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Attitude towards Jordanian Arabic Dialects: A Sociolinguistic Perspective




This study investigates the unequal attitude people have toward the main spoken dialects in Jordan. Eight stereotypical features were considered: intelligibility and clarity, prestige, elegance, education, social status, accent thickness, courage, and generosity. It examines how the distribution of attitude differs in different contexts, how it can affect employability chances, and how responses can be argued for within the social identity theory. An evaluative/matched guise test with eight recordings of the dialects by male and female speakers was answered by 234 respondents of different ages, genders and dialects. Responses were collected from three non-native speakers of any of the Jordanian Arabic dialects (Egyptian, Iraqi, and Druze). Results demonstrated that the urban dialect has the most positive attitudes regarding intelligibility, prestige, elegance, education, and social status, but the least positive attitudes regarding courage, generosity, and accent thickness, in which the Bedouin dialect scored the most positive attitudes. Attitude may change when changing the context of judgment. Such attitudes were found to affect employability chances especially for jobs that require speaking skills. Evaluation also may be affected if the speaker is from a group which is different or similar to that of the respondent. These reports may be taken as substantial evidence of the power of language ideologies and social psychology in speech communities with which individuals can align themselves.

Keywords: Language Attitude; Dialect; Jordanian Arabic; Social Image.

Authors: Bassil Mashaqba, Anas Huneety , Suhaib Al-Abed Al-Haq ,                           Yasmeen Dardas

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47012/jjmll.15.3.12


Cited by: Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literatures (JJMLL) 2023, 15 (3): 959-980


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