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Language, Politics and Society in the Middle EastEssays in Honour of Yasir Suleiman$
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Yonatan Mendel and Abeer AlNajjar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421539

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421539.001.0001

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Colloquial Moroccan Arabic: Shifts in Usage and Attitudes in the Era of Computer-mediated Communication1

Colloquial Moroccan Arabic: Shifts in Usage and Attitudes in the Era of Computer-mediated Communication1

Chapter:
(p.69) Chapter 4 Colloquial Moroccan Arabic: Shifts in Usage and Attitudes in the Era of Computer-mediated Communication1
Source:
Language, Politics and Society in the Middle East
Author(s):

Eirlys Davies

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421539.003.0005

This article, written by Eirlys Davies, begins by highlighting a reality whereby, for centuries, the gulf between Colloquial Arabic dialects (CA) and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) has been a defining characteristic of the Arabic-speech community. Davies then notes that the arrival of mobile phones, the growing use of the Internet and computer-mediated communication, and advertising that corresponds to these trends have revolutionised communication in the Middle East. Consequently, many individuals, particularly among the younger generation, have begun to communicate (in personal SMSs, emails or social media) in CA and they have a strong tendency to use Latin letters instead of Arabic letters. Davies focuses on these trends as they are manifested in Morocco. Highlighting the contribution of Suleiman to the diglossic relationship between CA and MSA, the chapter stresses that this is a bottom-up process. Davies courageously concludes that we must accept change as inevitable, and, instead of resisting such modes of communication, ‘it may be better to embrace them, experiment with them and explore their potential as means of solving problems’.

Keywords:   Colloquial Moroccan Arabic, Colloquial Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Diglossia

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