A New Look at Diglossia: Modality-Driven Distinctions between Spoken and Written Narratives in Jordanian Arabic

Lior Laks, Ruth A. Berman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This paper compares written and spoken versions of film-based narratives elicited from native speakers of Jordanian Arabic, focusing on two main differences that emerged between the two versions: (1) Case marking: Overt case marking, assumed a key means of differentiating standard and colloquial , turned out to be distinctive only in the rare cases when diacritics were in fact added to the word-final consonant, so that no clear evidence could be attested for use/non-use of case marking. (2) Nominalization: Distinct means were used to substitute for the lack of a morphologically marked infinitive in both standard and colloquial Arabic: the written texts in our sample relied heavily on derived nominals, which are far less common in their spoken counterparts. The study sheds fresh light on grammatical differences between spoken and written usage in contemporary Arabic, while its corpus-based approach points to new avenues for research on Arabic dialectology and applications to language pedagogy.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHandbook of Arabic Literacy
Subtitle of host publicationInsights and Perspectives
EditorsElinor Saiegh-Haddad, R. Malatesha Joshi
PublisherDordrecht: Springer
Pages241-251
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-017-8545-7
ISBN (Print)978-94-017-8544-0
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameLiteracy Studies: Perspectives from Cognitive Neurosciences, Linguistics, Psychology and Education
PublisherSpringer
Volume9
ISSN (Print)2214-000X
ISSN (Electronic)2214-0018

Bibliographical note

Copyright Information
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Keywords

  • Adverbials
  • Aspect
  • Case markers
  • Infinitive
  • Modalized propositions
  • Nominalizations
  • Subjunctive
  • Spoken/written narratives

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