Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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This study focuses on a pidgin predominantly used by Asian immigrants in the city of Abha in the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia, examining multifunctionality as it appears in three grammatical categories, definiteness, predication, and pronouns. Whereas previous studies on Gulf Arabic Pidgin have described the variety in terms of multifunctionality (e.g. Avram 2004Bakir 2014, and Potsdam and Alanazi 2014), the current study focuses on the different pathways that bring it about. Three types of multifunctionality are described in terms of refunctionalization, generalization and neutralization. (< *haaða ‘this’) is refunctionalized to mark definiteness and as a deictic marker fills the function of the demonstrative. , (< *fi ‘at, exist’) has multiple functions being used as a preposition, an existential marker in the meaning of ‘there is/are’, a generalized predicate marker when occurring before adjectival, nominal and verbal predicates. The pronominal system shows simplification from ten to five pronouns only. The study is based on data collected in interviews with a random sample of twenty-four Asian participants of both sexes. Their ages ranged from 26 to 45 years old and their length of stay in Saudi Arabia ranged from four to nine years. They occupied different jobs. A total of twenty nine hours of audio-visual interview data were analysed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Abha; Gulf Arabic pidgins; multifunctionality; pidginization; simplification
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