Professor Enam Al-Wer

Department of Language and Linguistics
Professor Enam Al-Wer
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872240

  • Location

    4.202B, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Wednesday 10am-12pm



She graduated from the University of Jordan with a BA in English and German, and went on to obtain a Diploma in German from the Goethe Institute, Munich. She subsequently obtained an MLing in Manchester, writing a dissertation on the syntax of negation in Jordanian Arabic. Her PhD at Essex (supervised by Prof. Peter Trudgill) was on phonological variation in the speech of women. She previously taught English Linguistics at Philadelphia University, Jordan, and has also taught sociolinguistics at Cambridge University and Birkbeck College.


  • BA Jordan

  • Dip Munich

  • MLing Manchester

  • PhD Essex.

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Gender differentiation in language

Language maintenance/shift

Multilingualism and code-switching

Variation and change (with special interest in Modern Arabic Dialects)

Formation of New Dialects

Dialectology and dialect geography

Dialect/language contact

Conferences and presentations

AIDA Conference


Journal articles (3)

Al-Wer, E., Horesh, U., Herin, B. and Fanis, M., (2015). How Arabic Regional Features Become Sectarian Features Jordan as a Case Study. Zeitschrift fuer Arabische Linguistik. 62, 68-87

Al-Wer, E. and Herin, B., (2011). The lifecycle of Qaf in Jordan. Langage et société. 138 (4), 59-59

Al-Wer, E., (1997). Arabic between reality and ideology. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 7 (2), 251-265

Books (2)

Al-Wer, E. and De Jong, R., (2008). Arabic Dialectology. Brill. 9789004172128

Miller, C., (2007). Arabic in the City. Routledge. 0203933362

Book chapters (13)

Al-Wer, E. and de Jong, R., (2017). Dialects of Arabic. In: The Handbook of Dialectology. Editors: Boberg, C., Nerbonne, J. and Watt, D., . Wiley-Blackwell. 523- 534. 978-1-118-82755-0

Al-Wer, E. and Al-Qahtani, K., (2016). Lateral fricative ḍād in Tihāmat Qaḥtān. In: Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXVII. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 151- 169. 9789027200310

Al-Wer, E., (2014). Language and Gender in the Middle East and North Africa. In: The Handbook of Language, Gender, and Sexuality. Editors: Ehrlich, S., Meyerhoff, M. and Holmes, J., . Wiley. 396- 411. 9780470656426

Al-Wer, E., (2014). Yod-dropping in b-imperfect verb forms ?in Amman. In: Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXVI: Papers from the annual symposium on Arabic Linguistics. New York, 2012. Editors: Khamis-Dakwar, R. and Froud, K., . John Benjamins. 29- 44. 9789027200303

Al-Wer, E., (2013). Sociolinguistics. In: The Oxford Handbook of Arabic Linguistics. Editors: Owens, J., . Oxford University Press. 978-0-19-976413-6

Al-Wer, E., (2007). The formation of the dialect of Amman: from chaos to order. In: Arabic in the City: Issues in Dialect Contact and Language Variation. Editors: Miller, C., Al-Wer, E., Caube, D. and Watson, JCE., . Routledge. 55- 76

Al-Wer, E., (2006). The Arabic-Speaking Middle East/Der arabischsprachige Mittlere Osten. In: Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society/Soziolinguistik: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Wissenschaft von Sprache und Gesellschaft. de Gruyter. 1917- 1924. 9783110184181

Al-Wer, E., (2003). New dialect formation. In: Social Dialectology. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 59- 67. 9781588114037

Al-Wer, E., (2003). Variability Reproduced: A variationist view of the [Daad]/[Dhaa] opposition in modern Arabic dialects. In: Approaches to Arabic Dialects: A Collection of Articles presented to Manfred Woidich on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. Editors: de Jong, R., Haak, M. and Versteegh, K., . Brill. 21- 32. 9789004132061

Al-Wer, E., (2002). Education as a Speaker Variable. In: Language Contact and Language Conflict in Arabic. Variations on a sociolinguistic theme. Editors: Rouchdy, A., . Routledge Curzon. 41- 53

Al-Wer, E., (2002). Jordanian and Palestinian Dialects in Contact: Vowel Raising in Amman. In: Language Change: The Interplay of Internal, External and Extra-Linguistic Factors. Mouton de Gruyter. 63- 80. 9783110892598

Al-Wer, E., (2000). Perspectives on two Arabic emphatic sounds: A merger or an artificial split?. Essex Research Reports in Linguistics

Al-Wer, E., (1997). Why do different variables behave differently? Data from Arabic. Essex Research Reports in Linguistics

Media (1)

Al-Wer, EEA., Jordanian dialects. Video

Grants and funding


The emerging dialect of Amman: a study in New-Dialect Formation

Leverhulme Trust

Religious Affiliation, Language Variation and National Identity in the Middle East

British Academy

Further sociolinguistic explorations in Palestinian Arabic: Language and identity, religion, and urbanisation

British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872240


4.202B, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Wednesday 10am-12pm