AN EXPERIMENTAL SOCIOLINGUISTIC STUDY OF LANGUAGE VARIATION IN JORDANIAN ARABIC

Mohammed Nahar Al-Ali, Heba Isam Mahmoud Arafa

Abstract


The use of instrumental techniques in studies on the correlation of social variables with consonantal variation is a new trend in linguistic research. This trend is part of a new eclectic research area called socio-phonetics. This technique, to our knowledge, has not been so far utilized in investigating the phonological variations in Arabic. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the social impact of gender and educational setting on patterns of variation in the use of /θ/, / dʒ /and /ð/ by means of instrumental as well as auditory techniques. A pictorial interview was used to elicit data from the speech of 40 male and female respondents from two educational backgrounds. The main results of the study indicate that gender and educational setting differences affect the use of linguistic variants. Auditory examination reveals that men and individuals with high school education have a higher tendency to maintain the use of local variants, whereas women and individuals with university education have a higher tendency to adopt non-local prestigious variants. Furthermore, employment of acoustic measurements uncovered that in the use of local variants female respondents tend to consciously lower the degree of salience of these variants. In conclusion, male and female speech behavior depends on social priority. Men are driven by the concept of masculinity and toughness, while women are driven by prestige and softness.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/bjll.v3i0.30

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