The Semantic Shift of Some Arabic Lexemes in Egypt after January 25 Revolution

  •  Adel Mahfouz    


This study attempts to support the hypothesis that politics and language are correlated, i.e., the major political events in a given speech community may take place according to the terms that express certain political concepts and views, and these terms, on the other hand, reflect the experiences which pack the semantic content into them, i.e., verbal and situational context yields the shift in meaning. Although this topic is much more complex, and it requires intensive treatment via an integrated approach, where different linguistic and non-linguistic tools are involved, the main focus of the study is the semantic features of some words used during and after the January 25 Revolution. To support the claim above, this study aims to explore the semantic change of some Arabic words during the January 25 Revolution in Egypt. It is an attempt to trace evidence of the semantic shift in words used during and after the January 25 Revolution through some Egyptian newspapers and social sites. It is concerned with the terms used by the pro and anti-revolution activists to name themselves and their opponents. Through this study, the researcher hopes that the results may assist in drawing the map of the semantic change in contemporary Egyptian Arabic in general and to provide a better understanding of the meaning shifts and changes that occurred to some lexemes as a result of the January 25 Revolution in particular. Furthermore, the findings of this study are expected to be employed as a reference to other semantic studies in order to give an insightful profile for the causes that lead to the various types of semantic change. The analysis of the collected data has revealed that the January 25 Revolution played a crucial role in adding new meaning shades to some words in the Egyptian diction. Moreover, words can be reloaded and interpreted according to the political stance of each group.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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