Commenced in January 2007
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An Analysis of Language Borrowing among Algerian University Students Using Online Facebook Conversations

Authors: Messaouda Annab


The rapid development of technology has led to an important context in which different languages and structures are used in the same conversations. This paper investigates the practice of language borrowing within social media platform, namely, Facebook among Algerian Vernacular Arabic (AVA) students. In other words, this study will explore how Algerian students have incorporated lexical English borrowing in their online conversations. This paper will examine the relationships between language, culture and identity among a multilingual group. The main objective is to determine the cultural and linguistic functions that borrowing fulfills in social media and to explain the possible factors underlying English borrowing. The nature of the study entails the use of an online research method that includes ten online Facebook conversations in the form of private messages collected from Bachelor and Masters Algerian students recruited from the English department at the University of Oum El-Bouaghi. The analysis of data revealed that social media platform provided the users with opportunities to shift from one language to another. This practice was noticed in students’ online conversations. English borrowing was the most relevant language performance in accordance with Arabic which is the mother tongue of the chosen sample. The analysis has assumed that participants are skilled in more than one language.

Keywords: Borrowing, language performance, linguistic background, social media.

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