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Arabic in the FrayLanguage Ideology and Cultural Politics$
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Yasir Suleiman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637409

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637409.001.0001

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Framing Arabic: Paratexts, Poetry and Language Ideology

Framing Arabic: Paratexts, Poetry and Language Ideology

(p.93) Chapter 3 Framing Arabic: Paratexts, Poetry and Language Ideology
Arabic in the Fray

Yasir Suleiman

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter continues the exploration of the notions of construction, language symbolism, language conflict and language as proxy through an examination of paratexts and poetic compositions. Paratexts, such as titles, dedications, epigraphs and jacket copies have received little or no attention in relation to studying Arabic in the social world. This chapter argues that since most encounters with texts are mediated through these thresholds, scholars of language in the social world must pay attention to them for the information they yield on language ideology and the deployment of culture to do politics in society. The same is true of poetic compositions. This chapter further identifies the most productive tropes of language ideology in the modern world, together with their constitutive metaphors, in order to shed light on issues of language conflict and language anxiety. The tropes of crisis, fossilisation and war act as shorthand codes for the promulgation and recursive circulation of Arabic language ideology in society. As a given of this world, Arabic language ideology does its work without drawing attention to itself. Although the terrain dealt with in this chapter is historically and intellectually different from the one dealt with in Chapter Two, the conceptual unities underlying these two terrains reveal infra-structural continuities in the study of Arabic in the social world across time.

Keywords:   Paratexts, poetry, language conflict, language anxiety, tropes, metaphors, crisis, fossilisation, war, language ideology

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