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Abstract


AN ONGOING LANGUAGE SHIFT PROCESS: THE SAMPLE OF MERSIN ARABIC

This study discusses the language shift process in Arabic, by examining the verbal responses of 25 indigenous Arabic-Turkish bilinguals of Arabic origin living in Mersin. The responses of 12 semi-lingual and 13 proficient participants were given in direct quotations and the data gathered was analyzed qualitatively. The focus of the study is on the views of Arabic-Turkish bilinguals about the Arabic dialect that they speak; how they internalize this dialect into their personal identities, what they think about transmitting it to younger generations and how younger generations feel about acquiring it. The results indicate that most of the participants see Mersin Arabic as one of the components of their personal identities and the proficient Arabic speakers of older ages want to teach this dialect to their children but cannot be able to teach it because of environmental factors. For this reason, there is a sharp decline in the number of Arabic speakers. Younger generations are unwilling to acquire the dialect. This results in a process of language shift from Mersin Arabic to Turkish which leads the way to language death.



Keywords
Language Shift, Language Death, Mersin Arabic



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