Gulf Pidgin Arabic: A Descriptive and Statistical Analysis of Stability

Emad A. Alghamdi


Pidgin languages across the world are characterized by a universal set of linguistic features that, therefore, can be utilized for their identification. Among these linguistic traits, two are found in Gulf Arabic Pidgin (GPA); an overt reduction of sophisticated linguistic items and an increased regularity of less complicated linguistic items used to fulfill other linguistic functions (Nass, 2008; Bakir, 2010; Avram, 2014). The purpose of the present study is twofold: 1) to descriptively analyze some essential morphological (inflectional affixation) and syntactic features within the nominal and verbal systems of GPA, and 2) to statistically measure the level of the consistency among GPA speakers in their use of inflections, sentence structures, and navigation markers. The study starts with reviewing and discussing the literature on pidgins and the main linguistic characteristics of well-studied pidgin languages with the reference to the sociolinguistic environment in which this language variety is typically evoked. This is followed by a review on the few studies conducted on GPA. It ends with a discussion on the current linguistic status of GPA in light of the results obtained.

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