Edited by Stefano Manfredi and Mauro Tosco
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 6] 2018
► pp. 350–368
Contact-induced change from a speakers’ perspective
A study of language attitudes in Siwa
The article presents the speakers’ perception of contact-induced linguistic change in the Egyptian oasis of Siwa, based on data collected during the authors’ doctoral research (Serreli 2016). The research explored language attitudes and ideologies in Siwa with a qualitative approach built on sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological theories. Linguistic change is presented by speakers as a generational variation; it is attributed to the increased contact between the Siwi and Arabic languages that followed the wider socioeconomic change in the community in recent decades. Moreover, Siwi speakers hold a variety of attitudes towards linguistic change, appreciating phenomena perceived as adjustments to the current times, while criticizing those perceived as a betrayal or corruption of their native language.