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3 - Framing Arabic: Paratexts, Poetry and Language Ideology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2013

Yasir Suleiman
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

This chapter continues the exploration of the notions of construction, language symbolism, language conflict and language as proxy through an examination of paratexts and poetic compositions. Paratexts, such as titles, dedications, epigraphs and jacket copies have received little or no attention in relation to studying Arabic in the social world. This chapter argues that since most encounters with texts are mediated through these thresholds, scholars of language in the social world must pay attention to them for the information they yield on language ideology and the deployment of culture to do politics in society. The same is true of poetic compositions. This chapter further identifies the most productive tropes of language ideology in the modern world, together with their constitutive metaphors, in order to shed light on issues of language conflict and language anxiety. The tropes of crisis, fossilisation and war act as shorthand codes for the promulgation and recursive circulation of Arabic language ideology in society. As a given of this world, Arabic language ideology does its work without drawing attention to itself. Although the terrain dealt with in this chapter is historically and intellectually different from the one dealt with in Chapter 2, the conceptual unities underlying these two terrains reveal infra-structural continuities in the study of Arabic in the social world across time.

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Chapter
Information
Arabic in the Fray
Language Ideology and Cultural Politics
, pp. 93 - 166
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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