Qatar University’s Department of English Literature and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) yesterday opened its fourth Linguistics in the Gulf Conference.
The two-day event has brought together researchers from the region and other countries for an exchange of ideas and reflections on current and future developments in the study of language and in their respective areas of interest and expertise.
In her opening remarks, CAS dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi explained that the conference highlights the importance QU and the college places on linguistic research and of linguistics as a scientific field, especially in the Gulf and Middle East region.
“During these two days, delegates will address new challenges facing linguistics researchers and share experiences with colleagues from institutions in the region and beyond to advance the ongoing dialogue on this important area of study.
Department Chair Dr Rizwan Ahmad described the conference as an excellent platform for linguists in the region and abroad to engage in the exchange of ideas about the study of language in the region.
“The Gulf in general and Qatar in particular represents a living ‘linguistic laboratory’ for linguists of all specialisations. I sincerely hope that this conference will contribute to the advancement of knowledge about language – its structure, function, and representation - and that it will provide us with both synergy and energy to advance the ongoing work and start new projects that will unravel the fascinating linguistic complexity that this region embodies.”
The first day’s keynote speaker Prof Jeffrey Heath, University of Michigan Professor of Historical Linguistics, Morphology, Arabic and Linguistic Anthropology, presented his study on ‘Early Moroccan Arabic as a pidgin/creole language.’
There were presentations by linguistics experts and researchers from University of Bucharest, University of Business and Technology, University of York, Birkbeck, University of London, University of Iowa, Mansoura University, American University of Sharjah, University of Newcastle, University of Sharjah, New York University, New York University – Abu Dhabi, University of Texas at Austin, UAE University, King Abdulaziz University, Sultan Qaboos University, University of Hyderabad, and University of Montreal.
The papers dealt with both structural and social aspects of language in the Gulf including standard Arabic, Gulf dialects, and pidgin Arabic.
Department member Mariam Gammaz presented on ‘Cultural and linguistic challenges in translation’ under the session title ‘Translation and Beyond’ as part of her Master’s programme at the University of Portsmouth, UK.
Today’s keynote speaker Dr Reem Bassiouney will present on ‘Arabic Indexes amidst a Nation and a Nation-State: Ideologies, Attitudes and Linguistic Realities.’