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Words and StonesThe Politics of Language and Identity in Israel$
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Daniel Lefkowitz

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195121902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195121902.001.0001

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Phonology and the Negotiation of Arab Identity

Phonology and the Negotiation of Arab Identity

(p.213) 7 Phonology and the Negotiation of Arab Identity
Words and Stones

Daniel Lefkowitz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines social variation in the use of two crucial phonological variables in the linguistic construction of Arabness, and therefore constitute a core trope in Israeli constructions of Self and Other. These phonological variables involve variable realizations of the two Hebrew pharyngeal phonemes ⁄☐⁄ (called “ayin”) and ⁄ħ⁄ (called “het”). For each pharyngeal and nonpharyngeal pronunciations are used. Data show that Jewish Israelis avoid pharyngealized forms, while Palestinian Israelis embrace them. The chapter explicates the strategic use to which variation in pharyngealization is put in social interaction, beginning with a discussion of the social and linguistic history of the pharyngeal phonemes.

Keywords:   language, phonological variables, pharyngealization, Jewish Israelis, Palestinian Israelis, social interaction, sociolinguistics, Hebrew

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