1st Edition

Arabic in the City Issues in Dialect Contact and Language Variation

    370 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    368 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Filling a gap in the literature currently available on the topic, this edited collection is the first examination of the interplay between urbanization, language variation and language change in fifteen major Arab cities.

    The Arab world presents very different types and degrees of urbanization, from well established old capital-cities such as Cairo to new emerging capital-cities such as Amman or Nouakchott, these in turn embedded in different types of national construction. It is these urban settings which raise questions concerning the dynamics of homogenization/differentiation and the processes of standardization due to the coexistence of competing linguistic models. Topics investigated include:

    • History of settlement
    • The linguistic impact of migration
    • The emergence of new urban vernaculars
    • Dialect convergence and divergence
    • Code-switching, youth language and new urban culture
    • Arabic in the Diaspora
    • Arabic among non-Arab groups.

    Containing a broad selection of case studies from across the Arab world and featuring contributions from leading urban sociolinguistics and dialectologists, this book presents a fresh approach to our understanding of the interaction between language, society and space. As such, the book will appeal to the linguist as well as to the social scientist in general.

    Introduction  1. Arabic Urban Vernaculars: Development and Changes Catherine Miller  Part 1: Migration, Urbanization and Language Change  2. The (r)urbanisation of Mauritania: Historical Context and Contemporary Developments Catherine Taine Cheikh  3. The Formation of the Dialect of Amman: from Chaos to Order Enam Al-Wer  4. Urbanization and Dialect Change: the Arabic Dialect of Tripoli (Libya) Christophe Pereira  5. Becoming Casablancan: Fessis in Casablanca as a Case Study Atiqa Hachimi  6. Two Cases of Moroccan Arabic in the Diaspora Angeles Vicente  Part 2: Urban Vernaculars: Convergence and Divergence  7. Greetings in Beirut : Social Distribution and Attitudes towards Different Formulae Marie Aymee Germanos  8. Linguistic Levelling in Sanƒ ani Arabic as Reflected in a Popular Radio Serial Janet Watson  9. The Urban and Suburban Modes: Patterns of Linguistic Variation and Change in Damascus  Hanadi Ismail  10. Segmental and Prosodic Aspects of Ksar el Kebir's Neo-Urban Variety  Mohamed Embarki  11. The Use of Kashkasha/kaskasa and Alternative Means among Educated Urban Saudi Speakers MuniraAl-Azraki  Part 3: Multilibualism, Codeswitching and New Urban Cultures  12. Close Encounters of a Different Kind: Two Types of Insertion in Nigerian Arabic Codeswitching Jonathan Owens  13. Development and Linguistic Change in Moroccan Arabic-French Codeswitching Karima Ziamari  14. The Language of Cairo’s Young University Students Sherin Rizk  15. Rap and Rappers in Nouakchott. (Mauritania) Aline Tauzin  16. Uses and Attitudes towards Hassaniyya Language among Nouakchott’s Negro-Mauritanian Population Alassane Dia


    Catherine Miller is a senior research fellow at the French Council of research (CNRS), IREMAM, Aix en Provence, France

    Enam Al-Wer is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Linguistics, University of Essex, UK.

    Dominique Caubet is Head of the CREAM-LACNAD, National Institute of Languages and Oriental Civilizations (INALCO), France

    Janet C. E. Watson, Professor of Arabic and Linguistics, University of Salford UK.