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Title: Writing practices in contemporary Egypt : an ethnographic approach
Author: Panović, Ivan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 5884
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is an ethnographically grounded description and interpretation of a variety of writing practices observable in an Arabic speaking community, primarily on the Internet. Working with, or in reaction to, the concept of diglossia, of which Arabic sociolinguistic setting is often cited as a textbook example, the majority of scholars have focused their attention on speech as a major site of language variation and mixing. Writing has been largely neglected. This thesis is a contribution to what I hope will become a growing number of works aimed at filling that lacuna. I examine linguistic features of a number of, mostly non-literary, texts in contemporary Egypt where Modern Standard Arabic (Fuṣḥa) and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ˤAmmiyya) constitute the theoretical poles of the diglossic continuum. The Egyptian sociolinguistic setting, however, is here understood as being defined and reconfigured by the increasing socio‑economic importance of yet another linguistic variety – English. The analysis of linguistic details is conducted with reference to a broader socio‑cultural context and local language ideologies surrounding the production and reception of a rapidly growing number of texts that employ a variety of features and draw on different linguistic resources, thus often defying, in the outcome, the hegemonic ideological projection that writing is the domain of Fuṣḥa. In order to offer an account of a dynamic, changing and diversified character of writing practices in present‑day Egypt, illustrative examples are drawn from a number of different texts and domains of writing, including Wikipedia Masry, Twitter, Facebook, advertisements, online campaigns for political and social causes, as well as books. The inventory of linguistic resources variously employed by various writers in various circumstances is identified to contain re-combinations across three linguistic varieties, Fuṣḥa, ˤAmmiyya and English, and two scripts, Arabic and Latin.
Supervisor: Holes, Clive D. Sponsor: Clarendon ; Dervourgilla ; ORS Awards
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Arabic ; Linguistics ; Ethnographic practices ; written Arabic ; Egypt ; writing practices ; literacies