The globalization of English-based technology has caused the present-day Arab generation to rely on the use of the Latin script as the main writing system when communicating through the electronic medium in Spoken Arabic (SA). This has raised fears for the preservation of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the traditional orthography of Arabic. This study presents the attitudes of Arab adolescents in northern Israel towards the use of Arabizi (Latinized Arabic) in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), and towards MSA. The data were collected via a questionnaire completed by 8th grade students. The questions were divided into three different themes: (1) Demographic data, (2) The degree of control of communication with Arabizi in CMC, and (3) Subjects’ attitude towards Arabizi and MSA. The results show that although the students all use Arabizi and report that it is easier and more accessible to them, they consider MSA important and valuable, as it is related to their identity as Arabs.
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Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) has been defined as “the practice of using networked computers and alphabetic text to transmit messages between people or groups of people across space and time” (Jacobs 2008:470).
Gorter (2006) distinguished between two main factors that affect multilingual aspects of writing. The first is "top-down" or, as Ivković named it, from above, where language planning is prescribed by administration and experts (Maguire 1995; Bradley 2010; Ivković 2015), and the second is “bottom-up” or from below, where linguistic practices are determined by mostly anonymous, non-expert users.
Al-Tamimi and Gorgis (2007) mention that Latinized Jordanian Arabic might be described as a hybrid lingua franca or even a pidgin.
However, it should be mentioned that very recently users of CMC have begun employing a written form of SA using Arabic letters. This new orthography lacks standardization and it is used in social media as well as discussion forums, SMS and online chat rooms (Maamouri et al. 2014).
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Khatteb Abu-Liel, A., Eviatar, Z. & Nir, B. Arabic teenagers’ attitudes to electronic writing in Arabizi. J Cult Cogn Sci 5, 125–142 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41809-020-00057-2