Diglossia and dialect groups in the Arab world

Reem Bassiouney

in Arabic Sociolinguistics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780748623730
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671373 | DOI:
Diglossia and dialect groups in the Arab world

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This chapter presents a bird's-eye view of the linguistic status quo of the Arab world. The first part deals with issues relating to the vertical (diglossia) and the second deals with issues related to the horizontal (national varieties/groups of dialects). The chapter is organized as follows. Section 1.1 discusses the concept of diglossia as analysed by Charles Ferguson and others, and the developments that have occurred in the evolution of this concept until the present day. It also differentiates between Modern Standard Arabic and Classical Arabic. Section 1.2 discusses the growing realisation by a number of linguists that the ‘standard’ variety is not necessarily the same as the ‘prestige’ variety in Arab speech communities. Finally, the chapter presents concrete examples of different dialects in the Arab world and compares and contrasts them in real contexts.

Keywords: Arabic sociolinguistics; diglossia; dialects; Modern Standard Arabic; Classical Arabic; Arab speech communities

Chapter.  8066 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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