Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

The linguistic legacy of British colonization in Iraq

The linguistic legacy of British colonization in Iraq

Zachariah Shorufi

In this article the author’s goal is to understand better how the plethora of English loanwords found their way into the Iraqi Arabic dialect. Some of the research questions brought up in the article are how Iraq developed into the nation it is today, how the Iraqi Arabic dialect evolved alongside the nation, how the dialect compares to those in countries that are geopolitically similar and share a similar history as Iraq, and how the people in the region feel about these changes to their language. The article is interesting since it aims to investigate a dialect of Arabic that is not that common for foreigners to learn and attempts to make sense of the current linguistics of the Iraqi Arabic dialect. By setting the scene for what needs to be answered or uncovered, the author runs through the history of Iraq to clarify how the current country came to be, segueing on to the more common loanwords and understanding their English origin via literature reviews. The author also draws on articles regarding the surrounding dialects in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar in order to paint a picture of the regional influences English has had, considering that these countries also has very strong influences from the British. Concluding the article with how people feel about the changes to their language and attempts to replace English terms used for modern objects with original Arabic terms, the author finishes by summarizing the influences English has had on Iraqi Arabic and how English is further being intertwined with dialectic Arabic while also b4eing filtered out of the standard language.

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April 5, 2019 - Posted by | abstract

1 Comment »

  1. This is so interesting to me because I always think about a parallel to your topic– how French loanwords are so heavily employed in the Lebanese dialect of Arabic. I think it makes a lot of sense that you compare the Iraqi dialect with other dialects of Arabic to illustrate your points, and I would like to know more about how you talk about the way people feel about changes to their language, because I imagine that there is a mixed set of opinions about it. As we discussed in class, some words and phrases that we use are not ones that we know the (oftentimes some kind of problematic) history of.

    Comment by Dina Charara | April 23, 2019 | Reply


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