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Saturday, October 12 • 2:55pm - 3:20pm
Sheydaei & Purnell: Towards a transracial sociolinguistics: Ethnographic insight from Americans of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) descent

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Towards a transracial sociolinguistics: Ethnographic insight from Americans of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) descent

This study contributes to transracial sociolinguistics by focusing on language practices of Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent (MENA-Americans), and integrating exogenous top-down and endogenous bottom-up approaches to studying sociolinguistic communities. We contrast results of a perceptual experiment with results from ethnographic interviews. The perceptual study (300 participants) shows that people of MENA ancestry are not recognizable as a distinct ethnic community based on physical appearance while attire and linguistic features make the community more distinctive. However, ethnographic interviews with eight MENA-Americans (2nd and 3rd generation) show that they think MENA-Americans are a visible community based on appearance. Our ethnographic interviews also show a positive correlation between ethnic rootedness (measured in terms of cultural affiliation, language use and choice, and visibility) and ethnolectal pronunciations of certain sounds – like pharyngeal fricatives, trill /r/, and uvular stops in words such as Arab, Iraq, Maqloobeh, or eid.

Speakers
IS

Iman Sheydaei Baghdadeh

University of Wisconsin-Madison
TP

Thomas Purnell

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Saturday October 12, 2019 2:55pm - 3:20pm
EMU Cedar & Spruce
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Shelome Gooden


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