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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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Hybridity, Language Ideology and Cultural Politics

Hybridity, Language Ideology and Cultural Politics

(p.167) Chapter 4 Hybridity, Language Ideology and Cultural Politics
Arabic in the Fray

Yasir Suleiman

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter pursues the twin themes of language ideology and cultural politics by considering issues of textual identity and language choice in hybrid texts. As understood here, hybrid texts (prose fiction) are texts written by authors of Arab origin – descent or heritage – not in Arabic, but in another language, such as French, English or Hebrew, among Palestinians in Israel. These texts are assigned to different cultural locations, which may be defined by the dominant language of the text, the background of the author or in a third space or twilight zone between these two worlds. One of the main arguments of this chapter revolves around the dialogic nature of these texts in the linguistic sphere, in the sense that the overt/present language of the text always recalls its covert/absent language. The interplay between languages, their ideologies and cultural politics is enacted through this dialogism. Language symbolism and language as proxy are used as the main tools for investigating the above issues. This chapter reveals that hybrid texts are another rich site for exploring language in the social world and never more so than when conflict, whether in reality or as memory, is simmering in the background.

Keywords:   Hybridity, Francophone, Anglophone, Hebrewphone, language choice, dialogic, dialogism, overt/present, covert/absent, language ideology, cultural politics

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