Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1879-7865
  • E-ISSN: 1879-7873
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study deals with the creation of cardinal numerals and accommodation in Gulf Pidgin Arabic (GPA) as it is spoken among foreign workers (FWs) and native Saudi Arabic speakers (Ss) in Saudi Arabia. Under the (Mufwene, 2001) and the (Thomason & Kaufman, 1988), this study looks at the features of gender and number agreement, and word order of the cardinal numeral and the noun. Data comes from interviews between Ss and FWs in GPA, and photo elicitation interviews used with Ss to identify how cardinals are used in Najdi Arabic. Through the lens of the Feature Pool Model, I offer a brief account of how cardinal numeral forms are selected in GPA. In particular, I examine how well cognitive factors account for the development and restructuring processes of the cardinal numeral system in GPA by taking into account factors such as frequency, perceptual salience (detectability), and pattern regularization, as well as the Foreigner-Talk register and accommodation. The results reveal strong tendencies of accommodation and conventionalization in numeral form selection.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Alghamdi, E.
    (2014) Gulf Pidgin Arabic: A descriptive and statistical analysis of stability. International Journal of Linguistics6(6), 110–127. 10.5296/ijl.v6i6.6846
    https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v6i6.6846 [Google Scholar]
  2. Almoaily, M.
    (2008) A data-based description of Urdu Pidgin Arabic. Unpublished Master’s thesis. Newcastle University, UK.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. (2012) Language variation in Gulf Pidgin Arabic. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Newcastle University, UK.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Alshammari, W.
    (2018) The development of and accommodation in Gulf Pidgin Arabic: Verbal and pronominal form selection. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Indiana University.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Al-Sharkawi, M.
    (2005) Arabicization: A case of second language acquisition. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. (2007) Arabic foreigner talk. InK. Versteegh (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Arabic language and linguistics, vol.2 (pp.116–122). Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (2010) The ecology of Arabic: A study of Arabicization. Brill. 10.1163/ej.9789004186064.i‑266
    https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004186064.i-266 [Google Scholar]
  8. Arthur, B., Weiner, F., Culver, M., Lee, Y. & Thomas, D.
    (1980) The register of impersonal discourse to foreigners: Verbal adjustments to foreign accent. InD. Larsen-Freeman (Ed.), Discourse analysis in second language research (pp.111–124). Newbury House.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Avram, A.
    (2010) An outline of Romanian Pidgin Arabic. Journal of Language Contact-VARIA, 3, 20–38. 10.1163/000000010792317884
    https://doi.org/10.1163/000000010792317884 [Google Scholar]
  10. (2012) On the functions of fi in the verbal system of Arabic pidgins. Romano-Arabica, 12, 35–58.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. (2017) Superdiversity in the Gulf: Gulf Pidgin Arabic and Arabic Foreigner Talk. Philologica Jassyensia XIII, 2(26), 175–190.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. (2018) On the relationship between Arabic Foreigner Talk and Pidgin Arabic. InS. Manfredi & M. Tosco (Eds.), Arabic in Contact (pp.251–273). John Benjamins. 10.1075/sal.6.13avr
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sal.6.13avr [Google Scholar]
  13. Bakir, M. J.
    (2010) Notes on the verbal system of Gulf Pidgin Arabic. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 25(2), 201–228. 10.1075/jpcl.25.2.01bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jpcl.25.2.01bak [Google Scholar]
  14. (2014) The multifunctionality of fii in Gulf Pidgin Arabic. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 29(2), 410–436. 10.1075/jpcl.29.2.08bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jpcl.29.2.08bak [Google Scholar]
  15. Biewer, C.
    (2015) South Pacific Englishes: A sociolinguistic and morphosyntactic profile of Fiji English, Samoan English and Cook Islands English. John Benjamins. 10.1075/veaw.g52
    https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g52 [Google Scholar]
  16. Bizri, F.
    (2018) Pidgin as a counterlanguage: Asian labour migrants and Arab employers speaking. Language Ecology, 2(1–2), 128–146. 10.1075/le.18005.biz
    https://doi.org/10.1075/le.18005.biz [Google Scholar]
  17. Bloch, A.
    (1971) Morphological doublets in Arabic dialects. Journal of Semitic Studies, 16, 53–73. 10.1093/jss/XVI.1.53
    https://doi.org/10.1093/jss/XVI.1.53 [Google Scholar]
  18. Blom, E.
    (2003) From root infinitives to finite sentence: The acquisition of verbal inflections and auxiliaries. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Utrecht.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Bolozky, S., & A. Haydar
    (1986) Colloquial gender neutralization in the numeral systems of Modern Hebrew and Lebanese Arabic. Al-Arabiyya, 19, 19–28.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Bresnan, J.
    (2000) Pidgin genesis and optimality theory. InJ. Siegel (Ed.), Processes of language contact: Studies from Australia and the South Pacific (pp.145–173). Fides.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Bybee, J.
    (1985) Morphology: A study of the relation between meaning and form. John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.9
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.9 [Google Scholar]
  22. (2002) Word frequency and context of use in the lexical diffusion of phonetically conditioned sound change. Language Variation and Change, 14, 261–290. 10.1017/S0954394502143018
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954394502143018 [Google Scholar]
  23. (2007) Frequency of use and the organization of language. Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301571.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301571.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  24. Chaudenson, R.
    (2001) Creolization of language and culture. Revised in collaboration withS. Mufwene. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Clarke, R. J.
    (2018) Elicitation strategies for interviewing and fieldwork: Emerging research and opportunities. IGI Global.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Clements, J. C.
    (2009) The legacy of Spanish and Portuguese: Colonial expansion and language change. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511576171
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511576171 [Google Scholar]
  27. (2014) Form selection in contact languages: Evidence from Portuguese and Spanish-lexified contact varieties. InP. Amaral & A. Carvalho. (Eds.), Portuguese/Spanish Interfaces (pp.377–401). John Benjamins. 10.1075/ihll.1.20cle
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ihll.1.20cle [Google Scholar]
  28. Clements, J. C., & Mahboob, A.
    (2000) Wh-words and question formation in pidgin/creole languages. InJ. McWhorter (Ed.), Language change and language contact in pidgins and creoles (459–497). John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.21.16cle
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.21.16cle [Google Scholar]
  29. Clements, J. C., & Alshammari, W.
    (2017) Verb form selection in two restructured varieties. The annual summer conference of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics (SPCL). Tampere, Finland, June19–22.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Coupé, C., Marsico, E., & Pellegrino, F.
    (2017) To what extent are phonological inventories complex systems?InS. Mufwene, C. Coupé, & F. Pellegrino (Eds.), Complexity in language: Developmental and evolutionary perspectives (pp.135–164). Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781107294264.006
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781107294264.006 [Google Scholar]
  31. Coupland, N., Coupland, J., Giles, H., & Henwood, K.
    (1988) Accommodating the elderly: Invoking and extending the theory. Language in Society, 17(1), 1–14. 10.1017/S0047404500012574
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500012574 [Google Scholar]
  32. Cowell, M.
    (1964) A reference grammar of Syrian Arabic: Based on the dialect of Damascus. Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Crowley, T.
    (2008) Pidgin and creole morphology. InS. Kouwenberg & J. Singler. (Eds.), The handbook of pidgin and creole studies (pp.74–97). Blackwells. 10.1002/9781444305982.ch4
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444305982.ch4 [Google Scholar]
  34. Culbertson, J.
    (2010) Convergent evidence for categorial change in French: From subject clitic to agreement marker. Language, 86(1), 85–132. 10.1353/lan.0.0183
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.0.0183 [Google Scholar]
  35. Daana, H.
    (2012) The acquisition of the plural system in Ammani Arabic. European Journal of Scientific Research, 92, 317–330.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Dashti, A.
    (2013) Interacting with domestic workers in Kuwait: Grammatical features of Foreigner Talk. A case study. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 224, 63–84. 10.1515/ijsl‑2013‑0056
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2013-0056 [Google Scholar]
  37. Davis, S., & N. Tsujimura
    (2014) Non-concatenative derivation: Other processes. InR. Lieber & P. Štekauer (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of derivational morphology (pp.190–218). Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Demuth, K.
    (2007) The role of frequency in language acquisition. InI. Gülzow, & N. Gagarina (Eds.), Frequency effects in language acquisition: Defining the limits of frequency as an explanatory concept [Studies on language acquisition 32], (pp.383–388). Mouton De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110977905.383
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110977905.383 [Google Scholar]
  39. Doron, E.
    (2003) Agency and voice: The semantics of the Semitic templates. Natural Language Semantics, 11, 1–67. 10.1023/A:1023021423453
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023021423453 [Google Scholar]
  40. Ellis, R.
    (1994) The study of second language acquisition. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. (1997) SLA research and language teaching. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Epstein, I., Stevens, B., McKeever, P., & Baruchel, S.
    (2006) Photo elicitation interview (PEI): Using photos to elicit children’s perspectives. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(3), 1–11. 10.1177/160940690600500301
    https://doi.org/10.1177/160940690600500301 [Google Scholar]
  43. Ewers, T.
    (1996) The origin of American Black English: Be-forms in the Hoodo texts. Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110823622
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110823622 [Google Scholar]
  44. Ferguson, C.
    (1971) Absence of copula and the notion of simplicity: A study of normal speech, baby talk, foreigner talk and pidgins. InD. Hymes (Ed.), Pidginization and creolization of languages (pp.141–150). Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. (1975) Toward a characterization of English foreigner talk. Anthropological Linguistics, 17, 1–14.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Ferguson, C., & DeBose, C.
    (1977) Simplified registers, broken language, and pidginization. InA. Valdman (Ed.), Pidgin and creole linguistics (pp.99–125). Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. García, M., & Yapici, M.
    (2014) Common vocabulary in Urdu and Turkish language: A case of historical onomasiology. Journal of Pakistan Vision, 15(1), 13–225.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Giles, H.
    (1973) Accent mobility: A model and some data. Anthropological Linguistics, 15, 87–105.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Goebl, H., P. Nelde, Z. Stary, & W. Wolk
    (1996) Contact linguistics: An international handbook of contemporary research. Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Gülzu, I., & N. Gagarina
    (2007) Introducing the frequency debate in studies of language acquisition. InI. Gülzu & N. Gagarina (Eds.), Frequency effects in language acquisition: Defining the limits of frequency as an explanatory concept (pp.1–20). Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110977905.1
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110977905.1 [Google Scholar]
  51. Hanulíková, A., van Alphen, P., van Goch, M., & Weber, A.
    (2012) When one person’s mistake is another’s standard usage: The effect of foreign accent on syntactic processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(4), 878–887. 10.1162/jocn_a_00103
    https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00103 [Google Scholar]
  52. Holes, Cl
    (1990) Gulf Arabic. Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Holes, C.
    (2006) Bahraini Arabic. InK. Versteegh, M. Woidich, & A. Zaborski (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Vol.I (pp241–255). Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Jourdan, C.
    (2009) Complexification or regularization of paradigms. InE. Aboh & N. Smith (Eds.), Complex processes in new languages (pp.159–172). John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.35.10jou
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.35.10jou [Google Scholar]
  55. Keesing, R.
    (1988) Melanesian pidgin and the oceanic substrate. Stanford University Press. 10.1515/9781503623040
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781503623040 [Google Scholar]
  56. Kunnas, N.
    (2011) The role of morphology in phonological change: Rethinking diffusion theory. InF. Gregersen, J. Parrot, & P. Quist (Eds.), Language variation –European perspectives III: Selected papers from the 5th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE5), Copenhagen, June 2009 (pp.185–199). John Benjamins. 10.1075/silv.7.15kun
    https://doi.org/10.1075/silv.7.15kun [Google Scholar]
  57. Labov, W.
    (1966) The social stratification of English in New York city. Center for Applied Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. (1972) Sociolinguistic patterns. University of Pennsylvania Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Larsen-Freeman, D. & Long, M.
    (1991) An introduction to second language acquisition research. Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. McCarthy, J.
    (1981) A prosodic theory of nonconcatenative morphology. Linguistic Inquiry, 12, 373–416.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. McWhorter, J.
    (2005) Defining creole. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Mellahi, K., & G. Wood
    (2001) Human resource management in Saudi Arabia. InP. Budhwar & Y. Deborah. (Eds.), Human resource management in developing countries (pp.135–151) Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Meyerhoff, M.
    (2000) The emergence of creole subject-verb agreement and the licensing of null subjects. Language Variation and Change, 12, 203–230. 10.1017/S0954394500122045
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954394500122045 [Google Scholar]
  64. Migge, B.
    (2003) Creole formation as language contact: The case of the Suriname creoles. John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.25
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.25 [Google Scholar]
  65. Mufwene, S.
    (1990) Transfer and the substrate hypothesis in creolistics. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 12(1), 1–23. 10.1017/S0272263100008718
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100008718 [Google Scholar]
  66. (1991) Pidgins, creoles, typology, and markedness. InF. Byrne & T. Huebner (Eds.), Development and structures of creole languages: Essays in honor of Derek Bickerton (pp.123–43). John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.9.16muf
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.9.16muf [Google Scholar]
  67. (1996) The founder principle in creole genesis. Diachronica, 13(1), 83–134. 10.1075/dia.13.1.05muf
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dia.13.1.05muf [Google Scholar]
  68. (1997) Jargons, pidgins, creoles, and koines: What are they?InS. Arthur & W. Donald (Eds.), The structure and status of pidgins and creoles (pp.35–69). John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.19.05muf
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.19.05muf [Google Scholar]
  69. (2001) The ecology of language evolution. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511612862
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511612862 [Google Scholar]
  70. (2002) Competition and selection in language evolution. Selection, 3(1), 45–56. 10.1556/Select.3.2002.1.5
    https://doi.org/10.1556/Select.3.2002.1.5 [Google Scholar]
  71. (2008) Language evolution: Contact, competition, and change. Continuum Press. 10.5040/9781350934078
    https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350934078 [Google Scholar]
  72. Naess, U.
    (2008) Gulf Pidgin Arabic: Individual strategies or a structured variety?Unpublished Master’s thesis. University of Oslo.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Newport, E.
    (1999) Reduced input in the acquisition of signed languages: Contributions to the study of creolization. InM. Degraff (Ed.), Creolization, diachrony, and language acquisition (pp.161–78). MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Phillips, B.
    (1984) Word frequency and the actuation of sound change. Language, 60, 320–342. 10.2307/413643
    https://doi.org/10.2307/413643 [Google Scholar]
  75. Prior, P.
    (2004) Tracing process: How texts come into being. InC. Bazerman & P. Prior. (Eds.), What writing does and how it does it: An introduction to analyzing texts and textual practice (pp.167–200). Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Rácz, P.
    (2012) Operationalising salience: Definite article reduction in the North of England. English Language and Linguistics, 16(1), 57–79. 10.1017/S1360674311000281
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674311000281 [Google Scholar]
  77. Ryding, K.
    (2005) A reference grammar of Modern Standard Arabic. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511486975
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486975 [Google Scholar]
  78. Sankoff, G., & S. Laberge
    (1980) The acquisition of native speakers by a language. InG. Sankoff (Ed.), The social life of languages (pp.195–209). University of Pennsylvania Press. 10.9783/9781512809589‑014
    https://doi.org/10.9783/9781512809589-014 [Google Scholar]
  79. Schneider, E.
    (2007) Postcolonial English –Varieties around the world. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511618901
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618901 [Google Scholar]
  80. Siegel, J.
    (2008) The emergence of pidgin and creole languages. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  81. (2010) Pidgins and creoles. InN. Hornberger & S. McKay. (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language education (pp.232–264). Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781847692849‑011
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781847692849-011 [Google Scholar]
  82. Taine-Cheikh, C.
    (2008) Numerals. InK. Versteegh (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Arabic language and linguistics, Vol.III (pp.447–453). Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  83. Thomason, S., & T. Kaufman
    (1988) Language contact, creolization, and genetic linguistics. University of California Press. 10.1525/9780520912793
    https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520912793 [Google Scholar]
  84. Tweissi, A.
    (1990) Foreigner talk in Arabic: Evidence for the universality of language simplification. InM. Eid & J. McCarthy (Eds.), Perspectives on Arabic linguistics II (pp.296–326). John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.72.16twe
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.72.16twe [Google Scholar]
  85. Versteegh, Kees
    (2014) Pidgin verbs: Infnitives or imperatives?InI. Buchstaller, A. Holmberg, & M. Al-Moaily (Eds.), Pidgins and creoles beyond Africa-Europe encounters (pp.141–169). John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.47.07ver
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.47.07ver [Google Scholar]
  86. Voort, H.
    (1994) Eskimo Pidgin. InJ. Arends, P. Muysken, & Norval Smith (Eds.), Pidgins and creoles: An introduction (pp.137–151). John Benjamins. 10.1075/cll.15.18voo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cll.15.18voo [Google Scholar]
  87. Winford, D.
    (2003) An introduction to contact linguistics. Blackwells.
    [Google Scholar]
  88. (2006) Reduced syntax in (prototypical) pidgins. InL. Progovac, K. Paesani, E. Casielles, & E. Barton (Eds.), The syntax of non-sententials (pp.283–307). John Benjamins. 10.1075/la.93.13win
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.93.13win [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): accommodation; cardinal numerals; conventionalization; Gulf Pidgin Arabic

Most Cited

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error