguistic and ideological challenge to the
status and role of SA. Since the use of paper in the middle ages, SA has been
media have facilitated language diversification in the sense that they allow
2008 and written in colloquial Egyptian Arabic, is an e
sites that challenge the authority of SA and present an alternative linguistic rep
resentative of the Egyptian identity. Panovic (2010) suggests that the language
ideologies of the founders of Wikipedia Masry materialize clearly in the style
& Ramsay, 2012, p.
asked the participants about their opinions of
Arabizi. The vast majority of the participants criticized this form of writing, describ
hildish,” “ugly,” “careless,” and “deformed way of expression.” Only three
participants described it as “fun,” “personal choice,” and “not a problem.” When
asked for their opinions
concerning people who use Arabizi, the majority of
the participants again described them as “childish,” “irresponsible,” “disrespectful,”
“lacking in character,” and “destructive people.” When asked for explanations, the
answers almost always had to do with their “carelessness” about their
language and identity. A
few participants, however
trally, explaining that it is a matter of “preference,” “easiness,” and “habit.” In the
in their online interactions. In general, however, the socially negative attitudes
xplained below. It should be noted that multilingual skills and practices are
it considered as a form of CS, which is generally viewed negatively in different
conference held in Alzarqa University and titled
The Arabic Language: A
Past and a Desired Future
of Arabic on digital media and ways to improve its presence and power online.
2012, another conference titled
using SA in everyday speec
h, such as the “Day without ‘Aamiyya” campaign in the
University of Ajman (UAE), which has been commended as a way “for breaking
2013). However, because of the
the role of SA in key formal domains, such as education and media, with the
hope that this step will reorient the Arab youth toward using SA. This was one
Arabic Language and Keeping up with the Modern Age
attended a conference titled
New Directions for Teaching Arabic as a
in Saudi Arabia. As the title suggests, the conference focused
Staeheli, 2004).
In her study of the acculturation patterns of thirty Arab immigrant
One focus of this chapter is the distribution of SA and QA on digital media.
In this study, comments made by F
acebookers on the Syrian Revolution page
were examined. This page has over nine hundred thousand subscribers, keeping
2014. Friday is usually the most eventful
acebook wall posts are provided on the Syrian
the ground, and therefore more comments from members are expected, espe
cially that Friday starts a weekend in the Arab region.
The total number of comments on 31 January
2014 was 2,993, ranging
75 words. All of these comments were cop
ied and pasted to a Word document. Out of these 2,993 comments, 885 were
In addition to the comments on the Faceb
examined the personal F
acebook pages of fifty subscribers to the Syrian Rev
olution Facebook page. The selection involved the authors of the chronologically
2014. Faceb
excluded for anonymity purposes. Also excluded were pages with no or very little
activity since the beginning of 2014. In what follows, I
outline the main
of SA, QA, and English, as they appear in the Facebook comments. Some of the
account to
systematic patterns of language use that seem to underlie particular
are not reported. Undeniably, some cases may not have special social functions.
Other languages
No. of words32,432
Moreover, the examples provided here are representative, rather than exhaustive,
Arabic script as they appeared on the Facebook pages to distinguish them from
point to differences
those found in the relevant literature for cross-referencing purposes. Linguistic
analysis followed the coding process and resulted in the findings below.
The data analysis shows that speakers use SA to: (1) highlight the importance
of a segment of discourse, (2) introduce direct speech, (3) produce rhyming
significant and worthy of attention. In (1), for example, the Facebooker introduces
تاخخفملا يدافت لجأ نم ةيجراخ
“Very important for publication
All Islamic factions and Free Syrian battalions have to form external
intelligence companies and sections to avoid car bombs and
formation of a full-power transitional government.”

“God answers the call of the oppressed: ‘Is not He Who answers the
Third, SA is employed when F
� و تومأ نأ ىشخأ
اهاسنأ مل ينيع اهفيط حربي مل
fear that I
But if I
And tell her how much I
How I
Tell her that her fragrance never abandoned
Her image never left my eye and I
“O God, The Lord of the lords, the mover of the clouds, the sender of the
Book, and defeater of the Confederates .
ourth, Facebookers deploy SA to theorize or preach. Here a Facebook
preacher. In most cases, the Facebooker would digress from the flow of an inter
action thread to provide a reflective monologue about certain events. Although
“objective” comment on how to deal with groups with different political and ideo
logical orientations, and in (8) it is used in a preaching comment on the meanings
of death and grief in the current events. The reliance on SA in this context may
be explained by the fact that using SA in the Arab sociolinguistic context often
نأ ةرورضلاب سيلف نيعم هجوت مهل سانلا نم ةنيعم ةعامج عم فلتخت نأ مرج �
ناهتم�ا دييأتب كتيناسنإ عم فلتخت نأ ةميرجلا نكلو ،مهفلاخت �أو مهقفاوت
ةعامجلا هذه دض ناسن�ا ةمارك
“It is not a crime to differ with a certain group of people who have a
اهلجأو اهقزر يفوتست ىتح سفن تومت نلو
ء�تب�ا متي ىتح نيكمتلا نوكي �
“There is no empowerment without test, and a soul will not die until it
consumes its provision and lifespan .
. We grieve over brothers, sons,
ticularly on the Facebookers’ personal pages, where the wall posts are predom
inantly in SA, with only a few posts rendered in English and even fewer in QA.
Marwick and Boyd (2011, p.
97) suggest that “P
ersonal homepages, arguably
the first multi-media online identity presentations, are highly managed and limited
in collaborative scope; people tend to present themselves in fixed, singular, and
self-conscious ways.” Similarly, Walker (2000) argues that “All home pages reveal
Revolution and in the personal pages of the Facebookers. SA is also associated
with self-representation, which characterizes the majority of the personal Face
book pages examined in this study. It should be noted that SA appeared mostly
in monologues and in one-to-many modes of communication, which is clearly the
case in wall posts and in the preaching and theorizing comments.
The functions of SA, as they appear in the Facebook comments, are qualitatively
different from those underlying QA use. The data indicates that speakers shift to
QA to (1) make sarcastic, often underhandedly offensive, remarks, (2) introduce
daily-life sayings, and (3) scold or insult. These types of uses occurred both in the
public and personal Facebook pages.
enables users to discuss offensive issues in an indirect way – a pattern that has
been reported in previous literature (Riegert
& Ramsay, 2012). In
(9), for example,
the Facebooker uses the word
sarcastically to criticize the symbolic aid
that Syria’s Friends are offering to the Opposition, which has not improved their
situation. In (10), the Facebook user invokes the inactivity of the Free Syrian
Army in the face of current escalations by the regime and Hezbollah militia. The
Facebooker criticizes this inactivity by wondering if it will be justified by state
ments similar to those made by the regime itself whenever its forces are attacked
by a foreign power, citing the regime’s common phrase “we reserve the right to
have nothing left to
say. As for Syria’s Friends, we are tired of your plastic soothers .
. which are
of no avail to silence our pains, and weeping, and hunger – like three-year
old children when we are in need for milk and food and a roof above our
Slur You are Friends, and this is what has happened to us .
. If you
were to be enemies, O my God, what would have happened. Thanks to God.
درلا قحب اوظفتحيبو نيعنامم نيرياص وش رحلا شيجلا نيو ] . . . [ نيو
Where is [name]? Where is the Free Syrian Army? Have you become
Also where are their financial capabilities of which we saw
“What use is the sword for someone who does not have courage!!!”
Finally, QA is employed for scolding or insulting, unless these verbal acts are
embedded in a prayer or supplication, which then can be either in SA or QA. It
Geneva 2 by going back to Geneva 1!!
progresses backward????? Explain it to us grammatically
May they be inflicted by the breaking of their necks
In general, QA is brought into use for low-prestige, accessible, everyday func
tions, which are associated with the status and role of QA in the Arabic sociolin
than SA in one-to-one communications, which appears occasionally in Face
bookers’ dialogues on wall posts by the Syrian Revolution page administrators,
and appear more clearly in users’ reactions to wall posts on personal pages. For
example, the interaction in (15) starts with a statement made mostly in SA. The
number of activities illustrating the involvement of Hama-city people in the Rev
olution. The poster of the first comment responds back in QA to reiterate his/her
claim, in a fashion similar to daily-life interactions.
تاراصتنا نوققحيو لاطباو ةروثلا عم ةامح فير لاقي قحلا
تعاض ,
نيرروس اوسيل مهنأكو ةروثلاب مهل ةق�ع� هنأكو
ةروثلا رزاجم لواو ندنع نم تعلط ةروثلا تارهاظم ربكاو ؟ نيفياخو ءانبج
لا تيسن نهيف تراص
User 1: “The people of Hama countryside are with the Revolution and heroes and
achieve victories. As for the people of the city, they are cowards and
though they have no relationship with the Revolution .
Manhood is lost.”
And after the 100 martyrs what happened. The men flew and became
In general, QA seems to be the preferred code in online dialogues that emu
late daily-life interactions, even when these interactions are written. The one-to-
one type of Facebook-based dialogues are similar to online chatting, which often
ments, however, are possibly closer to online blogs, which have been found to be
& Ramsay, 2012). T
interaction plays a role in language choice and language use online.
The use of English on the Facebook pages being examined seems to be moti
vated by three main factors. First, some Facebookers seem to lack functional
knowledge of the Arabic language. This is apparent, for example, in a number of
the Lord God bless good family and keep them,
A second group of
Facebookers use English because it seems easier or
& Ramsay, 2012; Y
aghan, 2008). This is evidenced by the fact that some of
the Facebookers use both English and English-scripted Arabic in several com
ments, as the two comments in (17a, b) show. The second sentence is interesting
because the Facebook user employs the QA word
“spit on,” which clearly
indicates that he/she is aware of the extreme offensiveness of the act of “spitting
b. TFOU [name]
”The third and the most important function of using English in F
acebook com
Facebooker uses English to make his humanitarian appeal reach as many Face
book users as possible. If the humanitarian organization that the comment poster
represents is based in Spain, as the comment suggests, the comment becomes
audience. The same applies to example (19), where the author of the comment
uses both English and Arabic to make the message reach as many people as
possible. Although the English comment is not written in perfect English, the
message is still clear to readers who are familiar with the Syrian situation. The
of the comments made to this posting were in English, as in (20) and (21). The
use of English here may also be a form of solidarity with the mother, assuming
that the Pakistani-born mother who is living in Britain could speak English.

To help our Syrian refugees who are suffering from cold and hunger you
. Anti air.
We need only Anti Air
.. to protect our children
Sorry mother for what happened to your son. We all are your sons.
with respect to the use of English in the data. The rst pattern concerns the
insertion of borrowed Arabic-scripted or Arabicized English words in some of the
posts and comments found on personal Facebook pages. As examples (22)
and (23) illustrate, words like virus, Facebook, YouTube, and Skype are fully inte
grated in the text. Some terms, such as
asked about my situation. I
ation of the
bombarded Syrians at the bakery in Hilfaaya .
. like the
situation of
the Syrians who are bombarded everywhere in Syria. It is true that I
was not b
ombarded, but my dreams and thoughts were bombarded. I
with blood. Face[b
ook] still asks me about my condition. Is it blind? Did not it see
importantly, God knows my condition? I
ask you my Lord a quic
k exit.”

under the name: changing the color of
All activists are requested to exercise caution.”
The second pattern concerns the use of mixed English-Arabizi comments,
which is the only case of bilingual CS found in the data. This pattern appeared
only in a few instances, and were characterized by the incorporation of religion
phrases in the English text (using Arabizi) or the dramatization of the comment by
incorporating culturally or contextually loaded terms. The religious-connotation
function is captured in examples (24) and (25), where the Facebookers employ
English throughout the comment, but then write religious phrases such as
ALLAHim “O God,”
[maša’a Allah] “what God willed,” and
“O Lord” in English-scripted Arabic. The second example employs the Arabic
“barrel,” referring to the exploding barrels thrown by the regime’s
is charged
with more dramatic meanings in the Syrian context; it is associated with death
and destruction, which is not the case with its English equivalent,
. The
consistent use of English script even in Arabic words and phrases maybe related
& Ramsay, 2012;
Yaghan, 2008).
(24) ALLAHim bless you ANGEL KIDS MasaALLAH
The findings indicate that SA and QA still have some distinctive functions when
used in social media. Thus, SA is used to (1) highlight the importance of a
segment of discourse, (2) introduce direct quotations, (3) produce rhyming
2 and 5). QA is employed to (1) to make sarcasm, (2) introduce daily-life
sayings, and (3) scold or insult. The patterns of QA use can be classified under
the constructs of
, which again reflect the sta
that the functions of SA and QA online overlap with some of their functions
offline (e.g., Albirini, 2011; Bassiouney, 2006; Haeri, 2000; Holes, 1993, 2004;
However, the picture becomes more complicated when we consider some of
the overlapping functions of SA and QA in online interactions especially when
we compare the patterns of language use in this chapter and those reported
in the previous chapter. Functions that are traditionally allocated exclusively to
SA (e.g., formulaic expressions) or exclusively to QA (e.g., joking) are expressed
in either SA or QA in online interactions. This is probably the main functional
& Al-Khalil,
2003; Riegert
& Ramsay
, 2012; Sakr, 2013;
& Hareb, 2012; Warsc
Syrians, who constitute the majority of the subscribers to this sociopolitically
tudes toward its use, which is another potential variable in the infrequent use of
English and Arabizi. The predominance of Arabic, in its SA and QA versions, may
further be explained by Syrians’ sense of attachment to their homeland, which, to
many Syrians, has been missed or is likely to be missed for an indefinite period
of time. Syrians index their sense of attachment to the homeland behaviorally by
The last potential explanation concerns the readership
of the personal Facebook pages. Facebook page owners who seek a wide read
ership and possibly social relationships from different Arab countries may choose
SA to encode their text because it is widely understood across the Arab region.
Finally, just as offline language use may lean more toward SA or QA, depend
by similar variability. As the examples above illustrate, some comments are ren
dered entirely in SA or entirely in QA, whereas others mix the two varieties both
intra-sententially and intersententially. However, as has been noted in Chapter
behavior offline. One of the main implications for electronically mediated commu
nication is the use of English in young Arabic speakers’ online interactions, which
5 indicates that the spread
of English has sparked debates in
Female participants were not included in this experiment because of cultural issues
was to re-pose the question in English.
Some of the respondents did not respond directly, saying for e
xample, “everything,” in
which case I
asked them for examples or illustrations.
In 2009, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (IC
recognized a new platform, which allows web addresses to be written in a number of
The exact meaning of this word is controversial, though it is generally understood to
A different paradigm
The previous chapters have focused mostly on speakers of Arabic who are born
and raised in the Arab region. The diglossic situation in which they live, as well
as the prevalent language attitudes and identity dynamics at play in their speech
communities, all generally influence the language behavior of these speakers.
Moreover, the speakers’ deployment of their linguistic repertoires in different
contexts and situations usually reflects the general trends of language use in
their communities. This chapter
explores just what patterns we e
xpect to see
in terms of language usage and the construction of attitudes and identity in
speakers of Arabic who are removed from the “diglossic” context, especially
when they do not operate in well-defined Arabic speech communities. To this
focuses on heritage Arabic speakers in the United States, i.e.,
cept of an Arab speech community are nonexistent.
Heritage speakers are children of immigrants who grew up speaking their
parents’ language at home and then shifted to a dominant language (English,
ers of the dominant language. The typical linguistic trajectory of these speakers
involves stable exposure to the heritage language in early childhood, extensive
use of English at school and with peers, and gradual attrition of their heritage
languages as they progress in age. In the case of heritage speakers of Arabic,
Sunday schools) or through other communication c
nels. Since the colloquial dialects of their parents are generally neither written
nor used in major media channels, heritage speakers have limited input in the
From an acquisition point of view, heritage speakers are different from mono
under reduced input conditions (Albirini, 2014b). Their heritage language devel
they have another
Benmamoun, 2014a; Rouchdy
, 2013). As speakers of Arabic, however, heritage
ficiency. Many heritage speakers may still have attachments to the Arabic lan
culture and heritage. With such a complex array of influences
– both in c
and identity construction and also coming from the environment
– it is
to examine language use by speakers who live in contexts where some of the
state of affairs in Arab
communities in the USA, although most of the patterns
much of the e
xisting literature focuses on this speech community, whereas not
sociolinguistic research
has been done on heritage Arabic speakers, say, in
Africa, South America, or South Asia. Wherever relevant, however, I
explain sup
porting evidence from other heritage speech communities, particularly in Europe
(see Boumans
& de Ruiter

millions of Africans were enslaved and transported from A
frica to
the “New World.” These slaves formed the main workforce on plantations and other
& Forbes, 2004). T
scholar from Senegal who was transported to North America and forced into
slavery in the eighteenth century, wrote the earliest available document of Arabic
In his manuscript, Omar Ibn Said records in Arabic his
own autobiography as a slave (Osman
& Forbes, 2004). Although only a f
ew other
documents survived from this historical period, the use of the Arabic language by
Omar Ibn Said is an indication that Arabic may have been used by other African
slaves at least for religious purposes. The extent to which Arabic was used as a
written or oral language, however, remains largely unclear. Unfortunately, histori
knowledge of Arabic in their children. This phase in Arab-American history is also
a 100% jump in just two decades (the number was 610,000 in 198
0). The
US Census Bureau indicates that 68% of individuals who are above fifteen and
The fourth wave of immigration took place after 2001. The most notable
source of migration was Iraq (Rouchdy, 2013). These immigrants are generally
less educated and less versed with English than their predecessors. However,
the flow of Arab immigrants from other Arab countries, such as Egypt, Morocco,
& Christian, 2003). The diversity in the bac
and language experiences of Arab immigrants makes the Arab population in
In the past two decades or so, much scholarly and public attention has
in heritage languages in general is the need to exploit the valuable resources
high proficiency in languages other than English (ACTFL, 2002; Allen, 2007).
resource for national development are responsible for establishing a number of
bilingual and immersion schools in a number of major cities, such as New York,
While the literature on heritage communities seems to be growing rapidly
Bos, 199
7; Boumans, 2006; El Aissati, 1996), more and more studies are focus
ing on the sociolinguistic experiences of these speakers, including their language
Abu-Haidar, 2002; Albirini, 2014b; Almubayei,
& de Ruiter, 2002; K
enny, 2002; Martin, 2009; Othman, 2006;
& Tent, 200
8; Seymour-Jorn, 2004). These areas are the focus of the
behavior of heritage speakers: speech community and diglossic context. From a

As humans, we are born with some ability to acquire language, and we are also
situated in contexts that provide the framework for our language use and inter
action with others. Context is defined by such immediate situational elements
tices (Eckert, 2000; Fairclough, 1989; Fowler, 1985; Goodwin, 2003; Hall, 1996;
Rampton, 1995). Schegloff (1992, p.
distal context, on one hand, and discourse or proximal context, on the other. The
former type of context reflects the different social orders in a speech community
195). The
type situates utterances in their immediate context in discourse. According
to Schegloff, both forms of context are needed to understand language use and
language behavior in general. Since the dimensions of context are not uniform
cross-culturally, the uses to which language is put may be realized differently in
different sociocultural contexts.
Edwards (1992, p.
context in is defined by several factors, whic
psychology (attitudes toward the language by the speakers and by the
These factors are relevant for understanding the general situation of Arabic as a
roles in response to situational and functional factors. Although some speakers
of Arabic may not be able to use SA in their everyday speech, the majority can
understand SA when it is used in political discourse, in print, in news reports,
in academic lectures, and in religious speeches. Moreover, they are often able
below about identity).
speakers of languages other than English (Canagarajah, 2008; Mucherah, 2008;
Ovando, Collier,
& Combs, 2006). T
he English-Only movement, whose aim is
to preserve the monolingual character of the United States, is one representa
tion of this general attitude against bilingualism. The discriminatory views toward
– which are widely documented in the
– affect their social identities (Abdelhady
, 2014; Wingfield, 2006). The
general attitude of prejudice constitutes part of the context in which heritage
speakers live and within which they have to compromise their language behavior,
The fact that the sociolinguistic milieu affords no place for the heritage lan
guage in the public sphere may explain why many heritage speakers of Arabic,
(Martin, 2009). Pursuit of economic and educational success may be a factor,
(1999) found that 75% of all Arab Americans speak English “very well,” and
the majority of them use it extensively both inside and outside their homes. This
Sunday schools) or through informal
xcept possibly for reading printed texts (e.g.,
the Qur’an). This
& Benmamoun, 2014a; Shiri, 2010). However, because they are
removed from the diglossic conte
xt of SA and QA and the functionality of these
Speech communities are the framework within which language use, language
practices and beliefs among the community members.
Speech communities
serve as both a framework for language use and a source of language input for
speakers. It has been suggested that a speech community supports the stability
ties to practice linguistic and pragmatic norms (Köpke, 2007; Sharwood Smith
van Buren, 1991). According to Gumperz (19
72, p.
219), a speech community is
regular interaction develop a shared language
usage.” Ferguson (1996, pp.
54–55) defines a speech community as “a social
1), speech
communities refer to “groups that share values and
even individual patterns “show systematic regularities at the level of social facts.”
1) argues that a speech community may be ill-defined in cases of “constant relo
cations, mass migration, transmigration, ever-evolving technology and globalization.”
39) considers the “internal
cohesion” among members of a social group as an important consider
ation in the development of a speech community.
The third and last reason for the relevance of the concept of speech commu
nity to understanding heritage Arabic speakers in the US is the powerful impact
that the prevailing negative feelings toward Arabs have on heritage speakers’
attitudes toward their heritage language. Heritage speakers react differently to
these negative feelings, with some interested in linguistic and cultural assimila
Likewise, heritage speakers have multiple identities based on their different
associations and connections in the Arab World and the United States (Albirini,
2014b; Bale, 2010; Martin, 2009). These divergent attitudes and identities play
a critical role in how heritage speakers approach Arabic and how they use it in
their daily lives. According to Labov (1972, p.120) socioaffective factors, includ
what distinguish different speech communities. Similarly, Morgan (2014) argues
that language combines members of a speech community not only symbolically
but ideologically as well. This means that these attitudinal and ideological orien
tations have an impact on the formation and exact delineation of a speech com
munity. When these attitudes and identities are ambivalent, speech communities
also want their children to acquire Arabic because of their affiliation with the
faith. A
second group of
parents seeks for their children to learn the Ara
traditions of the parents’ home countries. Third, some parents view their children’s
attendance of Sunday school as means of building bridges among Arab children

Language loss and maintenance are generally discussed in relation to a number
of related sociolinguistic phenomena, such as language shift, language death, lan
guage dominance, and language obsolescence (Fase, Jaspaert,
& Kroon, 19
Sociolinguistic studies have used specific terms depending on the population,
language, and context in which these phenomena occur. In minority–majority
language contact situations, such as the Arabic–English situation in the United
States, language loss and maintenance are widely used in describing the situation
of the minority language in relation to the majority language. According to Fase
and his colleagues (1992, p.
4), language loss refers to “c
hanges in language
According to Clyne (1992), c
different areas of language loss among heritage speakers of Arabic. In terms of
or example, using data
from elicited narratives in the colloquial Egyptian and Palestinian dialects, Albirini,
overt pronominals in sentences that pragmatically prefer the pro-drop strategies,
EG remembering.f what they
the-three that asked.3SM
Benmamoun, 2014a, p. 266)
na bi-l-
“We are in the space science [class] this semester” (Albirini
Benmamoun, 2014a, p. 262)

& Benmamoun, 2015, p. 482)
In terms of morphology, heritage speakers are reported to have major prob
al., 2014; El Aissati, 199
6). For example,
is ħamiir]).With respect to the lexicon it has been reported that heritage speakers have
notable lexical gaps, as well as difficulties in lexical selection and subcategoriza
99.78% for monolingual Arabic speakers. Likewise, heritage speakers show
al., 2011), as examples (4), (5), and (6) demonstrate. In e
before the dual noun, which is not
in the singular form. In (5), the speaker uses the preposition
“to” after transitive
“marry.” This could also be a case of transfer from English, which
allows the use of a preposition after the verb in this context (i.e., “be married to”).
sion, rather than the more specific meaning of possession of things carried on at
the time of speech.
2011, p. 289)
marry.3SM to-Jasmine
speakers of Arabic in subtle ways. For example, Khattab (2002) showed that chil
– strategies that have also been reported in the
92). This subtle form of loss has
been verified in the language of heritage speakers of Arabic. For example, Albirini
al. (2011) report that Egyptian heritage speakers overuse the SV
O word order
even in contexts where VSO is preferred, possibly because the former is common in
English and/or is syntactically simpler than the latter. In verbal sentences, heritage
speakers tend to overuse participial forms instead of inflected verbal forms, which
may reflect a tendency to use lexical items that are morphologically simpler. In a
study on agreement morphology, Albirini, Benmamoun, and Chakrani (2013) found
that heritage speakers extended the default and morphologically simple agree
ment paradigms of the sound masculine to other agreement paradigms. Likewise,
Benmamoun, Albirini, Montrul, and Saadah (2014) found that heritage speakers of
Arabic deploy the unmarked feminine suffixal plural as the default pattern, a find
ing that a number of researchers have reported in language by monolingual Arab
children (e.g.,
Albirini, 2015; Omar, 19
73; Ravid
& Farah, 19
While the existing studies focus mainly on
language loss and the different social and affective factors that contribute to this
process. However, as Fase and his colleagues (1992) note, this area is difficult to
document because language loss is a slow process. What is important, however,
Allam, 200
6; Martin, 2009; Reischild
& Tent,
2008; Rouchdy, 1992, 2013; Seh
& Tent, 200
8; Rouchdy, 2013).

Language dominance transpires distinctly in different sociolinguistic contexts.
Ferguson (1996) identifies three main indicators of language dominance in
countries where two or more languages are well-established in the speech com
munity. First, dominant languages are spoken by “more than half of the population
of the country” (p.
270). A
second benc
hmark is the extent to which a certain
language is learned by speakers of other languages in a given country. A
benchmark is the e
xtent to which a given language is used in official domains or
for national purposes, such as laws, government schools, and official texts. In the
literature on heritage speakers, language dominance refers to cases in which a
bilingual speaker has greater proficiency and fluency in, as well as accessibility
guage contact situations, the typical pattern of bilingualism is that of unbalanced
in the case of majority–minority language situations, where heritage speakers are
the overextension
of forms,
in another language. The influence of the dominant language becomes progres
minority language and the extensive reliance on the dominant language (Domín
guez, 2009; Pavlenko
& Jarvis, 2002). The eff
ects of interference may take dif
ferent forms, including simplification, overregularization, borrowing, avoidance,
& Hulk, 2006; Klee, 19
96; Montrul, 2004; Montrul
& Bowles, 2009;
& Ionin, 2010; Pavlenko, 2004; P
olinsky, 1997, 2008; Rothman, 2007;
Rouchdy, 1992, 2013; Schmid, 2002; Seliger
& Vago, 19
Language interference has been widely documented in the literature on heri
tage speakers of Arabic. For example, Albirini and Benmamoun (2014a) examined
four linguistic areas in three oral narratives collected from Egyptian and Palestin
ian heritage speakers in the United States: plural and dual morphology, posses
sive constructions, and restrictive relative clauses. The focus was mainly on how
the dominant language (English) influences the structure and use of these areas
in connected discourse. The findings suggest that interference effects appear in
forms that are marked (e.g.
broken plurals), infrequent (duals), or
characterized by
processing difficulty (e.g., dependencies in relative clauses). In example (7), the
“girls,” thus
producing a structure equivalent to the English phrase
. In (8), however,
“the building.” This sequence
. The construction of both sen
“She has two girls.” (Albirini & Benmamoun, 2014a, p. 258)
many of
“Many of my friends live in the building in which I
live now.
Similar findings were reported in a number of other studies. For example, El
“The lion whic
kisses is hitting the bear”). The findings indicate that the heritage speakers were
less accurate than their monolingual peers in terms of VSO sentences, but not
SVO sentences. Moreover, they performed best with sentences where the head
monolingual counterparts performed best with sentences in which the main noun
an oral narrative procedure, Boumans (2006) compared Moroccan immigrants

usage regards the frequency with which they switch to English and to a lesser
al., 2011; Nortier, 19
90; Othman, 2006;
Rouchdy, 2013). In this respect, they may look like native speakers, who often
& Polinsky
, 2010). This is important if we consider
Myers-Scotton, 19
CS may take different forms. Muysken (2000) identifies three patterns of
CS that are common in the speech of bilinguals: insertion, alternation, and con
gruent lexicalization. In the insertion pattern, mixed sentences are built on the
grammatical structure of one language into which are integrated elements from
tern, both languages contribute to mixed sentences, each preserving its own
structure. In the congruent lexicalization pattern, “the grammatical structure is
and B, and words from both languages are inserted more
8). These patterns do not usually have
presence or proportion in bilinguals’ output. The existing studies show
that insertion and, to a lesser extent, alternation are the dominant patterns of CS
Othman, 2006). Strikingly
to use QA as the matrix language and embed elements from English or SA into
particularly nouns, verbs, and adjectives (Albirini, 2014b; Othman, 2006). Like
ents from QA or SA accurately. Examples (9) through (12) illustrate cases of CS
visit my family in Cleveland, but not frequently.” (Albirini, 2014b, p. 744)
“They live in the suburbs of Chicago.” (Albirini, 2014b, p. 744)
The most important thing in this the-
“The most important thing in this major is that I
like it.” (Albirini, 2014b,
“the,” is used before
into their Arabic sentences, which may reflect their knowledge of the underlying
structure of their heritage language system. The same applies to the last exam
Standard Arabic
“sisters,” instead of the corresponding dialectal forms
almost exclusively in SA, namely, Seif
“two summers.” The shift to SA (as well
as English) is largely triggered by the need to find substitutes for the appropri
ind-i talaata
have three sisters.” (Albirini

“We travel to Egypt every summer or every two summers [every other
summer].” (Albirini
larger constituent (Muysken, 2000). Alternation appears clearly in examples (15)
Thus, despite their loss of certain features of Arabic, heritage speakers generally

illat kitira
“There are not many shops here around my place.” (Othman, 2006, p. 50)

man, 200
63) found that “the informants’ reliance on switching
that, although CS occurs along with changes in the topic, it does not often have
clear “communicative functions.” This stands in contrast to native speakers of
counter processing delays resulting from complex structures, or simply because
religion), the direction of the switching is not always pre
dictable. For example, Othman (2006) cites the following example, in which he
contends that words related to religion are often rendered in English. However,
previous studies on heritage children suggest that words related to religion are
often delivered in QA (Al-Enazi, 2002). To reconcile these two accounts, one has
in the Qur’an,” and
“pilgrimage”) and family expressions
“grandpa,” and
“father”) with QA, whereas she reserves English
& Siler, 2012, p.
notice how the author uses the two codes (Arabic and English) to express
in terms of voice and the cultural lenses through which the text should
be understood. For them, the use of code-mixing in the novel allows Jarrar to
depict herself as an example of a heritage speaker who dwells on the borderline
obtain opportunities for learning proper language use in different contexts. Sec
ond, although manifestations of language loss are widely documented among
heritage speakers of Arabic, they are not likely to lose their heritage language
– still use Arabic
in religious and social gatherings, even though on a
– another
hindrance to com

particular language in a given speech community is the attitude of its speakers
(Baker, 1992; Fishman, 1991; Wilson, 2013). Valdés (1992, p.
, one may expect Arab parents to adopt the
language-as-a-problem approach to the acquisition and use of Arabic by their
children, as has been shown in studies of parental attitudes toward other heri
tage languages (Canagarajah, 2008; Mucherah, 2008). One would also expect
connects heritage speakers to their parents’ culture, tradition, and history.
example, Martin (2009) explored the language practices and attitudes of
the development of positive attitudes toward “home-learned” languages. Kenny
(1992) explored the attitudes of twenty-eight high school students in Dearborn
toward Arabic. The students were taking classes in SA at the time of the study.
The students’ responses to a questionnaire revealed favorable attitudes toward
learning Arabic to read religious texts, learn more about their culture and litera
ture, and communicate with family and community members. Qawasmeh (2011)
used a questionnaire to investigate the attitudes of seventy Muslim Arabs in
Vancouver toward Arabic. She also examined the participants’ use of the lan
guage. The researcher reported that the participants used Arabic (along with
English) in various domains, thus reflecting the notable vitality of Arabic in the
social life of the community. The researcher attributes this language vitality to
the participants’ sense of pride in their Arab identity, positive attitudes toward
Arabic, and regular use of the language in social and religious realms built on
Albirini (2014b) examined the attitudes of forty heritage speakers (twenty
Egyptians and twenty Palestinians) toward Arabic, particularly in terms of their
perceptions of the beauty, usefulness, and importance of Arabic as well as their
desire to use it and pass it on to their children. Elicited narratives were used for
although some held a more favorable opinion of SA because of its association
with education, literacy, religion, and Arab media. While some of the interviewees
related SA to the ability to read Arabic, particularly media and religious books,
others simply replicated the common arguments used in the Arab World about
the value of SA, as the following interview excerpt indicates:
To me, Fu
. It’s taught at schools and universities.
. So I
feel like
. Fu
used in important social spheres. I’m not sure if ‘Aaamiyya can be used
Since many
heritage speakers may have had limited opportunities for SA
exposure and use in context, their attitudes toward SA and QA may simply reflect
those of their families and immigrant communities. Their views of the importance
and prestige of SA may explain why most of them attend SA classes. When
attempts are made to teach QA classes (even in their dialects), most of them
would not take these classes, notwithstanding their limited proficiency in these
dialects. Another explanation for these positive attitudes concerns the relation
& Colyle, 2010; Rosowsky, 200
Throughout the history of the United States, language ideologies and language
number of federal and state initiatives, suc
states, have aimed to exclude minority language instruction from public schools.
Lobby groups, such as English First and US English, have been actively involved
in promoting English-only legislations at the federal and state levels (Crawford,
2000). The English-Only movement has been successful in curtailing the use of
ism in several social domains. The major thrust behind the English-Only move
In the early waves of Arab immigration, Arab Americans and their children
lation into American culture, but also because not much
the social
life of this group because “it had no religious or nationalistic value for
these Lebanese.” Similarly, in his study of Maronite Lebanese Arabs, Ahdab-Yehia
suggests, “It
[SA] is a language from which members of the different speech
” When the Muslim identity is evoked,
have the same religious significance (Ahdab-Yehia, 1983; Dweik, 1997; Stiffler,
2010). This suggests that religious identity plays a role in language perception
& Kagan, 2011). As the e
xisting studies indicate, the majority of
these students take Arabic for reasons related to their Arab identity and heritage
(Kenny, 1992; Rouchdy, 1992, 2013; Seymour-Jorn, 2004). Community-based
studies also show that both parents and children view Arabic as an essential
component of their home culture and historical roots, and of their Arab identity
(Albirini, 2014b; Almubayei, 2007; Bitar, 2009; Gogonas, 2011; Gomaa, 2011).
undergone dissimilar sociopolitical experience in recent history
found that Palestinian heritage speakers show greater commitment to the Arabic
identity, heritage, and history, which explains their keenness to acquire it and to
pass it on to their children. This may have to do with the continuous influx of
Palestinians to the United States through family connections. It may also relate to
encounter as a displaced group in a dominant culture. Bitar (2009) found that
112). The participants, however, were
concerned that total immersion in English would lead to indifference or disin
.” Albirini (2014b) asked his Egyptian
al., 2011). However, b
language proficiencies, language use, and language maintenance? The litera
This chapter
examined language use, language attitudes, and identity dynam
ics in a population that speaks Arabic, but is removed from the Arabic diglossic
context and the Arab speec
h community and is situated in a context where
the distribution and functions of SA and QA are not materialized in everyday
communication. This situation results in language loss and attrition among
h is reflected in gaps in grammar, language
of worship for nearly two
billion Muslims. More importantly, Arabic is e
and Islamic identities. This socioaffective factor is responsible for the increasing
number of media and community programs in Arabic, which provide a source of
maintaining their language. The continued use of Arabic by heritage speakers
shows that language attitudes and identity feelings are critical for the mainte
The well-known Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori also wrote in Arabic. The earliest doc
African-American English).
A number of researchers (e.g.,
Coupland, 2007; Ec
speech community
Very few studies have
examined heritage speakers’ knowledge of SA. For example,
Albirini (2014c) examined the knowledge that heritage speakers of Arabic in ele
mentary SA classrooms possess with respect to sentential negation in SA. The sub
predicates as well as existential constructions). The study showed that these speakers
were able to negate these different constructions in only 23.55% of the cases.
The term “unbalanced bilingualism” applies to the majority of heritage speakers, who
have at
least basic knowledge of Arabic as well as English. Heritage speakers who do
Undoubtedly, there are some exceptions, but the focus here is on general trends.
nature of American political and linguistic ideologies. These conservative viewpoints
xisted with another, possibly more common, thrust toward toler
ance and respect for cultural diversity.
The book has focused on the subjects of diglossia, language attitudes, social
identities, variation, and codeswitching and their individual and combined impact
operate in a social vacuum, the book has also examined their relationships to
key aspects of the Arabic sociolinguistic situation, such as language prestige,
language policies, language standardization, and so on. The discussions on these
various topics highlight a number of sociolinguistic patterns, some of which are
taking shape as a result of larger social, political, and economic changes in Arab
tic patterns and, whenever applicable, points to potential areas of researc
h to
address the current gaps in these areas.

The most distinctive feature of the Arabic sociolinguistic situation is diglossia,
which has continued to influence language use in the Arab context for cen
turies. Diglossia is represented by the coexistence of two codes
– Standard
Arabic and Colloquial Arabic
– each
conferred a different status and assigned
different roles. While the contextual representation of diglossia negates the
Hassunah-Arafat, 2010). The argument against the use of SA in education raises
abilities) and scholastic ac
hievement and how is this relationship different
What is the impact of QA on the formal acquisition of SA at school?
How do inside and outside school practices and variables influence the
acquisition of SA and how do they impact scholastic attainment?
holastic achievement among Arab
sociocontextual and socioaffective factors. Among the factors that are indispens
underused SA as a living language in the Arab context. Similarly, language atti
tudes are involved in defining the status of QA as the Low code, its exclusion from
opposite directions; one is the direction of pan-Arab identity, which is represented
by SA, while another is moving in the direction of state-based identities, which is
it marks divergent local and state-based identities. The identity–language bond

While the above patterns exhibit the durability of a number of sociolinguistic
trends for decades now, there emerge new patterns that reflect recent changes
for Arabic speakers. This postulation takes insights from language acquisition
research, where order of acquisition becomes critical in defining the mother
SA takes place at school. This line of reasoning has recently been challenged by
empirical data, which attest Arab children’s ability to understand and speak SA at
an early stage of their language development (Aram, Korat,
2013; Haeri, 2000; Sabir
al., 2011). The c
exposure to
SA through different communication channels, such as children’s cartoons, chil
dren’s stories, religious speeches, Qur’anic recitations, news reports, and other
oral and written forms of discourse. The book also highlights the need to imple
ment sociolinguistic criteria for defining the concept of mother tongue, which
ought to be based on such issues as representation, identity, and localness. The
Arabic speakers who see SA as a main marker of their Arab identities or explicitly
A second emergent pattern concerns the changing attitudes toward
English, which had traditionally been perceived as an “intruding” language in
online communications (Bishr, 2007; Khalil, 2005; Shaaban
2003; Siraaj, 2013). English–Arabic codeswitching is gaining popularity in every
day face-to-face speech as well as on online interactions. The attitudinal and
behavioral “adoption” of English stems from its indexicality of modernity, edu
cation, and technical sophistication and also from pragmatic necessities, given
its status as the international language of science, technology, and business. In
Bourdieuan terms (Bourdieu, 1977), the adoption of English by the Arab youth is
and internationally. Although the majority of Arab youth still see SA as a marker
part of their emulation of a broader sociocultural model. This attitude is trans
lated culturally by adopting Western lifestyles and linguistically through acquiring
English. Like English, French is still associated with modernity and technology in
the Maghreb countries. However, French is generally conceived as a colonially
imposed language and therefore it receives less favorable attitudes. This partly
explains the slowly receding role of French in the Maghreb countries in compar
ison to English (Battenburg, 2006; Bentahila
& Davies, 1995; Chakrani, 2010).
to SA among the Arab youth, which also reflects the diminishing role of SA as
a spoken language across the Arab region. This may explain why intellectual
supported by
state-based nationalisms, religious secticisms, and the politics of
their heritage
language and to use it in communication within their families, com
respect to Arab and Muslim Americans, which has raised their awareness of their
roots and enhanced their attitudes toward Arabic. This shows that language use
is intricately related to language attitudes and identity feelings. The relationship
7). The Moroccan participants surpassed their Egyptian, Jordanian,
The study reported in Chapter
– as the
dialectal lingua franca in the Arab region
– and a
sense of Egyptian identity are potentially less strong. Similarly, the Jordanian stu
for the decline in their mastery of SA, compared to the Jordanian professors. It is
again doubtful that this trend has to do with differences in the level of education;
which is not the case. These changes are gradually becoming part of the current

It is difficult to predict the progression of the Arabic sociolinguistic situation due
to the sociopolitical volatility of the Arab region. However, if we project the future
sociolinguistic trajectory as an extension of existing trends in the Arab region,
sia to multilingualism as a result of the growing reliance on English in business,
technology, and science, the widespread use of English in digital communica
tion, and the incorporation of many English words in everyday interactions. Just
as French became part of the Maghreb sociolinguistic scene largely by military
force, English may as well become part of the broader Arabic sociolinguistic land
& Tuc
ker, 1975; Haeri, 2000) mainly
because of its presumed difficulty and its distance from their daily language use.
SA possibly because they see little need to use it in their personal and profes
is overemphasized, which may make
& Sabbah, 2008; Bianchi, 2013;
& al Khalil, 2003; Salia, 2011; Warsc
2002). This trend is e
the international arena and in the Arab region in particular. However, as indicated
above, how likely these developments are to occur hinges on other sociopolitical
developments in the volatile Arab region. The recent efforts on the part of many
mixing Arabic and English in a number of contexts. Again, this requires working
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The following questionnaire is a part of a study that aims to understand the Arab
Code: Don’t write here2. Date:3. Country of origin:
Monthly average household income in your country’s currency:
What languages do you speak?
The official language in the
I wish Arabs can converse in
The language that we need
Religion should be discussed
The language of business
The language(s) that I
If I
chance to learn one
have chosen
I prefer reading b
The language of media
The language of education
from elementary school to
11.When at work, government
12.The language that I
14.The language that relates
15.People who want to appear
16.The best language for
technology is
To obtain a good job, I
to master
18.The language(s) rich in
expression is/are
19.People who want to appear
20.The language that is most
useful for my daily life is
21.The language(s) that impacts
22.The language that is most
useful for my professional
life is
23.Educated Arab people
25.The majority of the music
26.Most of the websites that
The books that I
29.Most of the TV c
watch are in
0.When I
text someone, I
am with family,
watch are in
that I
do not know, I
would try to master, it
Indicate the language(s) that you will use in each of the following cases by filling in the
With family members at
With friends and
With a waiter in a
To write or narrate a folk
With colleagues at work
In a radio soap opera
To do a news report
political speech
11.If you were to give a
12.To deliver a poem
14.To joke
15.To scold or insult
16.To introduce daily-life
hat about unimportant
18.To simplify an idea or
exemplify it through real-life
19.To discuss an important
22.To indicate your pan-Arab
23.To emphasize the
24.To cite someone literally
Formality or official status
Power or authority
Please indicate your reaction to each of the following statements by circling the
customs, such as dress and
I like to learn more about
composed of Arabs.4
I enjoy being around people
cultural practices, such as
I do not feel a strong
hment to the Arab land.4
10.I prefer to befriend people
12.The Arabic culture is not
relevant to my personal life.4
each of the following languages by circling the
FluentVery goodGoodFairPoorNone
each of the following languages by circling the
FluentVery goodGoodFairPoorNone
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Semi-structured interview: Arabic
؟ملكتت ةيبرعلا نم عون يأ 
؟اذامل ؟م�ا كتغل يه ام 
؟اذامل( ؟كل ةبسنلاب ةلضفملا ةيبرعلا ةجهللا يه ام 
؟كل ةبسنلاب ةيبرع ةجهل بعصأ يه ام 
؟ كل ةبسنلاب ةيبرع ةجهل لهسأ يه ام 
؟فيك( ؟كيأرب ىحصفلل ةجهل برقأ يه ام 
؟اذامل( ؟ 
؟ةينيدلا بطخلا يف ةيماعلاب ىحصفلا نوجزمي نيذلا سانلاب كيأر ام 
؟يمويلا مهثيدح يف ةيماعلاب ىحصفلا نوجزمي نيذلا سانلاب كيأر ام 
؟برعلا ضعب لبق نم ةيزيلكن�ا ةغللا مادختساب كيأر ام 
؟برعلا ضعب لبق نم ةيسنرفلا ةغللا مادختساب كيأر ام 
؟كل ةبسنلاب ىحصفلا لثمت اذام 
؟كل ةبسنلاب ةجرادلا/ةيماعلا لثمت اذام 
؟كل ةبسنلاب ةيزيلكن�ا ةغللا لثمت اذام 
؟يبرعك كتيوه لثمت يللا ةجهللا وأ ةغللا يه ام 
؟يدوعس/يبرغم/يندرأ/يرصمك كتيوه لثمت يللا ةجهللا وأ ةغللا يه ام 
؟ماع لكشب كتيوه لثمت يللا ةجهللا وأ ةغللا يه ام 
؟ميلعتلا يف ةيماعلا ينبتل ةوعدلاب كيأر ام 
�دب ةيماعلا مادختس� ةوعدلاب كيأر ام
؟ةيماعلا تاجهلل دعاوقو ةئجهت طباوض 
ايأ وأ تنرتن�ا مدختست له 
؟يزيبرعلا مدختست له 
What form of Arabic do you speak?
What is your mother tongue? (Why?)*
In general, which do you prefer or like more: Al-F
a or Al-‘Aamiyya?
What is your favorite Arabic colloquial dialect? (Why?)
What is the most difficult Arabic dialect to
What is the easiest Arabic dialect to
What is the dialect closest to Al-Fu
Do you see any problem in the existence of Al-Fu
a or Al-‘Aamiyya
If we were to replace Al-Fu
a with one of the colloquial dialects, which
one would you personally choose?
What is your opinion of the spread of English in the Egyptian/Jordanian/
What do you think of people who mix Al-Fu
a and Al-‘Aamiyya in
religious speeches?
What do you think of people who mix Al-Fu
a and Al-‘Aamiyya in political
What do you think of people who mix Al-Fu
a and Al-‘Aamiyya in
What do you think of the use of English by some Arabic speakers?
What do you think of the use of Frenc
What does Al-Fu
What does Al-‘Aamiyya represent for
What does English represent to
Which language or dialect represents your identity as an
Which language or dialect represents your identity as an Egyptian/
Which language or dialect represents your identity in general?
To what extent do you use Al-F
a, Al-‘Aamiyya, and English? (When and
What do you think of the Arabicization policy in Egypt/Jordan/Morocco/
What do you think of the call for adopting Al-‘Aamiyya in education?
What do you think of the call for using Al-‘Aamiyya instead of Al-Fu
for Al-‘Aamiyya?
What language or languages do you use in communicating with others on
What do you think of Arabizi and of the people who use it online?
Interview and narrative
] explanation added for clarification of meaning
Prolonged sounds and syllables and silent pauses are not represented in the
] explanation added for clarification of meaning
Prolonged sounds and syllables and silent pauses are not represented in the
عم مويلا اهايحن يتلا ةايحلل رخ�ا هجولا .
.ةروص يه توملا دعب ةايحلا نأ روصتأ
رايعملا امه صاصقلاو .
. ة
لادعلا نأ ثيح ،ةلادعلا موهفم دوجو يف ف�تخ�ا
ةيادب يه توملا دعب ةايحلا
نأو .
. تو
ملا دعب ةايحلا يف رشبلا عيمج هيف ىواستت يذلا
لب .
. ر
يدقت لقأ ىلع يرظن ةهجو نم .
. سا
نلا نم ريثكلا دقتعي امك ةياهن تسيلو
روصتأ انايحأ يننأ ثيح نم .
. كل
ذ نم دعبأ وه ام ىلإ يتعانقو يتفسلفو يريكفتب بهذي
شيعي فوس انم دحاو لك شيعن فوس نأ موهفم نم .
. ة
يادب يه توملا دعب ةايحلا نأ
. ة
يناث راودأب موقنس .
. ىر
خأ تاوذ يف ىرخأ لاكشأ يف .
. ل
كش يف ىرخأ ةايح
ىلع .
. ىر
خأ .
. ى
لع تاويح يف انأ تنك فيك ..ةركفب يرظن ةهجو يف طبترم اذه
نوكأ امبر يتايح تارتف نم ةرتف يف خيرملا يف نئاك نوكأ امبر .
. ضر�ا
روصتأ انايحأ انه نمو ..روصعلا ربع يل هابشأ كانه امئاد
نأو رخآ بكوك يف رخآ نئاك
رصعلا وأ ةلكاش يأ ىلع يكولمملا رصعلا يف ول .
. ي
سفن ىرأ وأ .
. ت
نك اذام ركفأو
يسفنلا ينيوكت مكحب .
. ةر
تف يأ يف .
. ي
سلدن�ا رصعلا وأ يمطافلا رصعلا وأ ينامثعلا
قلطنملا اذه نم .
. تا
يوهلا نم ةيوه يأ ىلعو ةروص يأ ىلع يسفن دجأس .
. ن
م .
تاروصت ن
وكنب ام ردقب ة
يبيغ تسيل يه توملا دعب ةايحلا نأ روصتأ موهفملا اذه نم .
اذامو اهنع
نأو ..ةل�دلا ملعب ىمسي
.يل ثدحي يذلا ثدحلا
.نيدلا نع
. عرق�ا نابعثلاب
.انأ نإ ةيفيك ،� ىرأ يننأ
خ قرشلا نأ لوقن نأ نكمي � اننأ ىنعمب
.رامعتس�ا نم ىهتنا امل ةيطارقوميدلا
اذإ برغلا موهمف .برغلا وه ةدحتملا مم�ا ريسي يذلا
.يف ةناكم قرشلل له وه ن�ا حورطملا لاكش�ا
ةلودلا موقت نأ يف ةيح�صلا ةمدقتملا لودللو ةمدقتم ريغ وأ ةمدقتم ةلود هذه
نأ ديدحتل
.[ ةيتامجرب ةقيقحلا يف ميهافم هذهو .ةمدقتملا
.نأ ينعي اذه نذإ
.تاناويحلا كلم دس�ا نع
.رتكأ يه لودلا ضعب لعجت يتلاو ديلاقتلاو
.انيف مكحتت اهلك ةيراضح لماوع كانهو ةينيد
. ةايحلا ىلإ لصي فيك ىرخأ
.[ كن� اذامل فعضأ
نإ لوقت امئاد ىرخأ لود هافرو كدلب هافر نع سانلا بساحت نيح
اذإ .ىرخ�ا لودلا باسح ىلع تناك اذإ �إ ةمدقتملا
.موهفم ةيطارقوميدلا مدعو ةيطارقوميدلا
.ـلا بحأ � ايصخش انأ ةقيقحلا يف
. ايركف وأ ايلام ناك نإ رظنلا ضغب ينديفيو ينمهي
. ةريبك ةكرش كلمي يبأف تابوتب�لا اصوصخ
. تابوتب�لا هذه يف رجاتأ تقولا اذه يف
. ةبقعلا يف ناترم
اذه لقنلف ينعي .
. راجيسلا
نخدأ نأ بحأ .
. بتكلا
نم ةصاخ ةيعون .
. ةءارقل
. هنع يلختلا عيطتسأ �
يه امو .
. مجرتأ
فيك دهاشأ يك .
. ةيبرع
ةمجرتب م�ف�ا هذه
. مآآ .. ةسردملاو ةعماجلا ىلإ مهلاصيإ يف يتخأو يخأب مزتلم
ةحابسلا ىلع نمدم ينأ لوقأ نأ عيطتسأ
ايفد�يف ةسردم نم نيفرتحمو

ةساردلا عسوت عم يتقو قيضل ارظن نكلو ايرهش كرتشم تنك دق يموي كارتشا هنإ �
ايرهش سيل
مث نم
ةنولشرب ةدهاشم مث نم
يمأ ليبقتو ماعطلا يه ىلو�ا يتيولوأ
Sample interview transcript
؟ةيبرعلا نيملكتت له 
. ةيماشلا وأ ةيندر�ا ةجهللا ملكتأ
؟م�ا كتغل يه ام 
.م�ا يتغل
. ىحصفلا
.اهعيمج ةيبرعلا
؟ةيماعلا مأ ىحصفلا :رثكأ نيبحت وأ نيلضفت امهيأ ،ماع لكشب  
؟اذاملو ؟كل ةبسنلاب ةلضفملا ةيبرعلا ةجهللا يه ام 
.ةيندر�ا ةجهللا
؟كل ةبسنلاب ةيبرع ةجهل بعصأ يه ام 
؟ كل ةبسنلاب ةيبرع ةجهل لهسأ يه ام 
؟كيأرب ىحصفلل ةجهل برقأ يه ام 
ي� اذه ينعي .ةلكشم كانه تسيل يل ةبسنلاب .�

.رايخلا اذه ذبحأ� انأ
؟يندر�ا عمتجملا يف ةيزيلكن�ا ةغللا راشتناب كيأر ام 
قعم عوضوم اذه
قعم عوضوم اذه
مهنأ نورختفي سانلا ضعب ينعي .ندر�ا يف حضاو لكشب ينعي دوجوم
يفو ةيزيلكن�اب ت�حملا تامرآ تيأر كنأ نكمي و .ةيزيلكن�اب نوملكتي
؟ةينيدلا بطخلا يف ةيماعلاب ىحصفلا نوجزمي نيذلا سانلاب كيأر ام 
ايصخش انأ
اريثك ةيماعلاب نوملكتي مهن�.
.ىحصفلاب ةبطخلا عمسن نأ ةداعلا ينعي
. ريغ نم ينعي
؟يمويلا مهثيدح يف ةيماعلاب ىحصفلا نوجزمي نيذلا سانلاب كيأر ام 
ابيرغ نوكيس و ليلق اذه
؟برعلا ضعب لبق نم ةيزيلكن�ا ةغللا مادختساب كيأر ام 
بحأ� انأ ...تلق امك
بحأ � .ءيشلا سفن
ةبسنلاب ىحصفلا لثمت اذام 
اعيمج برعلا ةغل يه ىحصفلا
.نآرقلا ةغل يهو...مهضعب عم
ةبسنلاب ةيماعلا لثمت اذام 
ةبسنلاب ةيزيلكن�ا ةغللا لثمت اذام 
؟ةيبرع ةناسنإك كتيوه لثمت يللا ةجهللا وأ ةغللا يه ام 

؟ةيندرأك كتيوه لثمت يتلا ةجهللا وأ ةغللا يه ام 
؟ماع لكشب كتيوه لثمت يتلا ةجهللا وأ ةغللا يه ام 
؟ةيزيلكن�ا ةغللاو ةيماعلاو ىحصفلل كمادختسا ىدم ام 
؟)ةيمسرلا رئاودلاو ميلعتلا 
.ةرسكم ىحصف اومدختسي وأ ىحصفلا سيلو ةيماعلا
؟ميلعتلا يف ةيماعلا ينبتل ةوعدلاب كيأر ام 
.ىحصفلاب ةباتكلاو ةءارقلا ةفرعم ةمداقلا لايج�ا
؟ةيماعلا تاجهلل دعاوقو ةئجهت طباوض ريوطت 
ايأ وأ تنرتن�ا نيمدختست له 
. تنرتن�ا مدختسأ معن
لكأ امدنع طقف
. ةصاخ ينعي طقف يئاقدصأ عم يزيبرعلا مدختسأ ؟امئاد سيلو معن
.فرعأ� �و

تاقيلعت وأ ةلئسأ يأ كيدل له 
Summary of by-item scores on the
1.The official language in
2.I wish Arabs can
3.The language that we
need to maintain is3.842.362.191.140.31
4.Religion should be
5.The language of
business should be2.832.642.721.330.41
6.The language(s) that
prefer is/are
chance to learn one
would have chosen
I prefer reading books,
newspapers, magazines in
9.The language of media
10.The language of
elementary school to
university should be3.611.882.551.390.51
11.When at work,
12.The language that I
to speak most is2.7
13.People who want to
appear religious use3.702.581.951.100.20
14.The language that
15.People who want to
appear modern use1.431.953.502.140.64
16.The best language for
technology is
To obtain a good job,
need to master2.16
18.The language(s) rich in
expression is/are3.502.072.501.430.26
19.People who want to
20.The language that is
life is
21.The language(s) that
22.The language that is
professional life is2.411.993.181.510.74
23.Educated Arab people
24.To be an Arab, it is
important to speak3.722.752.191.130.24
25.The majority of the
listen to is in2.17
26.Most of the websites
visit are in2.6
28.The books that I
29.Most of the TV channels
watch are in
30.When I
text someone,
text them in
31.Most of the radio
32.When I
family, friends, and
33.The majority of the
watch are
34.I listen to sports
35.When I
people that I
know, I
36.If there is a language
master, it would be
1.The official language in
the Arab world should be3.623.132.451.210.46
2.I wish Arabs can
3.The language that we
need to maintain is4.002.442.180.630.10
4.Religion should be
5.The language of
business should be3.442.353.351.690.96
6.The language(s) that
prefer is/are
chance to learn one
would have chosen
8.I prefer reading books,
9.The language of media
10.The language of
elementary school to
university should be3.621.883.191.670.75
11.When at work,
12.The language that I
to speak most is2.54
13.People who want to
appear religious use3.602.131.421.000.26
14.The language that
15.People who want to
appear modern use1.022.373.832.901.10
16.The best language for
technology is
To obtain a good job,
need to master2.02
18.The language(s) rich in
expression is/are3.292.622.601.330.33
19.People who want to
20.The language that is
life is
21.The language(s) that
22.The language that is
professional life is2.732.753.691.170.54
23.Educated Arab people
24.To be an Arab, it is
important to speak3.713.042.100.960.50
The majority of the music
listen to is in1.43
26.Most of the websites
visit are in2.12
28.The books that I
29.Most of the TV channels
watch are in
30.When I
text someone,
text them in
31.Most of the radio
32.When I
family, friends, and
33.The majority of the
watch are
34.I listen to sports
35.When I
people that I
know, I
36.If there is a language
would try to master,
1.The official language in
the Arab world should be3.691.982.241.580.23
2.I wish Arabs can
3.The language that we
need to maintain is3.762.122.331.570.68
4.Religion should be
5.The language of business
6.The language(s) that
prefer is/are
chance to learn one
would have chosen
8.I prefer reading books,
9.The language of media
10.The language of
elementary school to
university should be3.231.332.842.180.69
11.When at work,
12.The language that I
to speak most is2.63
13.People who want to
appear religious use3.772.591.851.420.41
14.The language that relates
best to my culture is3.392.751.792.000.84
15.People who want to
appear modern use2.071.423.253.050.80
16.The best language for
technology is
To obtain a good job,
need to master2.42
18.The language(s) rich in
expression is/are3.551.682.862.390.51
19.People who want to
The language that is most
useful for my daily life is2.622.292.982.240.82
21.The language(s) that
The language that is most
useful for my professional
life is
23.Educated Arab people
24.To be an Arab, it is
important to speak3.772.451.961.690.36
25.The majority of the music
listen to is in2.4
26.Most of the websites that
28.The books that I
29.Most of the TV channels
watch are in
30.When I
text someone,
text them in
31.Most of the radio
listen to are in2.59
32.When I
family, friends, and
33.The majority of the
watch are in
34.I listen to sports
35.When I
people that I
do not know,
36.If there is a language that
would try to master, it
1.The official language in
the Arab world should be3.772.982.331.040.35
2.I wish Arabs can
3.The language that we
need to maintain is4.002.502.210.700.09
4.Religion should be
5.The language of
business should be3.612.323.271.570.72
6.The language(s) that
prefer is/are
chance to learn one
would have chosen
8.I prefer reading books,
9.The language of media
10.The language of
elementary school to
university should be3.731.932.771.700.65
11.When at work,
12.The language that I
to speak most is2.65
13.People who want to
appear religious use3.672.301.791.010.21
14.The language that relates
best to my culture is3.552.972.040.590.23
15.People who want to
appear modern use1.212.823.732.770.80
16.The best language for
technology is
To obtain a good job,
need to master2.3
18.The language(s) rich in
expression is/are3.542.652.651.390.20
19.People who want to
20.The language that is
life is
21.The language(s) that
22.The language that is
professional life is2.962.643.651.170.46
23.Educated Arab people
24.To be an Arab, it is
important to speak3.863.062.040.940.32
25.The majority of the music
listen to is in1.7
26.Most of the websites that
28.The books that I
29.Most of the TV channels
watch are in
30.When I
text someone,
text them in
31.Most of the radio
listen to are in2.11
32.When I
family, friends, and
33.The majority of the
watch are in
34.I listen to sports
35.When I
people that I
know, I
36.If there is a language
would try to master,
Summary of by-item scores on the
1.I do not like to be identified
2.I am happy that I
12.The Arabic culture is not
relevant to my personal life.
Transcripts of children’s videos
Sinbad, Episode 50, Part 2: excerpt (8:02–9:07).
�عف حيحص
نكل هعضو مهفأ انأ ؟بلقلا يساق اداناس دئاقلا نأ يعم ىرت �أ
رملا هذه دئاقلا م�ك عمسأ نل .�ك �ك �ك �ك
Sinaan, Episode 29, Part II 4:05–5:08

Abtaal Al-Malaa‘ib, Episode 48: 0:55–2:04
ةيافك كلوقب ينعت اذام
�عف ةارابملا
Hikaayaat ‘Aalamiyya: Ba’i‘u t-tuffah: 2:30–3:30
هذخ .انه نم دعتباو هذخ ا
يه ؟لجرلا اذهل قيدص تنأ له .عمسا .ةئيس ةرمث
يدل دجوي �
Aabi, M. 257
S. 108, 215
D. 171, 29
7, 298, 301, 320
R. 37, 38, 52, 8
184, 188, 192, 194, 196, 197, 198, 203,
209, 210, 211, 213, 249
Z. 71, 115, 251, 252
M. 61, 94, 130, 134, 152
M. 12, 14, 26, 148, 204
S. 188, 194, 196
R. 262, 277
Sori 323
Abou, S. 156
F. 133
ou-Seida, A. 21
Abu Nasser,
M. 30, 31, 17
F. 52, 155, 19
198, 205, 209, 212, 241, 299
L. 190, 193
A. 50, 52, 56, 155, 246, 24
S. 106, 10
7, 108, 325
accent 100, 168; eccentric accent 13, 81
age: and gender 210; and language change
209; of exposure to standard Arabic 42
agency 123, 153, 198
Ager, D.
E. 149
P. 26
P. 4
7, 54, 161
I. 63, 79, 9
M. 30
V. 51
M. 264, 265, 267
, 268
F. 85, 10
H. 188
M. 38, 19
7, 203
M. 109
M. 108
A. 4, 15, 19, 20, 22, 23, 30, 34, 3
50, 72, 79, 118, 154, 155, 184, 224, 239,
241, 243, 244, 247, 248, 249, 255, 256,
257, 261, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304,
305, 306
A. 188, 19
A. 124, 125, 127, 141, 142, 17
Al-Enazi, M.
H. 70, 225, 227, 25
7, 314
A. 194, 199, 20
S. 264, 267
, 291, 330
T. 323
9, 40, 82, 83, 110, 111, 115, 119,
127, 137, 147, 168, 198, 199, 210, 265,
268, 274, 276
Algerian dialect 149
F. 19
S. 80, 10
6, 107, 128
Al-Jaahiz, A. 126
Al-Jehani, N.
M. 188, 203
H. 107
M. 41, 70, 83, 18
8, 264, 267, 269,
291, 330
R. 299, 320
K. 269
D. 299, 3
07, 319, 320, 321
Al-Mansour, N. 257
M. 84, 85, 91, 188, 203
A. 140
Al Natour,
M. 108
Y. 194, 20
A. 96, 135, 14
7, 148, 150, 161
S. 61, 275, 27
6, 277
Al-Salem, A. 132
Al-Sharkawi, M. 215
A. 188, 203
Y. 265
E. 30
S. 82, 106, 10
7, 150
E. 37, 3
8, 68, 69, 79, 86, 173, 178,
183, 184, 188, 189, 194, 196, 197, 198,
199, 200, 203, 204, 209, 210, 211, 213,
214, 249, 256
M. 37, 3
8, 39, 52, 79, 86, 184, 206,
C. 157
L. 57
R. 30
J. 258, 259, 265, 267
, 271,
I. 180, 214
C. 49, 123
J. 13, 27, 28, 29
A. 50, 74
R. 63, 139, 154, 216, 224
9, 148; and English and
French 150; and minority groups 136;
attitudes toward 109, versus Arabization
Arabizi 8, 62, 151, 268, 276, 277, 280, 290,
H. 38, 19
7, 203
D. 33, 108, 325, 327
J. 46
S. 179
A. 136, 137
tawneh, A. 257
audience 55, 115, 116, 227, 240, 242,
243, 249, 252, 254, 255, 275, 283,
284, 288, 291, 292, 297; imagined
259, 270
P. 45, 51, 216, 224, 24
K. 185, 186
A. 187
S. 107
, 109, 112, 150
Bahrain 31, 56, 133, 140, 145, 203, 205, 208,
C. 63, 64, 78, 7
M. 53, 151, 187
J. 304, 3
07, 320, 321, 322
I. 276
M. 30
Baron, N.
R. 22, 24, 25, 118, 190, 191, 19
224, 241, 242, 243, 257, 291
C. 26, 30
Bedouinization 181
P. 37
, 86, 177, 178, 179, 206, 207,
M. 21, 56, 115, 225, 226, 257
K. 198, 19
K. 108, 202
E. 13, 15, 27, 28, 29, 3
83, 92, 109, 110, 131, 136, 137, 143,
147, 160, 171, 179, 296, 299, 302, 305,
306, 307, 309, 310, 312, 313
M. 39, 110, 131, 13
6, 137, 171
A. 52, 63, 70, 7
1, 82, 88, 92, 98,
227, 232, 240, 257, 277, 327
R. 45, 217, 223, 224, 27
R. 264, 267
, 268, 291, 330
K. 62, 161, 273, 327
F. 18
J. 278
H. 21, 79, 204, 205, 20
J. 9, 11, 14, 25, 26, 79, 83, 119, 13
P. 220, 224
J. 49, 123, 259
L. 70, 216
C. 179
P. 215
A. 45, 217, 223, 224, 282
orrowing 23, 170, 180; versus codeswitching
P. 29
L. 257
, 296, 310
P. 4
9, 50, 57, 65, 102, 123, 212,
N. 22, 257
H. 108
P. 4
9, 222, 257
M. 49, 59, 122, 123, 14
0, 144, 240
M. 40
F. 21
L. 69, 217
D. 188
S. 301, 316
Carr, A.
M. 30
M. 271
D. 179, 20
7, 225, 296, 322
B. 39, 4
0, 52, 82, 86, 87, 88, 91, 92,
93, 101, 110, 114, 119, 120, 149, 157,
163, 171, 306, 307, 327
K. 173, 177
A. 11, 43, 80, 81, 102, 124, 126, 128,
Chomsky, N. 50
Christian, D. 298
M. 208
versus Western 30; regional 31; state-
M. 216, 224, 305, 3
07, 308
code-mixing 217, 314; versus codeswitching
W. 215
D. 179, 181, 182, 20
6, 207, 208, 214
Collier, V
P. 3
colonialism 39, 40, 83, 111, 127, 131; and
planning 146; and nationalism 128, 143
C. 301
constructivist framework 46
convergence 7, 79, 156, 180, 184, 212, 221,
D. 128, 133, 135, 138
R. 78, 7
9, 146
L. 30
F. 181, 214
F. 61
N. 48, 50, 58, 59, 7
9, 221, 240, 259
W. 33
creolization 177
, 185, 307
J. 46, 4
7, 48, 56, 60, 77, 96
A. 140
W. 7
7, 176
M. 46, 7
D. 79, 258, 265
J. 66, 153
J. 68, 184, 18
8, 194, 196, 198, 209,
data collection 58; authentic
E. 70, 7
1, 115, 225, 227, 232, 240,
257, 327
M. 147
, 149
N. 191, 198
de Jong,
R. 178
J. 296, 299
F. 4
Z. 198, 20
diachronic approach to language change 208
dialect atlases 178
dialect maps 178
divergence 7, 7
9, 156, 197, 212, 221
L. 30
Dorian, N. 67
M. 267
Dubai School of Government 258
A. 273
S. 317, 319, 320
D. 178
M. 146, 218
P. 65, 123, 153, 17
5, 176, 189, 212,
299, 323
education; and Arabicization 148; and collo-
quial dialects 104, 147; and diglossia 19;
effects of diglossia
languages 87, 151; and identity 152; and
J. 300, 3
Egypt 11, 15, 20, 23, 25, 27
33, 35, 37,
41, 56,
4, 84
5, 8
94, 9
103, 106, 113, 115
3, 143, 147, 15
7, 159, 161
2, 177,
3, 201, 207, 229, 237
8, 242, 246,
252, 255, 262, 270, 27
3, 298
Egyptian dialect 32, 92, 97
101, 103, 130,
143, 160, 162, 163
M. 9, 70, 82, 115, 118, 192, 216, 231,
P. 144, 320
El Aissati,
A. 299, 3
06, 307, 310
El Salman,
N. 38, 84, 8
M. 30, 31
M. 40, 82, 83, 85, 91, 92, 10
111, 114, 119, 136, 137, 148, 171, 225
T. 27
M. 39
Z. 107
acebook 263; language use
3, 275; users 258, 273
Z. 130
N. 47
, 49, 51, 65, 123, 212, 259,
D. 109, 110, 121
R. 30
W. 3
04, 305, 307
R. 63, 79, 195
C. 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17
21, 23, 24, 33, 38, 45, 49, 50, 51, 53, 61,
78, 81, 86, 99, 101, 106, 114, 119, 154,
M. 87
fieldwork 72
L. 57
M. 63, 79, 9
J. 4, 18, 63, 78, 7
9, 80, 146, 219,
220, 279, 315, 318
C. 296, 29
Forum for Fus
a Arabic 278
R. 65, 123, 153, 299
N. 274
K. 15, 22, 107
function-based diglossia 20
S. 66, 153, 224
P. 63, 64, 7
P. 102
R. 47, 54, 161
08; and
age 210; approaches
to 189;
198; and language attitudes 63, 88; and
language choice 191; and language ide-
ologies 190; and language practices 190;
and language variation 68, 173, 175, 176;
and masculinity/femininity 197; and mod-
ernization 196; and politeness strategies
sex 18
M. 140
G. 85, 87
S. 30
H. 138, 13
M. 79, 215, 256
H. 45, 48, 62, 102, 156, 221, 222, 224,
9, 257
goals of sociolinguistic research 46; epistemol-
M. 15, 67
P. 15
M. 46
G. 46, 47
, 57, 60, 77, 161
J. 4, 18, 19, 45, 51, 52, 74, 7
7, 115,
216, 219, 220, 223, 224, 248, 302
M. 178
R. 37, 3
8, 86, 184, 197, 201, 202, 249
A. 30, 32, 3
8, 52, 79, 182, 189, 190,
192, 194, 199
Haddad, Y.
Y. 320
N. 33, 63, 68, 81, 84, 85, 91, 92, 9
150, 155, 162, 164, 188, 194, 196, 197,
198, 200, 201, 202, 203, 210, 214, 291,
327, 330
K. 122, 123, 140, 144
S. 49, 65, 122, 123, 165, 29
M. 46
Hamad, O. 125
R. 30, 19
M. 99, 159
P. 251, 254
W. 51
A. 40, 84, 13
8, 139
S. 33, 108, 325, 327
S. 61, 276
E. 36, 61, 102
P. 4, 19, 21
S. 130, 132
K. 66, 7
Hecht, M.
B. 186
M. 2, 45, 47
, 50, 52, 71, 154, 157, 216,
M. 173
K. 139, 154
T. 264, 291
L. 267
, 49, 65, 76, 124, 136,
137, 140, 153
P. 124, 182
K. 39, 137
, 228, 266
C. 10, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 52, 56, 6
9, 71,
118, 173, 181, 184, 188, 195, 203, 205,
206, 212, 216, 224, 240, 241, 242, 249,
250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 291, 300,
J. 122, 172, 18
M. 40, 143
Hourani, A.
P. 262
A. 4, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 33, 4
61, 70, 228
A. 48
A. 30
P. 145
R. 86, 91, 115, 27
G. 301
Ibn Katheer
I. 80
Ibn Qutayba,
M. 37, 3
8, 103, 107, 109, 111, 196,
197, 201
R. 34, 107
Z. 99, 17
2, 253, 307, 328
iconization 65, 66
acts 7, 7
4, 76, 124, 153
identity formation on digital media 272
B. 178
1, 53, 56, 83, 85, 119, 125, 127, 131,
40, 145, 149, 16
0, 182, 187, 208,
242, 246, 274, 298
Iraqi dialects 40, 178
A. 66, 7
H. 68, 184, 194, 20
isogloss 178
M. 21, 38, 184, 18
203, 209, 210
Jarrar, R. 314
S. 30
Jiménez Jiménez, A.
F. 314
B. 47
, 77
S. 46
8, 41, 56, 72
8, 92, 95, 97, 9
16, 120, 131, 155, 160, 165
182, 193, 197
237, 246
7, 249, 26
5, 270, 277
, 298
Jordanian dialect 163, 211, 239
S. 276, 292
B. 63, 115, 217, 218, 224
O. 30
H. 36, 37
Kaspartan, C. 156
D. 117, 119
A. 17, 19, 33, 50, 10
R. 159, 297
Kedourie, E. 128
Keita, S.O.Y. 39, 65, 136, 137
R. 176, 27
Kelly-Holmes, H. 294
Kenny, K.
D. 299, 317, 320
F. 18
Khalil, J. 273, 327
S. 61, 275
R. 15, 22, 107
G. 30
C. 30
koine 13, 22; Ferguson,
C. 180
0; and Classical Arabic 180;
and colloquial dialects 180
B. 302
O. 33, 108, 325, 327
Kouloughli, D.
E. 275
P. 4
H. 179
Kurdish language 4
0, 79, 119, 138
40, 171,
Kurdistan 139, 171, 274
Kuwait 131, 196, 208, 242
W. 4
7, 48, 51, 55, 58, 59, 66, 67, 68,
71, 78, 79, 173, 174, 175, 179, 188, 195,
196, 201, 212, 218, 240, 241, 271, 304
language accommodation 53; and codeswitch-
ing 246; and identity 256;and language
change 180; Giles,
language contact 39, 6
8, 174, 176, 177, 180,
183, 185, 204, 208, 216, 300, 305
language dominance 308
switching 247; and digital media 278; and
language planning 146; and the question
of definitions 49
language interference 309
304; indicators
of 305, 3
language loyalty 86, 99, 103
206; and digital media 279; among herit-
age speakers 304, 307; and identity 211,
language planning 146, 14
pendence Arab countries 147
language prestige 5, 6, 16, 36; and age 211;
and codeswitching 227, 228, 249, 256; of
41, 64, 86, 147, 267, 270, 301; of French
82, 86, 147; of colloquial dialects 30, 37,
136, 183, 197, 249; and gender 195; and
language change 212; of Standard Arabic
10, 36, 85, 250, 292, 317; of superstrate
language shift 38, 222, 319; in diglossic com-
E. 30
F. 27
P. 4
7, 57, 77
Lebanese dialect 150
ebanon 31, 40, 82
134, 140, 143
6, 160, 165, 168,
9, 276
Le P
leveling 180, 182, 183, 214
C. 49, 222, 257
S. 206, 20
7, 208
C. 49
Libya 39, 133, 137
, 160, 182, 239, 242, 262
Lincoln, Y.
S. 46, 47
, 57, 60, 161
lingua franca 83, 93, 151, 186, 238, 246, 263,
264, 273, 289, 329
linguistic norms 172, 209, 241, 256; on digital
media 259; for heritage speakers 303
literary Arabic 21, 34, 81, 106
Lo, M. 17
loanwords 30, 41, 156
locality 156, 157; and language change 210
A. 79
A. 266
X. 186
Y. 315
M. 106, 10
7, 121
B. 136
K. 40, 13
Y. 6, 21
A. 186
S. 151, 186
G. 102, 257
W. 16
D. 87
, 92, 109, 112, 148, 157, 278
N. 299, 3
01, 304, 307, 308, 316
M. 136, 137
Mauritania 3
May, S.
A. 47
T. 41
S. 189
D. 40
L. 108
I. 40, 13
G. 14, 39, 52, 82, 92, 103, 115, 118,
8, 161, 195, 196, 224, 240, 241, 250,
251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 275, 328
mental maps 179
D. 262, 266, 26
7, 274
A. 46, 48, 7
R. 174
M. 47
M. 172, 18
C. 38, 3
9, 67, 68, 69, 79, 83, 95,136,
137, 174, 181, 183, 186, 188, 194, 197,
198, 200, 204, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210,
J. 102, 175, 3
L. 67
, 75, 175, 182, 224, 271, 302
B. 258, 264, 265, 267
, 268, 269,
276, 288, 291, 330
R. 6, 10, 13, 21, 22, 27, 33
monitored speech 7
, 240
Montgomery, M. 103
S. 299, 3
07, 309, 310
M. 302, 3
03, 304
6, 38
40, 52,
56, 65
6, 7
4, 82
3, 8
8, 92,
16, 119, 137, 143,
50, 156
161, 167, 192
3, 20
229, 239, 246
7, 262, 274, 29
Moshref, O. 257
H. 149
W. 3
F. 17
S. 130, 14
mutual intelligibility 3, 9, 32, 39
P. 63, 13
9, 154, 216, 217, 218, 224,
C. 19, 45, 216, 217, 218, 222,
L. 38, 8
6, 99, 114, 119
G. 53, 151, 187
R. 278
D. 30
J. 257
, 267, 310
Nydell, M.
K. 53, 201, 238, 256
M. 40, 44, 65, 13
observer’s paradox 68
J. 30
E. 108
Said 296
M. 30
6, 307
G. 297
, 298
K. 30
G. 296, 29
othering 140, 170
Ovando, C.
J. 301
J. 11, 14, 19, 26, 67
, 69, 172, 186,
188, 206, 207, 257
Palestine 31, 41, 131, 203, 321
D. 264, 265, 267
, 268, 269, 291,
J. 108
H. 30, 31, 32, 17
2, 177, 180, 181, 182,
184, 206
pan-Arabism 49, 64, 110, 132, 144, 170, 329
I. 61, 276
A. 309
P. 103
J. 57
F. 3
A. 35, 65, 66, 153
Phillips, D.
C. 57
pidgin 185, 265; Gulf 187; madam 18
dan-based 186
pidginization 177, 185, 307; Versteegh,
M. 30
power 19, 37, 42, 4
7, 154; Bourdieu,
P. 50,
hing 223, 247; and
P. 45, 224, 24
9, 257
Qatar 85, 187
qualitative approach 4
7, 48, 57, 174
quantitative approach 47, 48, 188, 189
M. 21, 224, 240, 241
Ramirez, A.,
Jr. 53, 259
B. 65, 123, 153, 299
G. 264, 266, 26
9, 273, 276, 285,
288, 290, 291, 292
D. 30
F. 9
T. 10
9, 146
regional dialectology 177
2, 174, 258
religion 141; and language change 204
and heritage speakers 308, 319; and
K. 264, 276, 285, 28
8, 290, 291, 292
R. 30
N. 176, 27
1, 330
S. 48, 64, 218, 254
G. 79, 82, 92, 115, 118, 13
161, 239, 251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 328
J. 191, 198
J. 30
A. 154, 296, 29
8, 307, 308, 309,
310, 316, 317, 319, 320, 321, 322
Royal, A.M. 194, 198
J. 257
H. 74
I. 74
K. 6, 21, 22, 26, 108
A. 191, 192, 198
E. 299, 3
05, 306, 307, 313
I. 55, 64, 93, 115, 199
F. 3
9, 82, 83, 119, 148, 156, 189, 190,
191, 192, 193, 194, 199, 212, 225, 228
A. 19, 58, 70, 7
255, 291, 300, 313
S. 33, 34, 225, 226, 227, 327
E. 140, 143, 17
Saidat, A. 26, 84, 85, 91, 115, 119, 162, 277
E. 33, 107
S. 298
R. 267
, 268, 330
Samy, W
L. 303
, 53, 56, 72
8, 96
7, 99, 101, 113, 116, 127
132, 152, 157, 159, 160, 182, 207, 229,
237, 239, 246
7, 255, 270, 27
M. 38, 52, 7
8, 79, 86, 88, 95, 132,
182, 184, 197, 249, 319
M. 109
E. 299, 3
Schiffman, H.
F. 33, 50, 78, 7
9, 107
N. 172
S. 309
W. 21, 196, 201
D. 96
R. 260
A. 30
Seliger, H.
W. 30
K. 85, 87
, 147, 327
K. 30, 31
S. 260
A. 302
B. 168
J. 40, 65, 84, 13
8, 262, 266,
267, 274
S. 50, 78, 7
9, 154, 155, 246, 248, 255,
295, 302, 307
E. 146
J. 180, 215
C. 30
M. 49, 51, 123
P. 137
N. 70, 134, 135, 264, 26
9, 272, 327,
C. 109, 13
O. 109
R. 53, 151, 187
P. 221
and language variation 175, 183, 188,
social context 3, 51; dimensions
heritage language acquisition 299
social mobility 271, 272
L. 175
U. 13, 27, 29
speech acts 18
speech community 19, 170, 241, 255; and
heritage speakers 299, 300, 302; and
language attitudes 78, 255; and language
change 176
J. 57
B. 39, 10
9, 206
A. 278
36; and speec
L. 57
stigma 82, 117, 119, 184, 195, 211, 213, 319;
style shifting 217, 242, 250; versus code-
Sudan 41, 171, 186
M. 297
, 298, 301
Y. 6, 22, 33, 35, 41, 4
54, 56, 65, 79, 82, 83, 92, 94, 95, 102,
103, 106, 110, 118, 119, 123, 125, 129,
130, 138, 143, 147, 150, 155, 160, 182,
213, 249, 256
L. 49
J. 174
hronic approach to language change
Syria 30
2, 3
8, 40, 82, 124
6, 128
4, 14
0, 142
5, 14
9, 16
0, 165,
178, 182
Syrian dialect 1, 97
100, 247, 281
H. 194, 206, 20
7, 209
A. 46
C. 46
T. 3
The Arabic Tongue
theory and practice 48
J. 157
W. 146
Toribio, A.
J. 257
V. 4
M. 151, 186
transformative framework 47
E. 108
P. 102, 18
trustworthiness 56, 60, 96, 161
Tunisia 18, 3
40, 82, 132
3, 149,
200, 202
3, 24
7, 261
Tunisian dialect 132
H. 39, 20
Twitter 258, 264
ummah 142, 143, 154, 170
United Arab Emirates 151, 268
unmonitored speech 7, 224, 240, 248, 256,
Vago, R.
M. 309
A. 40, 44, 13
6, 138
van Buren,
P. 3
Van der Aa,
Van Gass,
Van Mol,
M. 12, 22, 43, 300
K. 9, 11, 12, 14, 23, 26, 27, 31, 43,
6, 124, 148, 172, 173, 178,
181, 185, 186, 213, 215, 250, 255, 300
A. 189, 19
0, 197, 200, 215
virtual world 258, 266, 269, 271, 326
K. 37, 8
6, 198
K. 40, 284
G. 177
, 178
K. 18, 33, 39, 52, 6
8, 79, 80, 82, 83,
98, 106, 154, 171, 188, 194, 195, 196,
198, 200, 202, 203, 209, 210
J. 273
M. 61, 264, 265, 268, 27
L. 217, 224
U. 70, 17
I. 186
G. 178
T. 258
S. 49, 123
A. 79
H. 79
D. 22, 108
C. 273
M. 301
S. 57
R. 47
M. 177
, 178, 182, 183, 214
Wolfram, W. 66, 67, 77, 195
Wolfson, N. 52, 58, 74, 75, 77
World Bank 183
World Wide Web 261, 263, 266
S. 109, 14
M. 268, 26
9, 270, 276, 288, 290, 291
Yemen 19, 31, 124, 133, 141, 145, 242, 262
M. 108
Zaidan, J. 9, 111
P. 63, 7
9, 99
D. 136
M. 25, 107
S. 96, 135, 153, 161, 164

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