Title

Druze linguistic landscape in Israel: indexicality of new ethnolinguistic identity boundaries

Publication Date

Winter 12-16-2013

Journal

International Journal of Multilingualism

Abstract

The Druze community in Israel is a distinct religious community currently undergoing important ethnolinguistic shifts. The government's implementation of an official policy has led to the deconstruction and reshaping of the Druze political and national identity to one that differs substantially from that of the Palestinian minority in Israel. In this study, I argue that the visibility, vitality and appreciation of Hebrew in the Druze linguistic landscape are indicative of new ethnolinguistic boundaries of the Druze identity in Israel. The fact that the Druze in Israel are dispersed throughout the Galilee and Mount Carmel area and experience varying levels of language contact as well as divergent economic relations with their Palestinian–Israeli and Jewish–Israeli neighbors suggests that one cannot expect uniformity in the Druze linguistic markets or the processes of social, cultural and linguistic identification. This study will show that Hebrew has become a dominant component of the linguistic repertoire and social identity of the Druze in the Mount Carmel area since it has become the first choice of communication as the linguistic landscape indicates.

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