Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

112 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881 – 401.874.5911 (p); 401.874.4694 (f)

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Alex Magidow

Assistant Professor Alexander Magidow
  • Assistant Professor of Arabic
  • Swan Hall 160 - Office Hours: T 9:30am - 10:30am, W 10:00am - 11:00am
  • Phone: 401.874.2583
  • Email:


Alexander Magidow teaches Arabic language and culture courses and coordinates the Arabic section in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He studied Arabic in the US, Jordan, Syria and Morocco. His dissertation focused on reconstructing the origins of modern Arabic dialect diversity, though his research interests include a number of topics within linguistics and Arabic dialectology.


My research interests include the history and diversity of Arabic dialects, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and semantics of ‘free variation’ in language, portrayal of non-standard dialects in media, competition between languages over time.


Ph.D. in Arabic Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2013.

M.A. in Arabic Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2009.

B.A. in Linguistics, University of Wisonsin at Madison, 2006.


Forthcoming. “Diachronic Dialect Classification Using Demonstratives,” in: Demonstratives in Arabic, ed. Mai Zaki, Amsterdam: John Benjamins

2013. “Towards a Sociohistorical Reconstruction of Pre-Islamic Arabic Dialect Diversity” Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin.

2013. “Competing Pressures in Diglossia: Avoiding Colloquial in Writing Standard Arabic” Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 13/8

2012. “Explaining Inconsistent Case Marking in Spoken Formal Arabic,” Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 55

Personal website:

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