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A Sociolinguistic study of the Dawāsir dialect in Dammam, Eastern Arabia: fortition of /j/ and unrounding of /a:/

Alaodini, Hind (2019) A Sociolinguistic study of the Dawāsir dialect in Dammam, Eastern Arabia: fortition of /j/ and unrounding of /a:/. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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The present research investigates two sociolinguistic variables in the dialect of the Dawāsir who reside in Dammam in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Those Dawāsir immigrated from their homeland Wādi ad-Dawāsir in Najd to Bahrain and later returned to KSA, specifically Dammam. Dammam is a coastal city located in the Eastern part of KSA, very close to Bahrain. Sociolinguistic interviews were carried out to obtain data from 39 speakers from the Dawāsir who were born, and still live in Dammam. The research investigates two variables: (ʤ) (the variation between [ʤ] and [j]); and the rounding and unrounding of the long vowel (ɑ:) word-medially. The correlation between internal (linguistic) factors and three social factors, namely age, gender and social networks is examined. The present study provides a quantitative analysis within the framework of the variationist theory, by using the multiple regression software Rbrul. The data analysis shows that the occurrence of the traditional variants [j] and [ɒ:] is much lower in comparison to the innovative variants: 76 % for [ʤ] and 97 % for [ɑ:]. Overall, the use of [j] and [ɒ:] word-medially is receding, seemingly indicating a change in progress away from the traditional, local variants. The local dialect is undergoing levelling of the marked features toward the koinised or the supra-local linguistic features in KSA. In regards to the social predictors, the results show that speakers who maintain loose social networks, predominantly men across the different age-groups (old, middle-aged, young) and young females, are leading the change in using the common features in KSA. On the other hand, speakers with tight social networks, mainly old women, are more conservative in retaining the traditional local linguistic features. In terms of the internal factors, preceding environment is a strong predictor of variation. Contrary to the literature, the innovative variant [ʤ] prefers high vowels, and [ɑ:] prefers dorsal and coronal consonants.

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: Hind Alaodini
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2019 14:23
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2019 14:23

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