This thesis investigates aspects of English usage in Egypt, including any possible linguistic projection of solidarity or power with other Egyptians, and the degree, if any, of linguistic ownership of English. As in many other Expanding Circle contexts, English realizes its role in Egypt as lingua franca in order to fulfill educational and business transactions. English is used to such a degree in the Egyptian context that it could at some point become its own variety of World English. Yet, it is possible that a speaker could produce either English or Arabic in different situations in reaction to perceived social cleavages between him- or herself and the interlocutor. The research presented here is interested in the possible degrees of linguistic projection, the effect a speaker intends language choice to have on the hearer, and linguistic ownership, the degree to which a speaker of a language believes that he or she owns the language, that Egyptians may possess as they use English. The data was collected in an English-medium university environment in the greater Cairo area. Undergraduate participants completed a questionnaire, and a limited number also participated in a follow-up interview. Data suggest that participants use English to project solidarity with other English-speaking Egyptians. Participants are aware of how others may use English to project power, yet no one admitted to projecting power. In line with other research, participants also demonstrated a weak sense of ownership of the language at best, however through the use of English mixed with Arabic, Egyptians do use an endonormative form of English that may demonstrate ownership. Finally, there is little evidence to demonstrate a relationship between linguistic projection and ownership, but the investigator speculates that a linguistic projection of solidarity, which implies mixing of Arabic and English, would encourage a greater sense of ownership of English. Classroom implications are also discussed, including encouraging greater use of Arabic in the classroom, supporting Egyptian influences in English speech, and managing relations between English speakers of different perceived proficiencies.
MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Date of Award
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Library of Congress Subject Heading 1
English language -- Study and teaching -- Egypt.
Library of Congress Subject Heading 2
English language -- Usage -- Egypt.
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(2012).Linguistic projection and the ownership of English: solidarity and power with the English language in Egypt [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Lewko, Alexander. Linguistic projection and the ownership of English: solidarity and power with the English language in Egypt. 2012. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.