Ottoman lexical obsolescence in the Arabic dialects of the Galilee Region

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The author of this article has focused over the last fifteen years on various research projects among Arabic-speaking communities in the Galilee and on other dialects and languages of the Arab world and the Middle East. The linguistic fieldwork that has been conducted, described and analyzed in this article seeks to find the patterns of obsolescence of Ottoman-Turkish lexica in this region, where the Ottomans ruled for approximately 400 years. The Ottomans ruled the Holy Land approximately 400 years, from the time of the Sultan Selim-I between the years 1516-1517 until the arrival of the British troops in 1917 in the Negev in the southern parts of the land. Yet, in the northern parts, the Ottoman rule lasted an additional year, as Haifa was occupied on the 23rd of September, 1918. Undoubtedly, this period is sufficiently long to leave lexical remnants in the Arabic speech of the population. Yet, since Turkish belongs to the Altaic language family and simultaneously also is an agglutinative language, while Arabic is Semitic, it was not easy for the Arab population to pick up this language. Additionally, only a minority of the local Arab population had a thorough command of OttomanTurkish (Osmanlıca) 1
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-88
Number of pages40
JournalŞarkiyat Mecmuası
StatePublished - 2011


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