Multilingualism and the role of English in the United Arab Emirates, with views from Singapore and Hong Kong

Siemund, Peter and Al-Issa, Ahmad and Rahbari, Sharareh and Leimgruber, Jakob R. E.. (2021) Multilingualism and the role of English in the United Arab Emirates, with views from Singapore and Hong Kong. In: Research developments in world Englishes. London, pp. 95-120.

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a unique linguistic laboratory in which the interaction and competition of Arabic and English can be studied in a superdiverse linguistic environment, in addition to the blending and perhaps levelling of English non-standard varieties. In the present contribution, we present evidence from the ongoing research project Language Attitudes and Repertoires in the Emirates (LARES), exploring the tension between English and Arabic, the use of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) in relation to local forms of Arabic, the prominence of English in specific sectors of society (education, economy, tourism), the increasing use of English as a home language, as well as the presumed emergence of a new variety of English that may tentatively be called 'Gulf English'. We conclude by comparing the situation in the UAE with the similarly high-contact urban areas of Singapore and Hong Kong, which are city-states that differ in their histories and their local use of English in several ways. Specifically, we argue that while Hong Kong and Singapore (to a lesser degree), remain firmly situated within Kachru's outer circle, the UAE shows signs of moving from the expanding circle towards the outer circle. Moreover, due to the high influx of foreign labor from former British and American colonies (India, Philippines, etc.), the UAE has developed into a melting pot of different varieties of English that we endearingly refer to as 'Milton Keynes II'.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > English Linguistics (Locher)
UniBasel Contributors:Leimgruber, Jakob R. E.
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
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Last Modified:13 Dec 2021 16:01
Deposited On:13 Dec 2021 16:01

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