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      Sociolinguistics in Saudi Arabia: Present situation and future directions


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          This study provides a brief state-of-the-art overview of sociolinguistic research in Saudi Arabia. It begins with a historical review of the language situation in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to relate the past situation with current language use, focusing on studies that examine Arabic dialects of major tribes and urban centers in the Arabian Peninsula before and after the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It continues with a schematic survey of major trends in Saudi sociolinguistic works over the past few decades, including language variation and change, language contact, language attitudes, and code-switching. As such trends unfolded, researchers investigated the processes of dialect contact, mixing, and, ultimately, koineization and followed, in particular, the socioeconomic changes that Saudi Arabia has witnessed in terms of the spread of education, population movements, and urbanization patterns. Special attention is given to the various sociolinguistic methods employed in such works, as well as the linguistic features that are examined. This study concluded with future directions for Saudi sociolinguistic research in an effort to highlight topics and concerns that need further research, such as certain sociolects and ethnolects, and also new topics and trends associated with language use in social media, particularly by the younger generation.

          Most cited references108

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          Three Waves of Variation Study: The Emergence of Meaning in the Study of Sociolinguistic Variation

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              The Arabic Language

              An introductory guide for students of Arabic language, Arabic historical linguistics and Arabic sociolinguistics New for this edition Additional chapters on the structure of Arabic, bilingualism and Arabic pidgins and creoles A full explanation of the use of conventional Arabic transcription and IPA characters An updated bibliography All chapters have been revised and updated in light of recent research Concentrating on the difference between the two types of Arabic – the classical standard language and the dialects – Kees Versteegh charts the history and development of the Arabic language from its earliest beginnings to modern times. The reader is given a solid grounding in the structure of the language, its historical context and its use in various literary and non-literary genres, as well as an understanding of the role of Arabic as a cultural, religious and political world language. Key Features Covers all aspects of the history of Arabic, the Arabic linguistic tradition, Arabic dialects, sociolinguistics and Arabic as a world language Makes links between linguistic history and cultural history Emphasises the role of contacts between Arabic and other languages

                Author and article information

                Journal of Arabic Sociolinguistics
                Edinburgh University Press ( The Tun - Holyrood Road, 12(2f) Jackson's Entry, Edinburgh EH8 8PJ UK )
                March 2023
                : 1
                : 1
                : 76-97
                Qassim University
                © Edinburgh University Press
                Page count
                References: 108, Pages: 22

                Political science,Literature of other nations & languages,Art history & Criticism,Religious studies & Theology,Arab world & Islam,History
                linguistic variation and change,Arabic,Saudi Arabia,Saudi dialects,sociolinguistics


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