The Sociolinguistic Variation of (??) in Hatim


  • Ibrahim Darwish Department of Translation, Yarmouk University, Shafiq Irshidat st, Irbid, Jordan
  • Ayah Al-Damen Department of English Language and Literature, Yarmouk University, Shafiq Irshidat st, Irbid, Jordan



Variationist sociolinguistics, Jordan, Horan, Hatim, variable (āʔ)


This sociolinguistic study investigates the variation in the pronunciation of the variable (??) in the variety of Hatim, north-west Jordan. This variable is studied in relation to five factors: age, gender, education, outside contact and following linguistic environment. Data were collected via informal sociolinguistic interviews. Sixty-four participants (30 males, 34 females) were recorded spontaneously by the researchers (duration=2227 minutes). Two variants for the variable (??) were found in the variety of Hatim: the tradition variant [?] and the innovative one [??]. The Rbrul analysis of the data shows that only outside contact, gender and following linguistic environment are statistically significant. Put differently, participants with high contact with other speech communities used the innovative variant more than those with low contact. As it is the case in most speech communities, female participants favoured the innovative variant over the traditional one. In relation to the following linguistic environment, it was found that the innovative variant is favoured when it does not occur at utterance boundaries. There appear to be two competing forces in the variety of Hatim, one for the traditional Horani feature (i.e., dropping the final glottal stop) and another for an innovative feature (i.e., keeping the final glottal stop) that happened to coincide with the pronunciation in Modern Standard Arabic. It can safely be argued that the driving force behind this change in progress is not a reversion to Modern Standard Arabic. Rather, it is the present-day social prestige associated with the pronunciation of the final glottal stop that is pushing for this change.


Received: 8 August 2022 / Accepted: 20 October 2022 / Published: 5 November 2022


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How to Cite

Darwish, I. ., & Al-Damen, A. . (2022). The Sociolinguistic Variation of (??) in Hatim. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 12(6), 137.