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Research Areas and Topics

(This doc is written by Dr Haleema Kadhem Al Aali. I only removed one topic from her list of suggestions.)


Your research should examine use of language (from a variationist or constructivist point of view) in Bahrain. You can use one of these topics or create your own:


  • Language and Generation gap :( e.g.  Survey elders and ask them about the expressions they find most annoying with younger generations, observe and record the most common expressions used by a certain speech community like high school students, study .etc.).

  • Code-switching & Code-Mixing: (e.g. you can examine certain speech communities and their code-switching behaviour (e.g. English language major students in UOB). You can also combine ideas 1 and 2 and look at code-switching amongst the youth in Bahrain).

  • Language and Social class

  • Language and attitudes

  • Dialects in Bahrain

  • Linguistic practices in specific communities (e.g. a friendship group, an online gaming community, a religious congregation, language in the workplace or language of teachers, Language of students in UOB, etc.)

  • Any aspect of GAP (Gulf Arabic Pidgin).

  • Language and gender (e.g. Compare between men and women in certain ;linguistic features and practices (e.g. use of questions/ politeness strategies/ imperative/leadership language, etc.) and in certain contexts or settings (e.g. workplace/school/chartrooms/etc.)

  • Language and Media: (e.g. examine/compare between certain language features in newspapers, magazines, videos, TV shows, etc.)

  • Language and identity: (e.g. examine how people use language to construct and enact different aspects of their identity. Such as use of certain dialects or code switching or certain varieties to show something about oneself).

  • Language and Culture: (e.g. the influence of American dialects, music etc. on adolescents in Bahrain, etc. OR differences between politeness strategies/forms of address in the Arabic and English language. etc. )

  • Language and power

  • Language of Social media (e.g. Choose a social media domain and examine certain aspects of language Or compare between spoken discourse with electronic or  social media discourse)

  • Nonverbal behavior: (e.g. look at gestures, posture, proximity, and relate these gestures the conversation. For example, you could videotape 2 close friends and 2 people who are only acquaintances and study the differences you find.  Do friends mirror each other’s gestures more than acquaintances do? Which gestures seem to be mirrored more?)


  • Politeness in language


  • Language and humour


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