The Politics of Written Language in the Arab World connects the fascinating field of contemporary written Arabic with the central sociolinguistic notions of language ideology and diglossia. Focusing on Egypt and Morocco, the authors combine large-scale survey data on language attitudes with in-depth analyses of actual language usage and explicit (and implicit) language ideology. They show that writing practices as well as language attitudes in Egypt and Morocco are far more receptive to vernacular forms than has been assumed.
The individual chapters cover a wide variety of media, from books and magazines to blogs and Tweets. A central theme running through the contributions is the social and political function of “doing informality” in a changing public sphere steadily more permeated by written Arabic in a number of media.
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Jacob Høigilt, Ph.D. (2008), Peace Research Institute Oslo, is senior researcher at that institute. His research revolves around issues of language, politics and ideology in the Arab world, including the monograph
Islamist Rhetoric (Routledge, 2011).
Gunvor Mejdell is professor at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. She has many publications in the field of Arabic sociolinguistics, including
Mixed Styles in Spoken Arabic in Egypt (Brill 2006), and also works in literary translation.
Contributors are: Emad Abdul-Latif, Mariam Aboelezz, Kristen Brustad, Dominique Caubet, Alexander Elinson, Atiqa Hachimi, Jacob Høigilt, Eva Marie Håland, Tewodros Aragie Kebede, Kristian Takvam Kindt, Gunvor Mejdell, Catherine Miller, and Jon Nordenson.
Readers interested in the Arabic language situation, language ideology, diglossia, and emerging writing practices