Arabic-Hebrew codeswitching: the case of the Druze community in Israel

Martin Isleem, Bucknell University

Abstract

The study is based on Myers-Scotton's Matrix Language Frame model to examine codeswitching between Arabic and Hebrew, two languages that share significant morphological and syntactic structures. Particularly, this study investigates Druze online communication in the form of face-to-face and written talkbacks found on local websites in Israel. The findings show that Arabic sets the morphosyntactic frame of the mixed constituents, whereas Hebrew provides at least as many morphemes as does Arabic. Combined with the fact that both languages have similarities in their morphological and syntactic structures, this may indicate that Myers-Scotton's model falls short in its sociolinguistic application to Arabic-Hebrew codeswitching. The sociolinguistic status of the second language, Hebrew, may be far greater than its syntactical status in the Druze sociolinguistic profile.