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Do they speak the same language? Language use in Juba local courts

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Chapter Summary

An interesting development of this linguistic achievement is the fact that, since Ki-Nubi and Juba Arabic have been identified as 'specific' languages, the local speakers are expected to speak what the linguists have described as Juba Arabic and Ki-Nubi. The evolution of Juba Arabic was far from linear, and was not automatically leading to a process of decreolization. Different trends of change and restructuration were simultaneously recorded in a city like Juba and different influences were operating on the daily language; one leading towards a rapprochement to Khartoum Arabic, the other toward vernacularization. This chapter explores the following: Where are the boundaries of Juba Arabic? On which criteria can we decide that a person speaks or does not speak Juba Arabic? Do they mix different features and variables in their speech? To illustrate the diversity prevailing under the generic label of Juba-Arabic, the chapter presents complete samples of interaction.

Keywords: Juba Arabic; Juba Local Courts; Khartoum Arabic; Ki-Nubi; vernacularization



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