Diglossia: Arabic Language and Single Language Community Essay

Diglossia is a state or attribute, “speaking two languages”) refers to a situation in which two dialects or usually closely related languages are used by a single language community. In addition to the community’s everyday or vernacular language variety (labeled “L” or “low” variety), a second, highly codified variety (labeled “H” or “high”) is used in certain situations such as literature, formal education, or other specific settings, but not used for ordinary conversation.

Sociolinguistic situation Sociolinguists describe the relationship between SA and DA as diglossic: both are considered varieties of the same language, used by speakers in different social contexts for different functions.

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In this definition, Ferguson distinguishes between: a) oral and written registers, b) two different codes where high (H) refers to the superposed variety and low (L) refers to other varieties, c) written literature which is learned largely by formal education and other varieties learned outside literacy context, and d) H variety, used for most written and formal spoken purposes, as opposed to L variety, which is used for informal spoken interaction Youssi (ms) considered that the “two varieties are enough distanced as to impede intercomprehension between the two forms.

SA was viewed as the high-prestige form which largerly used as the medium of literature,religion and science,also a source of self identityand of authority in the religious tradition. while the vernacular was considered as the low-prestige form”which is the medium of interaction of children with family members and friends at home and within the immediate community. It is also,their means of self-expression within that closely personal environment, which is both rich in a shared cultural heritage, charged with emotion, and linked to their sense of identity.

For these children, their DA is very much present and intimately personal. According to Parkinson , fuSha: “SA” has a concrete reality; it is “an important part of the communicative lives of all educated Egyptians. ” He adds that fuSha: “may not have native speakers, but it certainly has native users, people who read it fluently and listen to it with ease and understanding every day, and who occasionally use it in speaking and writing as well”. Diglossia in classroom setting

The language of education in primary schools in Morocco is SA. It is the least controversial path in which primary teachers initially are trained. The main objective of such a choice is to render the curriculum accessible to all. However, two discourses are produced in school settings, one in SA and the other in DA Classes are regularly taught in SA as the language of instruction, but “explanation” is conducted in DA; otherwise, students will not always understand them. 1.

Context-Related Event ?? ma nebgi:s nesmec lfawDa. [I don’t want to hear noise] ?? gles fe blastek [sit down in your seat] ?? yalla serbi !. [hurry up! ] 2. Teaching Event ?? lma? al yaqu:l “lcaqlu ssali:m fi: ljismi ssali:m” [the proverb says that “the healthy mind is in the healthy body] ?? yacni: TTifl ‘ula: l’insa:n melli: ka: yku:n ljism dya:lu Sali:m ka: yku:n lcaql dya:lu sali:m [this means that when the child or the human being has a healthy body, his mind is also healthy] ) All sentences in the Context-Related Event are performed in DA b) The first sentence in the Teaching Event is given in SA and the explanation in the second sentence is performed in DA. Diglossia in Mosques Friday is the weekly meeting of a congregation, when Moslems show unity by sharing in common public worship, preceded by xuTba, sermon, in which the Ima:m (prayer leader) reviews the week’s life of the community and offers advice and exhortation on good living.

Moslems are required to attend the mid day prayer and listen to the sermon or xuTba5 . The sermon is delivered in a mixture of Classical Arabic and Standard Arabic. Because of the number of illiterates in the rural areas, the Ima:m would read the sermon in CA/SA and on each part he would take time to explain or paraphrase the content in vernacular to make sure that all believers receive the message.

The example and explanation are in general from daily life. The use of vernacular in the explanation of the sermon in the urban areas is limited to zones where illiteracy might be high. This positive attitude to explaining the content of the sermon using vernacular makes the sermon accessible to all and none of the illiterate members of the audience would need to refer to a third party for explanation, which may lead to a misinterpretation of the sermon.

The more clearly the subjects are explained in the vernacular, the more popular the Ima:m will be, and the more believers come to his mosque. Diglossia in the mass media The vernacular is included in different writings in the Arab world (Cf. Naguib Mahfoud’s novels, Youssef Idriss, Miloudi Chegmoum, Abdelgani Abou L’azm, etc. ). It is integrated into the body of literary works and the reader is not hurt to read it as part of the Arabic text.

Some newspapers may take a position toward using vernaculars in their articles, but others use DA in a deliberate way anytime an expression or a word is needed to make a situation clear and close to the reader. DA is also used freely by cartoonist to communicate in a more realistic way. Conclusion As a conclusion digolssia can exist in any society which is the use of two dialects or two closely related language,it is the case as in morocco. We gave different contexts such as: mosques, mass media, and classroom setting where both SA and DA coexit in a natural way.


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