Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Language attitudes toward Saudi dialects
by Aldosaree, Osamh M., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 77; 10141516
Abstract (Summary)

The aim of this study is to reveal and analyze language ideologies and stereotypes associated with the three main regional dialects of Saudi Arabia: Najdi, Hijazi, and Janoubi. The research questions were “How do Saudi speakers with different educational levels perceive other regional dialects?” and “Does experience and exposure to other dialects play a role in terms of their perception?” Since college students typically have more opportunities to interact with speakers of different dialects, I hypothesized that their evaluations of other dialects would be different from high school students’ perspectives. The study participants consisted of 66 college subjects and 69 high school subjects; they came from different regional backgrounds. Lambert's Matched-Guise Test (1960) was implemented in order to examine the language attitudes toward these dialects. Interviews were also conducted to probe participants’ reasons and justifications for their judgments and opinions and also to support statistical findings. I found significant difference between college and high school subjects in the measures of five items. High school subjects tended to have a hard time guessing the speaker’s background, which indicates they lack awareness of other dialects. College participants also applied more positive adjectives to Hijazi and Najdi speakers. On the other hand, high school subjects tended to judge the Hijazi speaker as a very slow speaker. In the interviews, I found that college interviewees tended to provide more details than high school interviewees, which showed college participants are more aware of other dialects. This study tried to determine whether or not discriminatory attitudes existed among the participants. The results indicate that certain dialect speakers could be judged negatively based on which dialect they speak, and that there are implications for their social and work lives. This study may help scholars better understand some of the language ideologies held by high school and college students in Saudi Arabia.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Klein, Wendy
Commitee: Finney, Malcolm, Sharifi, Amir
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Sociolinguistics
Keywords: Arabia, Arabic, Dialect, Hijazi, Najdi, Saudi
Publication Number: 10141516
ISBN: 9781339968766
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