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Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages. Getting the Picture

In Memory of Michael Clyne- In Collaboration with Catrin Norrby, Leo Kretzenbacher, Carla Amorós

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Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This volume comprises 28 papers presented at the 1 st International Conference on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages in Graz (Austria) in July 2011. The conference was also held in memory of Michael Clyne – eminent linguist, scholar, language enthusiast and advocate of multilingualism who died in October 2010. The volume pays homage to his important contributions in many fields of linguistics and in the theory of pluricentric languages. The conference in Graz was the first international event to document the situation of non-dominant varieties world-wide in order to identify common or diverging features. It provided substantial insights into the codification and in corpus and status planning of non-dominant varieties. The volume deals with 18 languages and 31 different national and other varieties in 29 countries of the world.

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Munirah ALAJLAN: Dominant and Non-Dominant Varieties in the Gulf: Social Class or Region?

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In: Rudolf Muhr (ed.) (2012): Non-dominant Varieties of pluricentric Languages. Getting the Pic- ture. In memory of Michael Clyne. Wien et. al., Peter Lang Verlag. p. 387-400. Munirah ALAJLAN Kuwait University, Kuwait (munirah.alajlan@hotmail.com) Dominant and Non-Dominant Varieties in the Gulf: Social Class or Region? Abstract This paper will give an overview of the Arabic language, specifically the variety used in the Gulf region and the different varieties within each dialect, in terms of social class and other variables, such as gender, edu- cational background and ethnic origin which can have an impact on the use of language. Within the Gulf region, the dialects of Arabic spoken are called Gulf Arabic and each country has its own variety. Which variety dominates the Gulf? And which one is the high variety? Is Arabic consid- ered to be a pluricentric language? There is no one variety that is ac- cepted by all Gulf speakers as a prestigious standard. 1. Introduction Sociolinguistics is the study of the relationship between society and the way language is used. Many speech communities have two (or more) varieties of language. One is referred to as the High variety (H), and the other as the Low va- riety (L). This situation is commonly known as diglossia. Ferguson (1959) illus- trated the criteria of diglossia by demonstrating four contexts which he regarded as most significant examples of diglossia: Swiss German, Modern Greek, Arabic and Haitian Creole. In these contexts, both the high variety and the low variety co-occur. He...

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