Thomas Leddy-Cecere, Sociolinguistics | “You're GONNA WANNA Hear This: The role of contact in the rise of grammar across Arabic dialects”
SCT Colloquium—Fall 2021
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | The Society, Culture, and Thought Colloquium invites you to explore social questions and problems at the heart of contemporary debates.
In this talk, I will introduce elements of my ongoing research into socially-induced change in the grammatical systems of modern Arabic, which advances a paradigm that conceptualizes grammar development as a form of metaphor construction and extension. Together, we will examine this link between metaphor and grammar as a human communicative universal, and will then move to apply this lens to data from several dozen modern Arabic speech communities—specifically the diverse strategies members of those communities use to express the abstract notion of future verb tense. This approach will allow us to reconcile seemingly contradictory patterns of convergence and divergence in Arabic's linguistic evolution, and to link these developments to broader trends of social contact and interconnectivity active in the Arab world today.
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