Arabic in contact with English in Asia.
Linguistic, social and political influences of Arabic in the region.
Published by Cambridge University Press
Ph.D. and MA in Linguistics
Doctor/ Ph.D. member of the INSTITUT DE DIPLOMATIE PUBLIQUE
Arabic has a long history of contact with languages outside the Middle East (Lapidus, 2015; Beg, 1979). In Asia, the spread of Arabic began with the trade network that connected the Middle East with South Asia, South-East, East Asia and East Africa from the fifth century. It intensified with the rise of Islam from the seventh century onwards (Morgan & Reid, 2010; Azirah & Leitner, 2016). In this paper we investigate the impact of Arabic on today's English in the context of Asian Englishes. More specifically we ask if the contact of Arabic with English in Asia has led to the creation of an Arabic-Islamic layer of English in countries that have a majority or a significant minority of Muslims. Would such a layer add a new dimension to the texture of English and be integrative across national Englishes? Or would it be divisive inside individual countries?
In order to explore such issues we created a corpus of Arabic loanwords in Asian Englishes. Such a database will contribute to a better coverage of the impact of Arabic in dictionaries and to the study of English as a (multiple) national, regional and global language.