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The Influence of Standard Arabic (Fus’ha) on the Syrian Dialect in Damascus


Marshall Building, Room 490
845 N. Park Ave.
85719 Tucson , AZ


Fri, 10/27/2017 - 3:00pm


Part of the Fall 2017 Middle Eastern and North African Studies Colloquium Series

Muhammad Al-Khudair, Arabic Language Instructor at the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Arizona

In the past few decades, the old Damascene dialect has been disappearing with very few, if any, living speakers. This dialectic is characterized primarily through its use of metathesis, the inversion of two sounds in a word. The metathesis that existed in many words as well as sound changes in this variety have shifted to assimilate their standard Arabic equivalents. These shifts may also apply to some sentence structures and the use of prepositions, although more research needs to be done in this regard. These changes in the Damascene dialect mark a phenomenon that challenges what is commonly thought; namely, the idea that dialects are influencing standard Arabic and that standard is destined to disappear in the future!


Al-Khudair is currently an instructor of Arabic at the University of Arizona. He has taught at the University of Arizona since 2010. He worked as an English language instructor for Kalamoon University in Syria, 2006-2008. He also worked as an English language teacher for the Syrian Ministry of Education, 2002-2005. He is also a certified translator by the ministry of Justice in Syria. Al-Khudair has a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. in English/Arabic Translation.