What is it about?

Israbic is a language variety that is spoken by a majority of the Druze community in Israel and is characterised by a mixture of Israeli Hebrew and Palestinian Arabic. Longitudinal data of Palestinian Arabic/Israeli Hebrew code-switching from the Israeli Druze community indicate that Israbic went through a gradual process of language mixing. The process started with code-switching, was followed by a composite matrix language formation and ultimately resulted in a mixed language. This research sought to gather further empirical evidence showing that Israbic is another mixed language that arose out of code-switching. This study also wished to emphasise the uniqueness of Israbic, which is a mixture of closely related languages-a mixture that is scarce in the literature.

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Why is it important?

This paper introduces a new mixed language after being tested under different existing models in the scholarly literature. This article provides further empirical evidence of mixed languages arising out of codeswitching by giving Israbic as another living proof of a mixed language arising out of codeswitching. Since the current models and definitions of mixed languages are based on existing languages that arose from contact between languages from different language families, whereas this study is concerned with investigating a mixed language from the same language family, it raises the question as to whether such concepts have the same validity for closely related languages.

Perspectives

Writing this article was a great pleasure since it is a topic that is extremely fascinating. This article stresses the sociolinguistic aspect of the creation of mixed languages, as in this case, it discusses the sociolinguistics of an under-researched community, namely, the Israeli Druze community. The Druze community in Israel is ‘sandwiched’ between the Arabs and Jews; thus for them, the formation of a new mixed language denotes their status as a distinct group and distinguishes them from both groups ‘whose languages they speak’. I hope you enjoy reading it and learn about the sociolinguistics of this unique group.

Dr Eve Afifa Kheir
University of Adelaide

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This page is a summary of: Passing the Test of Split: Israbic-A New Mixed Language, Journal of Language Contact, November 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/19552629-15010003.
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