Chapter published in:Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXXII: Papers selected from the Annual Symposium on Arabic Linguistics, Tempe, Arizona, 2018
Edited by Elly van Gelderen
[Studies in Arabic Linguistics 9] 2020
► pp. 155–172
Clinical linguistic research in the study of Arabic diglossia
Clinical linguistics was first defined as the “application of the theories, methods, and findings of linguistics (including phonetics) to the study of those clinical situations where disorders of language are diagnosed and treated” (Crystal, 1981: 1). Based on a Question and Answer presentation at the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association, Crystal called for more focused cross-linguistic comparative studies in clinical linguistics (Crystal, 2013). Although clinical applications of linguistics are emphasized in such studies, this kind of research may also add to theoretical inquiries in linguistics and the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD). This paper highlights the potential contributions of Arabic clinical linguistic studies to CSD, through a description of two studies on diglossia and its interactions with assessment and intervention services provided by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in different CSD populations. The paper provides a brief overview of the SLP profession and its growth in the Arabic-speaking world, followed by descriptions of two preliminary clinical linguistic studies of Arabic diglossia: one focused on aphasia recovery in diglossic speech communities, and the other on diglossic codeswitching in Arabic-speaking individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. These studies share a broad theoretical framework, and both exemplify the relevance of linguistic theory and methods for investigations of communication disorders in diglossia. Of particular interest is the promise of systematic cross-dialectal investigations of communication disorders in line with Crystal’s (2013) call for expansion of deliberately designed comparative cross-linguistic studies in clinical linguistics.
Keywords: clinical linguistics, Arabic, speech-language pathology, communication sciences and disorders, diglossia, aphasia, autism-spectrum disorder
Published online: 28 August 2020
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