Cultural Alternation among Muslims in San Andrés Island




cultural alternation, diglossia, bilingualism, Arabic, Spanish, Muslim community in San Andrés island, cultural integration, cultural difference


This inquiry focuses in the description and analysis of diglossia and bilingualism as linguistic phenomena highlighting cultural alternation or alternative approaches within the Muslim community settled in San Andrés Island, in the Colombian insular Caribbean. An ethnographic method for speech and sociolinguistics was followed, which led us to find that Arabic language, in their classical and dialectal variances, has everyday usage in the island. Also, we could observe a language contact situation between Arabic and Spanish languages, which allow us define the island as a contact zone. We can conclude that diglossia and bilingualism are proofs of cultural alternation in everyday life, that is, a displacement occurs between cultural signification spheres, implying changes and variations in the processes of identity-construction among this speech community members.

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Author Biography

Carlos Jair Martínez Albarracín, Universidad Manuela Beltrán

Linguist and Master in Linguistics, National University of Colombia. Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.


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How to Cite

Martínez Albarracín, C. J. (2018). Cultural Alternation among Muslims in San Andrés Island. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 23(2), 355-377.



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