Dialects

The main IVAr corpus contains data collected with speakers from eight locations across the Arab world:

Morocco > Tunisia > Egypt > Jordan > Syria > Iraq > Kuwait > Emirates/Oman

Arabic dialects form a continuum of variation across North Africa and the Middle East.

The dialects are often grouped into five regions, based on shared linguistic features (e.g. how the sounds <ج> [ʒ] or <ق> [q] are pronounced):

  • Maghreb/North Africa
  • Egypt/Sudan
  • Levant (including Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine)
  • Mesopotamia (including Iraq)
  • Arabian Peninsula (including the Gulf and Saudi Arabia)

These geographical groups do not tell the whole story: there are important differences between bedouin vs. sedentary dialects, and between rural vs. urban varieties. It is beyond the scope of IVAr to document all these sources of variation, but we controlled for these factors in data collection.