Language Register and Innovation in Arabic Consumer Advertising: Case studies of Jordan's Al-Rai and Egypt's Al-Ahram newspapers
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Abstract Arabic is a diglossic language with two forms modern standard Arabic (MSA) and colloquial Arabic with each having its own social function and linguistic features. With MSA dominating the writing domain and the colloquial is confined to informal speech. However, recently a new register has been deployed by copywriters in print advertisements in broadsheets in composing some public announcements and consumer advertisements. This new register is deployed by copywriters commissioned by producers and service providers to achieve the primary objective of their business plan to entice prospective customers into reading the advertisement and eventually buy the product. The employment of this register in composing print advertisements is based on various advertisement models. Nevertheless, the novelty of this register is that, it does not abide to Arabic written norms, neither syntactically, nor morphologically. It introduces new techniques to Arabic writing that can to some language purists and conservatives be considered as depreciation to the language. This includes the use of colloquial language in writing, combining and shifting between MSA and colloquial Arabic, a process known as diglossic switching, combining two codes or two languages in a process known as code switching and code mixing. This novel register has manifested as a result of language evolution that can be attributed to many factors including political, social, economic, cultural, technological advances and globalization. This new register which I would like to coine as advertising Arabic, has developed its own morpho-syntactic and phonological features. These include a combination of syntax, morphology, phonology and lexical elements from not only MSA and colloquial Arabic, but also include English elements in it. The influence of English is obvious in the employment of English words either written in the Latin alphabets or transliterated into Arabic through borrowing. The result of this study shows that this new register should be considered as one of main types of Arabic.
PhD Arab and Islamic Studies