1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Arabic and Identity

Edited By Reem Bassiouney, Keith Walters Copyright 2020
    292 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Arabic and Identity offers a comprehensive and up-to-date account of studies that relate the Arabic language in its entirety to identity. This handbook offers new trajectories in understanding language and identity more generally and Arabic and identity in particular.

    Split into three parts, covering ‘Identity and Variation’, ‘Identity and Politics’ and ‘Identity Globalisation and Diversity’, it is the first of its kind to offer such a perspective on identity, linking the social world to identity construction and including issues pertaining to our current political and social context, including Arabic in the diaspora, Arabic as a minority language, pidgin and creoles, Arabic in the global age, Arabic and new media, Arabic and political discourse.

    Scholars and students will find essential theories and methods that relate language to identity in this handbook. It is particularly of interest to scholars and students whose work is related to the Arab world, political science, modern political thought, Islam and social sciences including: general linguistics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, anthropological linguistics, anthropology, political science, sociology, psychology, literature media studies and Islamic studies.

    Table of Contents

    Notes on the Contributors

    List of Figures

    List of Tables


    Introduction and Overview

    Introduction: The Arabic Language and Identity

    Keith Walters

    Part I - Identity and Variation

    1. From Rajjal to Rayyal: Ideologies and shift among young Bedouins in Qatar

    Rizwan Ahmad and Heba Al-Kababji

    2. The emergence of a new national linguistic variety in Saudi Arabia: A perceptual dialectology account

      Yousef Al-Rojaie

    3. Identity and/or acts of identity in light of discourse markers in spoken Arabic

    Abdelaadim Bidaoui

    4. The expression of rural and urban identities in Arabic

      Ahmed Ech-Charfi

    5. Optional You​ and the invocation of shared identity in Levantine Arabic

      Youssef Haddad

    6. Saudi folks’ attitudes and Pprceptions toward accent switches: The /k/ reflexes across dialects

      Manal Ismail

    7. Language and identity in post-Revolution Tunisia between authenticity and commodification

      Lotfi Sayahi


    8. Attitudes to language in the Arab World

      Nadia Shalaby


      Part II - Identity and Politics

    9. Arabic language ideologies: Diglossia

      Ashraf Abdelhay and Yasir Suleiman

    10. Egyptian identities at times of crisis

      Amira Agameya

    11. Pan-Arab identity in the post-Arab-Spring Era

      Abdulkafi Albirini

    12. Arabic and identity in (the conflict-ridden reality in) Israel

      Muhammad Amara

    13. The discursive construction of Jordanian identity in online discourse

      Muhammad Badarneh

    14. Erasing Arabic as an entrance ticket to Israeli society: On orientalism, militarism and the Mizrahi option in Israel/Palestine

      Yonatan Mendel

      Part III - Identity Globalisation and Diversity

    15. Language and identity construction in the Arabian Gulf: Challenges faced in a globalized world

      Ahmad Al-Issa and Laila S. Dahan

    16. Arabic(s) in diaspora: Speakers, usages and contacts

      Alexandrine Barontini and Lauren Wagner

    17. Complex identities: Arabic in the diaspora

    Luca D'Anna & Chiara Amoruso



    Reem Bassiouney is a professor (and chair) at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She has eight linguistics books to her name. She is the author of Functions of Code-Switching in Egypt (2006), Language and Identity in Modern Egypt (2014) and Arabic Sociolinguistics (2009; second edition 2020). Her edited volumes include The Routledge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics (co-editor with Benmamoun) and Identity and Dialect Performance (2017). She is also the editor and founder of the Routledge Studies in Language and Identity series. Bassiouney is also an award-winning novelist.

    Keith Walters is Professor Emeritus from the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA. During his career, he also held positions in the English Department at the Ohio State University and the Linguistics Department at the University of Texas–Austin. He has taught English as an additional language in the US, Tunisia, Guinea and the West Bank and helped train teachers in those countries, Morocco, Egypt and Vietnam. His research interests include codeswitching, diglossic switching, language ideologies, and language and nationalism as well as language and the law. An award-winning teacher, Walters is co-author of two widely used composition textbooks, Everything’s an Argument (8th edn) and Everyone’s an Author  (3rd edn).