Language Attitudes Studies Between the Past and the Present: The Current State of Research in the Arab World and Within the Saudi Context

  •  Abdullah Abdulrahman Bin Towairesh    


Language attitudes studies are integral to our understanding of language-society dynamics, specifically in regions where linguistic diversity can create issues connected to social structure and social cohesion. The field of language attitudes studies heavily impacts research in areas such as language planning and policy, education and workplace inequality, and cultural discrimination. Thus, it is important to have a work that presents an overview of the most important notions and concepts in this field, with a specific focus on topics such as defining language attitudes, the components of an attitude, and the different methods of measuring it. This paper aims at providing this overview in addition to assessing the current status of language attitudes studies in the Arab world and outlining the challenges and opportunities for researchers in this field. One of the significant characteristics of language attitudes research in this region is the lack of studies that focus on the inequality dimension. Many studies in this region have opted to investigate the Standard-Spoken dichotomy and the attitudes of speakers toward foreign languages such as French and English. Researching issues such as the attitudes toward other Arabic varieties and toward migrant guest workers’ use of pidgins remains limited in the Arab context. Factors such as cultural rivalry and national pride may represent some of the obstacles in the path of conducting broader studies in the field of language attitudes in this region.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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