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Arabic Sociolinguistics$
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Reem Bassiouney

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623730

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623730.001.0001

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Diglossia and dialect groups in the Arab world

Diglossia and dialect groups in the Arab world

(p.9) Chapter 1 Diglossia and dialect groups in the Arab world
Arabic Sociolinguistics

Reem Bassiouney

Edinburgh University Press

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

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