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News broadcasts between fuṣḥā and Lebanese: Language choice as an implicit comment on national identity in Lebanon

Helge Daniëls

Abstract


This article presents an analysis of the news bulletins broadcasted by South Lebanese radio station Ṣawt al-Ğanūb (SaJ, Voice of the South). SaJ broadcasted its news bulletins in fuṣḥā (Standard Arabic), as well as in Lebanese. This is interesting because in most news bulletins tend to be broadcasted in the standard language, rather than in spoken varieties. This is definitely the case for so-called diglossic societies, such as Arabic-speaking societies, in which the linguistic metanorm for ‘serious programs’ is fuṣḥā. After presenting a brief linguistic description of a small corpus of news bulletins that were broadcasted in January 1998, this article focuses on how language (choice) functions symbolically in the extra-linguistic world. It argues that the choice to breach the metapragmatic norms, while framing the language use in the news bulletins explicitly as ‘the Lebanese language’ (al-luġa al-lubnānīye) can be interpreted as an implicit comment on Lebanese national identity.


Keywords


language ideology; nationalism, identity construction; language variability, Lebanon

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2021-002-dani

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Lingue Culture Mediazioni - Languages Cultures Mediation
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (27/11/2013 n. 380)
Online ISSN 2421-0293 - Print ISSN 2284-1881


Dipartimento di Scienze della Mediazione Linguistica e di Studi Interculturali
Università degli Studi di Milano


Editors-in-Chief: Paola Catenaccio (Università degli Studi di Milano) - Giuliana Garzone (IULM, Milano)
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International Scientific Committee: James Archibald (McGill University, Montreal) - Natalija G. Bragina (Institut Russkogo Jazyka im. A.S. Puškina; RSUH, Mosca) - Kristen Brustad (University of Texas at Austin) - Luciano Curreri (University of Liège) - Hugo de Burgh (University of Westminster) - Giuditta Caliendo (Université de Lille) - Giorgio Fabio Colombo (Nagoya University Graduate School of Law) - Daniel Dejica (Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara) - Anna De Fina (Georgetown University, USA) - Claudio Di Meola, (Sapienza Università di Roma) - Denis Ferraris (Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris) - Lawrence Grossberg (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) - Stephen Gundle (University of Warwick) - Décio de Alencar Guzmán (Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém,  Brasile) - Matthias Heinz (Universität Salzburg) - Rosina Márquez-Reiter (The Open University) - Samir Marzouki (Université de Manouba à Tunis) - (John McLeod, University of Leeds) - Estrella Montolío Durán (Universitat de Barcelona) - M'bare N'gom (Morgan State University, Baltimore) - Christiane Nord (Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences) - Daragh O'Connell (Cork University) - Roberto Perin (York University, Toronto) - Giovanni Rovere (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg) - Lara Ryazanova-Clarke (University of Edinburgh) - Françoise Sabban (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) - Kirk St.Amant (Louisiana Tech University, University of Limerick/University of Strasbourg) - Paul Sambre (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) - Srikant Sarangi (Aalborg University) - Junji Tsuchiya (Waseda University, Tokyo) - Xu Shi (Zhejiang University)
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