Lingüística Forense | Pericia Caligráfica

The linguistic coexistence in the Arabic-speaking countries: Arabic dialects.

¡Ahlan wa sahlan bikum!.! اهلا وسهلا بكم ( Welcome)

In this post I will try to do an abstract about the theme of the dialectology in Arab countries, it will be a contact as it is a broad topic that has been developed and studied throughout history.

Its evolution has been with ups and downs due to the importance that the languages of European colonization (economic and political) have acquired on the one hand and on the other to cultural movements such as the Nahda at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century or the recent Arab spring that have given great importance to classical Arabic (Quran) and Fusha (modern Arabic) against foreign, regional or dialect languages.

Before addressing the issue, the diglossia situation must be taken into account: Term created by Charles Ferguson(1959) to define this sociolinguistic phenomenon that occurs when two or more languages coexist in a community with others that have no relevance or socio- political prestige (dialects).

This phenomenon of apparent bilingualism or trilingualism is not equitable throughout the community of speakers, but is reciprocally proportional to the cultural level of the speaker; The more studies, the greater their linguistic level, which would require a study of the literacy situation of each of the Arab-speaking countries, (which to date is still very high …).

Arabic (classical) is a complex language because of its grammar with declines such as Latin that requires extensive knowledge to achieve a medium-high level. But the modern Fusha or Arabic language decreases the complication of declines and maintains the complexity of its semantics due to the large number of roots or words that are registered and its polysemy (12 million voices against Spanish that has 93,000 and 19,000 are Americanisms).

Due to this differentiation or appreciation, the use of these languages (classical language or standard language or fusha), is directed to writing in general and to literature in particular, to official or institutional writings, etc.

While the dialect is limited its use to the colloquial register with which the different speech registers are proportionally related to the cultural level of the speaker.

Already from the SXX this linguistic variant is being introduced in the literature, not without many retractors and is usually used when they want to refer to the customs literature of the Arab world in general and of Egypt in particular (Egyptian TV soaps).

Although the mother tongue in the Arabic-speaking countries is the dialect, the standard Arabic or fusha is the one taught in the schools and the official one.

Hereby this diglossia causes all the inhabitants of that community to change registers in each of the daily situations. This situation differs in each of the countries due to its own historical-cultural and linguistic trajectory or evolution.

After European colonization (1747-1948) European languages (Spanish, English and French) that fight for the power of their prevalence in colonized countries are included. Thereby in Algeria, Arabic is more an exotic language than an official one, while French continues in political-economic life, etc.

However, Morocco’s linguistic situation is a more equitable struggle and dialects continue to play an important social role. Although French is still in universities and colleges, there are already many detractors who want to leave the French yoke and opt for the use of Arabic or even claim English as an academic language (influence of Americans in the country and technology).

Naturally, the development of this linguistic situation has accrued throughout history and has naturally influenced the idiosyncrasies of each of the areas involved, which has had its own evolution.

If you study the development of this linguistic phenomenon in Lebanon, for example, it differs and more than that of Algeria or its neighboring Morocco, despite having had the same French influence, in Lebanon, bilingualism is more widespread and also speakers in the cities have a high record.

This situation so variable makes the study of dialects very complex since within the country itself there are different dialects and languages that are more or less bounded by geographical areas and which in turn have had a different evolution from others nearby.

A classic example of this diglossia is Morocco has two official languages: Arabic and Amazigh (different northern Berber languages) each has its dialect variants. And also, as administrative languages French, Spanish and English that is currently entering the country in the field of business.

Only the Amazigh has: Tashelhit (majority dialect); the Amazigh of the central Atlas; Judeo-Berber; Shanhaja de Srair in the Rif; The Ghomari in Tetuan and Chefchaouen and finally the Rifeño Tarifit. With all these languages the inhabitants of Morocco coexist, hence, especially in the north, a mixture of Spanish, Arabic, French and English is made and they put words with different backgrounds in a colloquial conversation that leads to an overexertion of understanding and a situation of misunderstanding by the person outside this sociolinguistic situation.

Next, we will show a synoptic chart of the dialects by geographical areas as well in the first division: Dialects of the West and dialects of the East.

In the dialects of the West, all of North Africa would be included, except for Sudan and Egypt with characteristics different from their neighboring countries. Then there would be the dialects of the East that include all the countries of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, including Jordan, the dialects of the Arab Levant (Syria, Lebanon and Palestine), and finally and alone would be the Iraqi dialects.

All this linguistic information is very relevant for forensic studies, not so much in calligraphic expertise, which could help, but especially from forensic linguistics since the use of several linguistic records provides professionals with many data concerning the idiolect of the writer as limit your geographical radius of origin.

While it is true that when they write they try to make Fuchsia or modern Arabic the way of written communication, they usually escape in people of cult record, colloquialisms typical of their dialect, especially in informal written conversation, and also in less cultured records due to his little knowledge of the “cultured language” as a way of expression.                                                                

I recommend to “The teachers” of the matter of calligraphic expertise in Arabic (languages ​​with a non-Latin alphabet) that they are really training in the language they intend to live off: BEGIN LEARNING…TOO MUCH! Ahlan wa sahlan bikum! اهلا وسهلا بكم (Welcome)

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