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Volume :9 Issue : 36 1989      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Status of Arabic In the Southern Sudan

Auther : Gubara Abdalla M. Al-Hassan

Unlike the case with other parts of Black Africa (Western, Eastern and Central), the situation in the Southern Sudan (henceforth SS) did not allow for the spread of Islam, but for more use of Arabic language which is still playing important roles in the lives of the black African populations of SS. This paper explores the relationship between Arabic language and historical, cultural andpolitico-socio-economic factors that determined the place of Arabic in the linguistic map of the SS and its present-day importance.

The paper falls into five parts: an introduction, three major sections and a conclusion. The introduction presents the purpose of the study and methodology. Section one is a survey of the sociolinguistic background of the Northern and Southern Sudan. Section two accounts for the status of Arabic in North-em Sudan (NS); its emergence, formation and spread in SS. Also, it identifies the varieties of Southern Sudanese Arabic (SSA).

Section three focuses on the examination of the range of uses and the present-day status of Arabic in SS. It discusses the assumption that since Arabic is not culturally related to SS, its development and spread came, partly, as a result of the political and economic dominance of the North rather than its cultural importance and, partly, as a result of the linguistic disunity of the South. Thus, thepolitico-socio-economic and cultural factors that influenced the emergence, evolution, spread and promotion of Arabic in SS are freshly re-examined. Also, the section examines four different varieties of SSA in accordance with the scope of their functions and sociolinguistic positions. The concluding section sums up the discussion and presents a fresh evaluation of the present status of Arabic in the SS.

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