A Sociolinguistic Study of Word Elongation: Palestinian Arabic in Translation

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عرفات, ثروت عميد داود
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An-Najah National University
Social media has added a new dimension to language use making it hybrid. A good number of researchers have explored some novel features in communication over social media platforms. One of the most debated topics has been the tendency of playing with language, such as changing the standard spelling of words. Word elongation is one of these distinctive features where the conventions of spelling are broken. Nevertheless, to the best of my knowledge, very few researchers have devoted their papers to examine the reasons that underlie and correlate with the employment of this linguistic feature. The present thesis discusses word elongation in depth in relation to the area of translation. Data have been collected using questionnaires, a small corpus, interviews, informal observation and focus group discussions. The researcher has found patterns following discourse analysis as a methodology. By adopting a combination of psychological and sociolinguistic theories, the researcher has come to the conclusion that this feature is most commonly used by females as a tool to construct the identity of participants. Marketers also exploit this feature as it serves as a marketing strategy. Word elongation has social as well as linguistic functions. Since its functions add to the semantic features of a base word, the researcher recommends keeping in mind both the context and the word’s sememes while translating elongated words.