Vol. 58 No. 4 (2010)
Research Article

Pre-Peace and Post-Peace Referring in Jordanian Journalistic Arabic

Published 2010-12-01



This study investigates the influence of the Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel in 1994 on Arabic journalistic language. Jordanian journalistic language is the source of our data. A representative sample was taken from Al-Rai, a major Jordanian daily in the period 1971–1996. Issues were surveyed, looking for shifts in language prior to and following the Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel. This sample was then contrasted with a recent sample taken from the same daily on October 2009. The findings of this study reveal that the peace process has had a great effect on Arabic journalistic language, especially in the year of its signing. Negative names that were regularly used to refer to Israel at the beginning of the Arab-Israeli conflict have gradually disappeared from the Jordanian press giving rise to new positive to neutral names.


  1. Abdelfattah, Saber. 1990. “Linguistic Change in Journalistic Language in Egypt, 1935–1989: A Quantitative and Comparative Analysis.” Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Texas, Austin.
  2. Abd-el-Jawad, Hassan & Fawwaz Al-Abed Al Haq. 1997. “The Impact of the Peace Process in the Middle East on Arabic.” Undoing, Redoing Corpus Planning. Ed. Michael Clyne. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 415–443.
  3. Ayalon, Ami. 1987. Language and Change in the Arab Middle East: The Evolution of Modern Political Discourses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  4. Bader, Yousef. 1994. “Loan Translations in Written Jordanian News Media.” Language, Discourse and Translation in the West and Middle East. Ed. Robert de Beaugrande. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 91–102.
  5. Bulos, Afif. 1965. The Arabic Triliteral Verb: A Comparative Study of Grammatical Concepts and Processes. Beirut: Khayats.
  6. Edelman, Murray. 1977. Political Language: Words that Succeed and Politics that Fail. New York: Academic Press.
  7. El-Khalil, Talal. 1983. “Linguistic Analysis of the English Loan Words in Journalistic Jordanian Arabic as Read by an Educated Native Speaker of Arabic.” Unpublished Masters Thesis. Yarmouk University, Jordan.
  8. Graber, Doris. 1981. “Political Language.” Handbook of Political Communication. Ed. Dan Nimmo and Keith Sanders. California: Sage Publication,195–224.
  9. Gully, Adrian. 1993. “The Changing Face of Modern Written Arabic.” Al-Arabiyyah 26: 19–56.
  10. HaCohen, Ran. 1977. “The Impact of the Peace Process in the Middle East on Arabic.” Undoing, Redoing Corpus Planning. Ed. Michael Clyne. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1–26.
  11. Hussein, Riyad & Muhammad Zughoul. 1993. “Lexical Interference in Journalistic Arabic in Jordan.” Language Sciences 15: 239–254.
  12. Institute for Palestine Studies. 1979. The Egyptian Israeli Treaty: Text and Selected Documents. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies.
  13. Parkinson, Dilworth B. 1981. “VSO to SVO in Modern Standard Arabic: A Study in Diglossia Syntax.” Al-Arabiyyah 14: 24–37.