AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 7, Number 2. May 2023 Pp.67-82

Phonological Account of English Loanwords Adapted by Qunfudhah Arabic Dialect Speakers (QAD)

English Department
Alqunfudhah University College, Umm Alqura University
Saudi Arabia


The current study aimed to investigate, descriptively, how English loanwords become part of Qunfudhah Arabic Dialect (QAD), an Arabic dialect spoken in the southern part of Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of English loanwords were collected using different resources such as social media posts, news articles, blogs, every-day interactions, and shop signs. The purpose was to find out the triggering motive used by QAD speakers to adapt English loanwords. In other words, the paper sought to answer this question: what phonological rules do the QAD speakers implement to adapt the English loanwords? Using the descriptive data analysis method, the results revealed that English loanwords have been phonologically adapted to fit into the host system using a number of processes to map English consonants and vowels into the recipient language. QAD speakers exercised several modifications to produce an Arabic sound on the foreign consonants (English in this situation) by targeting the manner, place, and voicing. Vowels, on the other hand, were mapped according to the height, tensity, or backness using a number of rules such as monophthongization, lengthening, or position shift. All these processes were used by QAD speakers to more easily produce the foreign sounds, especially those sounds which differ from their own system (marked ones). The result of the current study should add more insights into the body of the literature and pave the way for researchers to investigate this Arabic dialect thoroughly.

Cite as:

Almoayidi, K.  (2023). Phonological Account of English Loanwords Adapted by Qunfudhah Arabic Dialect Speakers (QAD). Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 7 (2): 67-82.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol7no2.5


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Dr. Khedir Almoayidi is an assistant professor of linguistics at the English Department, Alqunfudhah university college, Umm Alqura University, Saudi Arabia. He is interested in phonetics & phonology; speech perception & production; speech comprehensibility and intelligibility. https://orcid.org/my-orcid?orcid=0000-0002-3284-078X