Levantine Arabic

Authored by: Kristen Brustad , Emilie Zuniga

The Semitic Languages

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415731959
eBook ISBN: 9780429025563
Adobe ISBN:


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Levantine Arabic (LA) is best described as a dialect bundle whose varieties are spoken across the Levant, in lands currently known as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestinian territories and Israel, as well as parts of Southern Turkey, in particular in the provinces of Mersin and Hatay (Map 16.1). The term is not indigenous, and it is likely that many speakers would resist the grouping on the basis that the rich phonological, morphological and lexical variation within the Levant carries important social meanings and distinctions. For this reason, standardization of Levantine Arabic is not likely to occur, despite its wide use in public life. Like Egyptian Arabic, LA is widely exported in the forms of expatriate employees, television and music, and social media. The recent trend of dubbing Turkish television serials into the dialect of Damascus (beginning around 2008) has achieved widespread popularity and made this dialect comprehensible all over the Arab world.

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