Esraa Essa


Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the language of novels and written literature and is thus defined as a “High” variety. Nevertheless, young Egyptian authors of the new generation prefer to use a mix between Egyptian colloquial Arabic (ECA) and MSA as a medium for creating a new spirit in novels. In fact, the sharp lines between (MSA) and colloquial Egyptian (ECA) in the Modern Egyptian Novels have begun to blur (Badawi, 1973; 2012). Badawi (1973) proposed a five-level continuum in which each level gradually merges into the next. Arabic in Egypt encompasses five levels of language: (fusha al-turath and Qur’an) Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, ('ammiyyat al-muthaqqafiin), Colloquial of the cultured, ('ammiyyat al-mutanawwriin) Colloquial of the basically educated and ('ammiyyat al-ummiyyiin) Colloquial of the Illiterate). The present study aims at answering the following research questions: 1. What variety of Arabic is used in the narration of Modern Egyptian Novels in the two novels under investigation? 2. What are the NMSA patterns and their linguistics structures, and in which domains they are used in the narration of the two novels under investigation? The results show that the language of the narration of the two novels under investigation was not exclusively MSA; rather, it features numerous NMSA insertions of different patterns and from different domains. Finally, the contribution of this study is to interpret the mix of the different Arabic varieties as defined by Badawi (1973; 2012) in some Contemporary Egyptian novels. Understanding this phenomenon helps teachers of Arabic as a foreign language to acquire a more realistic picture of the varieties used in novels. This heightened knowledge also enriches the ability of teachers of Arabic to reflect and provide appropriate explanations of such a picture to their students.


Applied Linguistics Department

Degree Name

MA in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2017

First Advisor

Aboelseoud, Dalal

Committee Member 1

Kamel, Mona

Committee Member 2

Taha, Zeinab


66 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I would first like to express my sincere gratitude to my advisor, Prof. Dalal Aboelseoud, for her continuous support of my research, patience, motivation, and immense knowledge. Her guidance has helped me throughout all stages of the research and writing of this thesis. I could not have imagined having a better advisor and mentor for my thesis. Besides my advisor, I would like to thank the rest of my thesis committee, Prof. Zeinab Taha and Prof. Mona Kamel Hassan, not only for their insightful comments and encouragement but also for the hard questions which incited me to expand my research from various perspectives. Also, my sincere thanks go to Dr. Raghda El Essawi for her help and support. I also place on record my sense of gratitude to all who have directly or indirectly lent a hand in seeing this project to completion.. Finally, I offer my heartfelt thanks to my parents for their unfailing encouragement, support, and care throughout my academic and professional path, culminating in the completion of this endeavor.