The Linguistic Hegemony of English over Arabs' Speech: A Case Study of Borrowing and Code-Switching in MBC's Project Runway Middle East 2

Linguistic hegemony, borrowing, code-switching, Arabic, English


  • Rim Letaief
    Ph.D. Candidate, English Department, University of Sousse, Tunisia
December 3, 2021


Owing to its dominance over the domains of business, education, and media, English is becoming the first language in the world. As a result, many Arab countries have worked on promoting the English language, which is deemed as a passport to employability and opportunity. Such English promotion endeavors have highly affected the speech of young Arabs. Using Gramsci's linguistic hegemony theory, the current paper combines the quantitative and qualitative methods of research to study the second season of MBC’s Project Runway Middle East. Through a conversational analysis of three selected episodes of this reality program, the study at hand seeks to prove the rise of English words and expressions in the speech of Arabs through the techniques of borrowing and code-switching. By canvassing the instances of borrowings and code-switches used by the participants, hosts, judges, and even guests of Project Runway 2, the present paper has revealed the most frequent types and syntactic categories of borrowing and code-switching and has studied the usage of these two techniques in relation to gender, age group, and geographical belonging.