Redefining Identity through Language in the Literature of the Diaspora

R. Bassiouney
2010 Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East  
1 0 1 C o m p a r a t i v e S t u d i e s o f S o u t h A s i a , A f r i c a a n d t h e M i d d l e E a s t V o l . 3 0 , N o . 1 , 2 0 1 0 d o i 1 0 .1 2 1 5 / 1 0 8 9 2 0 1 x -2 0 0 9 -0 5 5 © 2 0 1 0 b y D u k e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s Redefining Identity through Language in the Literature of the Diaspora Reem Bassiouney his essay examines the use of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA) in the novel Al-hubb fi al-manfa (Love in Exile) by Baha Tahir. The
more » ... say argues that the writer uses code choice and code switching between MSA and ECA as a literary device that does not reflect reality but redefines and reconstructs a different identity for the protagonist with the different people in his life, from a waiter he befriends to his children. The essay starts by defining the phenomenon of diglossia in the Arab world and gives an overview of previous studies that have concentrated on the use of MSA and ECA in literature. Then the conversations in the novel are analyzed with code choice in mind.
doi:10.1215/1089201x-2009-055 fatcat:uknhtwy2zrbytjsuoijgzqjxhm