The Socio-phonetics and Morphosyntax of Language Variation in Jordan

Othman Khalid Al Shboul


This study investigates the linguistic choices made by the participants at the level of phonetics and morphosyntax in Irbid city. The study examines the way speakers reconstruct their new identity, as belonging to an upper social class rather than to their real middle class. The researcher assumed that he would find a lot of variation among the speakers in this city that is worth examining socio-linguistically, especially that Irbid is rich in linguistic variation and social contact. The data were extracted from the videos of ten field interviews. The researcher found that gender, age and education influence the way people speak. That is to say, the young people (both males and females) were more triggered to make linguistic changes than their aged counterparts. Besides, the females produced more vernacular variants than the males. This research attempts to investigate social class as an attraction, to which the speaker tries to reach, pushing him/her to make linguistic changes, rather than as a social factor affecting the speaker’s choices since this study assumes that the speaker makes linguistic changes as he/she reconstructs his/her identity in the new social class (the attraction or target). The study concludes that social class, in particular, serves as a motivation factor that pushes speakers to reformulate their identity.

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