Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

112 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

languagesdepartment@etal.uri.edu401.874.5911 (p); 401.874.4694 (f)

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Alex Magidow

  • Assistant Professor of Arabic
  • Swan Hall 160 - Office Hours: Monday 1:00pm - 2:00pm & Thursday 2:30pm - 3:30pm
  • 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 has studied Arabic in the US, Jordan, Syria and Morocco.

Professor Magidow received the College of Arts and Sciences Tenure Track Teaching Excellence Award in 2015.


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.




In preparation. Origins of Diversity: Reconstructing the Prehistory of Arabic. Oxford: Oxford University Press

2017. Linguistic History and the History of Arabic: A Speech Communities Approach. In: Arabic in Context, ed. Ahmad al-Jallad, Leiden: Brill

2016. Shamela: A Large-Scale Historical Arabic Corpus. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Language Technology Resources and Tools for Digital Humanities (LT4DH): 45-53. (with: Yonatan Belinkov, Maxim Romanov, Avi Shmidman, and Moshe Koppel)

2016. A Digital Philological Investigation of the history Of hā hunā Constructions. In: Romano-Arabica Journal, vol. 16

2016. Diachronic Dialect Classification Using Demonstratives. In: Al-Arabiyya: Journal of the American Associate of Teachers of Arabic

2015. Database of Arabic Dialects ( Online Database with Web Interface.

2015. A Database Model and Prototype for Storing Diverse Linguistic Data. In: Journal for Language Technology and Computational Linguistics.

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 Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin.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. In: Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 13/8

2012. Explaining Inconsistent Case Marking in Spoken Formal Arabic. In: Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik 55

Personal website:

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