Codeswitching Patterns in Negev Bedouin Students' Personal Interviews

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This article analyzes the personal interview styles of Negev Bedouin students, as characterized by two dimensions of codeswitching: diglossic (Negev Arabic—Educated Arabic) and bilingual (Arabic—Hebrew). I focus on typical patterns of diglossic and bilingual codeswitching at several linguistic levels. For example, diglossic switching at phonological and morphological levels is common, subject to order hierarchies and resulting in hybrid forms; but bilingual phonological and morphological switching do not occur independently of lexical switching. Mixed morphology is frequent in both diglossic and bilingual codeswitching. Syntax is not commonly switched in either the diglossic or bilingual dimensions, and is usually of the matrix language, Negev Arabic, as are system morphs (such as the article, prepositions, and pronouns). Switching at lexical and phraseological levels is the most common process in both dimensions, with content words or phrases (nominal, adjectival, prepositional and verbal) and discourse markers most frequently switched. This highly flexible and dynamic style, with the speakers maneuvering skillfully along the diglossic and the bilingual scales, is acquired through exposure to high education and intense language contact.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)5-34
Number of pages30
JournalZeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik
StatePublished - 2015


  • 953.oriental.studies
  • Article


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