In Memory of Michael Clyne- In Collaboration with Catrin Norrby, Leo Kretzenbacher, Carla Amorós
Zeinab IBRAHIM: Egyptian Revolution 2011 Slogans: Intuitive Language Choices between Dominant and Non-Dominant Varieties of Arabic
In: Rudolf Muhr (ed.) (2012): Non-dominant Varieties of pluricentric Languages. Getting the Picture. In memory of Michael Clyne. Wien et. al., Peter Lang Verlag. p. 401-414. Zeinab IBRAHIM (Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar) Zeinab@qatar.cmu.edu Egyptian Revolution 2011 Slogans: Intuitive Language Choices between Dominant and Non-Dominant Varieties of Arabic Abstract It seems that when people are revolting, their language inhibitions disappear and they use all varieties of the language intuitively reflecting the real linguistic situation in the country. This has been the case of the January 2011 Egyptian revolution in which Egyptians used dominant and non-dominant varieties along with other languages such as English, hieroglyphics and Chinese for different reasons. Furthermore, these slogans reflect to a good extent the linguist repertoire of Egyptian society. 1. Introduction: This paper references some of the slogans which Egyptians wrote in the January 2011 revolution in the Arabic language. The research adopts Ferguson’s (1959 & 1991) definition of diglossia in which he states that two forms of the same language exist side by side, each fulfilling a number of functions. The H (high/Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)) variety is maintained for all formal functions while the L (low/dialect) variety is maintained for daily functions, with some overlap in the linguistic continuum. This type of diglossia is referred to as “Classical Diglossia”. The paper excludes Fishman’s and Fasold’s (1984) “Broad Diglossia” in which bilingualism or multilingualism are involved in the diglossic situation. The reasons for adopting Ferguson’s definition become evident through the examples provided in the paper. The...
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