Consonantal Variation in Syrian Refugees’ Speech in Jordan

Yousef Bader, Nosheen Bani-Ali


The study aims at investigating some aspects of phonological variation in Syrian refugees' speech in Jordan taking into consideration the variables of gender and age. It specifically examines four Modern Standard Arabic phonological sounds, namely (Q), (Đ), (Ө) and (ð), their pronunciation in Damascene Arabic and how this pronunciation is affected by the rural Jordanian speech. For this purpose, a Phonological and Social Completion Task (PST) was employed to collect the data. One hundred Syrian participants’ responses to 25 phonological and social situations were examined to show the use of rural Jordanian variables by Syrian refugees. The collected data were categorized into four major categories. The results of the study show that the Damascene phonological variables were sometimes shifted to the rural Jordanian variables. The results also show that the variant /g/ was frequently used by Syrian refugees while the variant /Đ/was rarely used in Syrian refugees’ speech. Regarding gender and age, women were less willing to switch to the Jordanian pronunciation, in contrast to middle-aged men who tended to switch more to the Jordanian pronunciation than other groups.


age; consonants; gender; phonological variation; Syrian dialect

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