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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: The sociolinguistic functions of codeswitching between Standard Arabic and Dialectal Arabic
Author: Abdulkafi Albirini
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Arabic, Standard
Abstract: This study examines the social functions of codeswitching (CS) between Standard Arabic (SA) and Dialectal Arabic (DA). The data came from thirty-five audio and video recordings in the domains of religious lectures, political debates, and soccer commentaries. The findings suggest that speakers create a functional division between the two varieties by designating issues of importance, complexity, and seriousness to SA, the High code, and aligning less important, less serious, and accessible topics with DA, the Low code. The CS patterns therefore reproduce the unequal social and distribution of SA and DA in the Arabic sociolinguistic landscape and simultaneously call for a reconceptualization of the notion of diglossia as presented in Ferguson's (1959) work. Other functions of CS as a marker of speakers' attitudes and as an index of pan-Arab or Muslim identities are discussed. (Arabic, bidialectal codeswitching, High/Low dichotomy, functional diglossia, identity, language attitudes)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 40, Issue 5.

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