Accepted Paper:

Language as a metaphor for cultural diversity in Lebanon  

Author:

A Michael Vermy (American University of Beirut )

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines if and to what extent Spanish, Arabic and/or English are involved in speakers' internalization or display of identities (regional, religious, social, etc.) and if they view this as a manifestation of Lebanese cultural diversity.

Paper long abstract:

This study investigates multilingual individuals and how the languages they speak relate to their notions of social and personal identities. The paper examines if and to what extent Spanish, Arabic and/or English are involved in speakers' internalization or display of identities (regional, religious, social, etc.) and if they view this as a manifestation of Lebanese cultural diversity. I will discuss language ideologies and present preliminary findings of an ongoing study in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon. I argue that speakers' use of Spanish is an iconic representation and index of their belonging to a specific social group (Irvine and Gal 2000; Albirini 2016). I also consider the significance of co-existing languages (i.e. English and Spanish vis-à-vis Arabic) that often overlap in social and educational domains and how this relates to their membership of social groups.

Panel RM-LL03
Metaphor: transfer and the motion of language [LingAnthLing panel]