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Lecture explores the connections between Spanish and Arabic, February 10, 2015

The lecture, "Spanish and Arabic in Contact: A Panchronic Account," will be held on Tuesday, February 10, 5:00pm, in Taylor Hall, room 203. It is sponsored by the Hispanic Studies Department with cosponsorship by the Anthropology Department and thr Africana Studies Program. This event is free and open to the public.

This presentation by Dr. Lotfi Sayahi, associate professor and chair in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University at Albany, State University of New York, will survey the historical and sociolinguistic background that has provided the context for the long contact between Spanish and Arabic in Iberia and North Africa (Ceuta, Melilla, northern Morocco, western Algeria and the Western Sahara). The study begins with a description of the early contact between Arabic and Romance, the genesis of Mozarabic, and the implications for an Arabic element in the evolution of Spanish. Then it turns to the analysis of current situations of Spanish/Arabic bilingualism, with a special focus on North Africa, by examining the linguistic features that characterize these contact varieties of Spanish from monolingual varieties of Spanish.


Sayahi earned his BA in Spanish and English from the University of Tunis and earned a Ph.D. degree in Linguistics from the University Complutense of Madrid. His research focuses on language contact and language change, particularly in North Africa and Spain. He has published articles that appear in International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Revista Internacional Lingüística Iberoamericana, the Journal of Language Sciences,tThe Journal of Sociolinguistics, Cahiers Linguistiques d’Ottawa, the Afro-Hispanic Review, and the Journal of North African Studies, and has edited multiple proceedings of the Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics. His book project, on diglossia, language contact, and language change, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, February 3, 2015