Olesya Drozd

(University of Hamburg)

Language Shift in Dubai? A Sociolinguistic Survey.

The present paper investigates the language shift in one of the ‘expanding circle countries’ (Kachru 1992) of World Englishes, the UAE specifically in Dubai. Moreover, it describes a development path of the Emirate in terms of the following features: historical, external, location/size, cultural, institutional. Due to the influx of the expatriate labour to the country and prevalent number of foreigners living permanently in the country, Arabic is no longer considered to be a lingua franca that is, being replaced by English. In order to shed some light on the current linguistic and sociolinguistic situation in the Emirate, local Arab population and expatriates with different language backgrounds were asked to fill out a questionnaire. It lies beyond the scope of this paper, however, it briefly discusses a new variety of English ‘Gulf English’ that has emerged as a result.