ABSTRACT

Based on an analysis of data sets consisting of sociolinguistic interviews and questionnaires, in this chapter, we make two points related to language variation and change in Qatar: (1) young Bedouins are abandoning the traditional Bedouin linguistic features in favor of the Hadhari ones, and (2) language ideology is the driving force behind the ongoing dialect shift. We examine a combination of phonological, morpho-phonological, lexical, and syntactic variables that have different variants in the Bedouin and Hadhari dialects and demonstrate that while the older generation of Bedouins did not use the Hadhari variants, the younger generation shows a strong tendency to use them. An analysis of their language ideologies suggests that the shift is driven by ideologies, among Bedouin participants, that associate the Hadhari dialect with prestige, modernity, social class, and open-mindedness.