Over the past fifty years, studies in Arabic sociolinguistics have defined Arabic either as a diglossic or as a multiglossic language. However, strictly dichotomous and strictly variationist approaches to the sociolinguistic reality of Arabic failed to comprehend its high degree of variability, which is intrinsically related to its diglossic structure. This paper intends to shed light on the monoglossic ideological intent hiding behind multiglossic approaches, which fostered the use and the creation of middle varieties, such as Educated Spoken Arabic and Formal Spoken Arabic. Although it is well aware of the cognitive and epistemic constraints present in any representation, this paper urges a re-conceptualisation of Arabic diglossia towards a more loyal representation of contemporary Arabic native speaker proficiency.
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