This study investigates the language used by Egyptians online before, during and after January 25th revolution in Egypt. In that regard, the study explores top trends in Facebook status updates in the period between September 2010 and September 2011. It also looks at the writing script use at that specific time period. Finally, it presents a description of lexicon and deixis in the data. The study tries to answer the following research questions: 1- What are the top trends in Facebook status updates in the period between September 2010 and September 2011? 2- What is the most prominent writing script used during that specific time period? 3- What is the most salient representative of lexical entries and deixis in the data? Data in this study was completely a written one and consisted of a corpus of 500 status updates collected from 14 young Egyptian Facebook users. Data analysis reveals that the streamed status updates on Facebook at the time of the revolution are predominantly about politics; political discourse has governed the discussion among Egyptians since then. Meanwhile, it is found that Facebook statuses concerning social relations and religion had topped the discussion before the revolution began. The analysis also shows a widespread use of Arabic script employed in the update status feature. The dominance of this trend in writing might be related either to the type of topics discussed there or to the need to produce a clear and comprehensible message at that time. As for lexicon use, the results indicate that the most salient representative of lexical items is collocation. Moreover, it is found that the pronoun “?ihna", the demonstrative “da", and the word “in-nahrda" are the most prominent representatives of pronoun, place, and time deixis respectively. The study examines language use in relation to wider social trends such as identity and political change.

Degree Name

MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2013

First Advisor

Taha, Zeinab

Committee Member 1

Abdou, Ashraf

Committee Member 2

Aboelsoud, Dalal


130 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item