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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(J1) Ruthan: Attitudes toward Jazani Arabic

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Attitudes toward Jazani Arabic

Jazani Arabic is a highly stigmatized dialect among speakers of other Saudi regional dialects. The few attitudinal studies of Saudi dialects have shown that southern dialects of Saudi Arabic, to which Jazani belongs, are judged as ‘bad’, ‘unbearable’, and sound like ‘Yemeni’ Arabic. Yet, the linguistic source of the stigma for the southern dialects, and importantly for Jazani Arabic, is unclear. 183 participants from all different regions of Saudi Arabia participated in an online perception and attitude survey to determine salient socio-phonetic features of Jazani Arabic and their impact on attitudes toward the dialect. The results show that word-initial clusters and non-emphatic /r/ stood out as salient features of Jazani Arabic, which have contributed to respondents attitudes to mention general comments like ‘sounds like Yemeni’, ‘annoying’, ‘unpleasant’, linguistic comments like ‘non-emphatic /r/’, ‘word-initial clusters’ and ‘fast’. These results allow a better understanding of the stereotypes and beliefs on the dialect.


Mohammed Ruthan

Michigan State University

Saturday October 12, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm PDT
EMU Ballroom