Skip to main content Accessibility help

Towards a dialect geography of oman

  • Clive Holes


This study presents some new observations on selected features of the phonology and morphology of the Omani Arabic dialects, and attempts to place them in a peninsula-wide typological framework. The paper is based on the results of an analysis of tape-recorded conversational data gathered in more than thirty, mainly rural locations in northern Oman between 1985 and 1987. Most of the speakers were men and women aged 35 and above with little or no formal education who, if not retired, were engaged in traditional occupations such as farming, fishing, pottery and animal husbandry. Much of the data was gathered in the context of a study of the epidemiology of rheumatic diseases conducted on a random sample of 2,000 Omanis adults by my wife for the Omani Ministry of Health, during which the subjects were interviewed by me at length in their homes or places of work.



Hide All
Blanc, H. 1964. Communal dialects in Baghdad. (Harvard Middle Eastern Monographs, x.) Cambridge Mass.: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.
Blanc, H. 1969. ‘The fronting of Semitic g and the qāl-gāl dialect split in Arabic’, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Semitic Studies held in Jerusalem, 192307 1965. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, pp. 7–37.
Brockett, A. A. 1985. ‘The Spoken Arabic of Khabura’ (JSS Monograph, No. 7.) Manchester: University of Manchester Press.
Cantineau, J.. 1960. Etudes de linguistique arabe. (Etudes Arabes et Islamiques. Etudes et docu- ments, II.) Paris. Klincksieck.
Fischer, W.. and Jastrow, O.. 1980. Handbuch der arabischen Dialekte. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Galloway, R. D.. 1977. ‘An introduction to the spoken Arabic of Oman.’ Unpublished mimeo., University of St. Andrews.
Holes, C. D.. 1983. ‘Bahraini dialects: sectarian differences and the sedentary/nomadic split’, ZAL, 10, 738.
Holes, C. D.. 1987. Language variation and change in a modernising Arab state. (Library of Arabic Linguistics, No. 7.) London: Kegan Paul International.
Ingham, B.. 1976. ‘Regional and social factors in the dialect geography of southern Iraq and Khūzistān’, BSOAS xxxix, 1, 6282.
Ingham, B.. 1982. North-east Arabian Dialects. (Library of Arabic Linguistics, No. 3.) London: Kegan Paul International.
Ingham, B.. 1986. ‘Notes on the dialect of the Āl-Murra of eastern and southern Arabia’, BSOAS, XLIX, 2, 271–91.
Jayakar, A. S.. 1889. ‘The O'manee Dialect of Arabic’, JRAS. 649–87 and 811–89.
Johnstone, T. M.. 1963. ‘The affrication of kāf and gāf in the Arabic dialects of theArabian peninsular’, JSS. VIII, 2, 210–26.
Johnstone, T. M.. 1965. ‘The sound change/j/ /,/y/ in the Arabic dialects of peninsular Arabia‘, BSOAS, XXVIII, 2, 233–41.
Johnstone, T. M.. 1967. Eastern Arabian dialect studies. (London Oriental Series, Vol. 17.) London: Oxford University Press.
Qafisheh, H.. 1977. A short reference grammar of Gulf Arabic. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press.
Landberg, C. E.. 1901. Etudes sur les dialects de VArable méridionale. I. ḣaṭramoût. Leiden:
Landberg, C. E.. 1919. Glossaire Daṭinols. Leiden: K. V. Zettersteén.
Reinhardt, C.. 1894. Ein arabischer Dialekl gesprochen in Oman und Zanzibar. Amsterdam: Philo Press. (Repr. 1972).
Rhodokanakis, N.. 1908–11. Der vulgärarabische Dialekt im Dofar. (Südarabische Expedition, x.) Wien: Hûlder.
Rossi, E.. 1939. L'Araboparlato a San‘ā’: grammatica, testi, lessico. Roma: Istituto perl 'Oriente.

Towards a dialect geography of oman

  • Clive Holes


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed