Arabic as a contact language

Authored by: Stefano Manfredi

The Routledge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics

Print publication date:  January  2018
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138783331
eBook ISBN: 9781315147062
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter aims at analysing the results of language contact involving Arabic in the light of Van Coetsem’s psycholinguistic principle of language dominance. By assuming a basic distinction between two transfer types (i.e. Recipient Language agentivity vs. Source Language agentivity), I will go through the outcomes of language contact involving Arabic as both dominant and non-dominant language, in different geographical and historical contexts. Furthermore, I will discuss the linguistic features of number of Arabic-based contact varieties (i.e. Maltese, Juba Arabic, Central Asian Arabic) so as to classify them according to the language dominance principle. Above and beyond, the chapter intends to stress the centrality of language contact for Arabic historical linguistics as well as to reveal the significance of the Arabic language for a typological understanding of contact-induced change.

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