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Durham e-Theses
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Diglossic Code-Switching between Standard Arabic and Najdi Arabic in Religious Discourse

ALAIYED, MAJEDAH,ABDULLAH,SALEH (2018) Diglossic Code-Switching between Standard Arabic and Najdi Arabic in Religious Discourse. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This study investigates the linguistic structural constraints of diglossic intra-sentential code-switching between Standard Arabic and Najdi Arabic in religious speeches by six Saudi preachers: three males and three females. To analyse the data, both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis are used. In accounting for the structural constraints found in the diglossic intra-sentential code-switching, diglossic variants of four linguistic variables are considered: negation, relative pronouns, demonstratives and future particles.
This study shows that both male and female preachers switched from one variety to the other across sentence boundaries and within the same sentence. This process does not proceed randomly but is instead governed by particular principles. In the case of Standard Arabic variants of the four variables investigated, where Standard Arabic is the non-dominant variety, diglossic code-switching is restricted as its variants are found to co-occur mostly only with Standard Arabic or neutral lexis. On the other hand, in the case of Najdi Arabic, which is considered the dominant variety, Najdi Arabic variants are found to co-exist with both Standard Arabic and Najdi Arabic as well as neutral lexis. The study supports the validity of the ‘dominant language hypothesis’ proposed by Petersen (1988) and the word-internal mixing constraints. It also partially supports Eid’s (1982, 1988) constraints. The directionality and the contradictory effect constraints are shown to be relevant to the data. Moreover, the study demonstrates the validity of the triggering hypothesis (Clyne, 2003) and the neutralization site hypothesis (Clyne, 1987) for analysing diglossic code-switching.
The study makes a number of contributions to the field of sociolinguistics and code-switching in particular. Firstly, it adds to sociolinguistic knowledge on Standard Arabic and Najdi Arabic spoken in Saudi Arabia. Secondly, to date there is only limited knowledge about the mixed speech of educated speakers in Saudi Arabia. The current study shows in detail how this mixed speech is derived, with the analysis of the four key variables; and it argues that the process is one of diglossic intra-sentential code-switching. Focusing on religious preachers’ extemporaneous monologues therefore helps to fill this research gap. Thirdly, previous studies of religious speeches have focused only on male preachers, and previous studies of Saudi Arabic have disproportionately investigated the speech of men. Given the gender segregation of this speech context, and the sociolinguistic studies of Arabic showing some gender variation (Walters, 1991; Daher, 1998, 1999; Al-Wer, 1999), there is a question over whether there may be gender variation in code-switching in religious speeches in segregated speech contexts. By analysing the code-switching of both male and female preachers, this study makes an original contribution by demonstrating that there is no obvious correlation between gender and any variation in code-switching in this religious speech context in this corpus of data. Fourthly, this study contains original data which has not been previously published or analysed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:02 May 2018 12:20

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