Perceptual Dialectology of the Arab World: A Principal Analysis
This study discusses perceptions of variation across dialects of Arabic in the Arab world as revealed through a perceptual dialectology map task. On a map of the Arab world, female undergraduate students at Qatar University provided information about bound- aries where people speak di erently and labels for those boundaries. A correlation analysis of the boundaries showed that participants viewed Arabic dialects as constituting five major dialect groups: the Maghreb, Egypt and Sudan, the Levant, the Gulf, and Somalia. A closer analysis of the content of the labels revealed variation in terms of principal (Go ffman 1981 ) on whom they draw in their judgments, the latter being either individual, regional (intermediate) or wide-scope generic. This analysis not only identifies more granularity in the concept of principal, it also quantifies the di erent kinds of principal and identities statistical relationships between them, the labels, and the boundaries.
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