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The Sociolinguistic Correlates of Dialect Contact and Koineisation in Medini Arabic: Lenition and Resyllabification

Hussain, Abeer (2017) The Sociolinguistic Correlates of Dialect Contact and Koineisation in Medini Arabic: Lenition and Resyllabification. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This is a sociolinguistic investigation that focuses on variation and change in Medini Arabic (Saudi Arabia). Data in the form of sociolinguistic interviews were collected from 58 speakers, and analysed quantitatively within the framework of the quantitative variationist paradigm using Rbrul. The study investigates the correlation between two linguistic variables and the social variables of age, gender and community (urban and Bedouin). The dialects under investigation originate from two different norms: ‘Bedouin’, in this study a sub-type of Najdi; and ‘Sedentary’, the traditional dialect of Medina (viz. Medini). The Bedouin group share the same origin and culture whilst the urban group come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The first linguistic variable is (ʤ), which has two realisations in both communities: a traditional affricate [ʤ] and an innovative fricative [ʒ]. The second linguistic variable is resyllabification, which is precipitated by syncope or epenthesis. The innovative variant for the urban group is syncope whereas for the Bedouin group it is epenthesis. Overall, the results indicate that both dialects are undergoing levelling of marked linguistic features and change in progress towards the adoption of koineised or supra-local forms. In the case of (ʤ), the change towards the innovative form is led by the younger women in both communities. With respect to the resyllabification variable, the age group of adult (30-44) urban and Bedouin men take the lead in syncope and epenthesis, respectively. The interpretation of the results is twofold: (i) linguistic, where the results are interpreted within the principles of Optimality Theory and Moraic Theory; (ii) sociolinguistic, where the focus is on social structure, socio-political and socioeconomic change in the locality.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Abeer Hussain
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2017 13:24
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2017 13:24
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20787

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