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dc.contributor.authorAmbu Saidi, Suaad Ali Saud-
dc.descriptionPhD Thesisen_US
dc.description.abstractThis study investigates change in the Nizwa dialect due to inter-dialectal contact caused by population movements towards Muscat. Particularly, it examines the use of five linguistic features of Nizwa Arabic belonging to different levels of the grammar. The phonological variables include the labialization of the high vowel /i/ and the vowel syncope in CV.C word-onsets. The morphosyntactic variables are affricating the second-person feminine singular suffix, marking the future with the prefix [Ɂa-] and adding /-ə/ clitics when composing yes/no questions. Data was collected from 38 participants stratified by sex, age, age of arrival (AoA) and length of residence in Muscat (Labov 2001; Siegel 2010). It was elicited using sociolinguistic interviews, picture and map tasks and a judgment/transformation test. Results confirm that the migrants’ dialect is indeed undergoing change with regard to labialization, syncope, future marker and the yes/no question clitics. This is attributed to: (i) Improved interlocutor comprehensibility in contact settings and (ii) Speakers’ desire to conform to the prestigious norms. This study presents several interesting findings to the field. First, it shows that older speakers (ages 25-50) are the highest adopters of the innovative features due to their involvement in the linguistic marketplace which increases their awareness of and thus desire to avoid stigmatized linguistic variants (Simmons 2003; Sankoff and Wagner 2006). Furthermore, a younger AoA is associated with conservative local use which is interpreted to result from maintaining local contacts in such speakers’ social networks (Milroy and Milroy 1985). Additionally, a convergence to Nizwa dialect is attested in monitored speech styles. This dialect maintenance emphasizes speakers’ desire to retain their Nizwa identity (Ivars 1994). This study shows that speakers’ ideologies and identity affiliations can be strong correlates for predicting migrants’ dialect divergence and convergence patterns (Ervin-Tripp 2002; Eckert 2003).en_US
dc.publisherNewcastle Universityen_US
dc.titleA sociolinguistic study of dialect contact and change in Omani Arabicen_US
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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