Speech Accommodation in Inter-Dialectal Conversations: Exploiting Linguistic Repertoire and Weighing Sociolinguistic Options

Mujdey Abudalbuh


Conversations of eight USA-based native speakers of Arabic, four Jordanians and four Egyptians, were recorded during several casual conversations. Contrary to the prevailing assumption about Arabic inter-dialectal communication, the participants maintained their speech and rarely switched to their interlocutors’ dialect of Arabic. Moreover, while only few instances of switching to Educated Spoken Arabic (ESA) were observed, several instances of switching to English were documented. In this regard, this study invalidates the once-prevailing assumption about the role of ESA as an extensive accommodation strategy for Arabic inter-dialectal interactions and reveals the role of English as a converging strategy in these interactions.


Speech Accommodation; SAT, Code-switching, Sociolinguistics, Arabic Language, English Language.


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