Social integration and dialect divergence in coastal Palestine

William M. Cotter*, Uri Horesh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The history of Palestine has caused communities to be displaced and relocated, entailing that speech communities have been dismantled and created anew. The coastal cities of Jaffa and Gaza exemplify this reality. This study analyzes speakers from Jaffa, some of whom remained there and others residing in Gaza as refugees. Through an examination of three variables, ({glottal stop, reversed}), (AH), and (Q), we shed light on the effects of dialect contact while highlighting the link between dialect contact and identity formation and maintenance. All three variables are found to be in varied states of change as a result of contact with other varieties of Arabic, as well as with Modern Hebrew. We conclude that (Q), through its high social salience, works to create and maintain a sense of community identity for Jaffan refugees in Gaza at a time when the speech of the larger Jaffa community is undergoing substantial linguistic change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-483
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Sociolinguistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • Arabic
  • Gaza
  • Identity
  • Jaffa
  • Language variation
  • Palestinian


Dive into the research topics of 'Social integration and dialect divergence in coastal Palestine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this