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PHD Linguistics, Saudi Arabian Woman, Indigenous Languages in the Middle East

Updated: Jan 23


My first choice for earning the Ph.D. in Linguistics in America is XXXX University, both for its sheer excellence and the surrounding area's vast intellectual and cultural resources. I look forward to contributing to the diversity of the student body as an Arab woman with a keen, long term-interest in Arabic, its varieties, origins, and relationships with other languages.


A Saudi Arabian woman very dedicated to Linguistics, my father took great pride in his exceptional gift with languages, especially English, passing it on to me while I was growing up. He was my teacher and best friend, spending all the time we could working in various languages. My father’s influence on my choice of Linguistics as a career was foundational, going far beyond English. He also taught me to appreciate the indigenous languages of our part of the world and study them in-depth, especially Najdi Arabic and the Mehri language, which is my first or mother tongue, alongside Arabic. My central career objective is to conduct linguistic research on Naidi Arabic and Mehri languages, especially in phonology. At the same time, I look forward to a professional lifetime of service in academia, training students interested in these areas. I am convinced that the theoretical orientation of the Linguistics Program at XXXX University will provide me with the rigorous training I need to meet my goals.


The first female in my family to go to graduate school and dedicate most of her energy to a profession, I am well versed in the long history of repression to which my countrywomen have been subjected, and I take great delight in seeing some progressive change taking place in terms of movement towards greater recognition of women’s rights. Throughout my lifetime, I look forward to being at the forefront of this movement – at least in an intellectual sense. Keenly aware of the importance of professional women like myself serving as role models for new generations of Saudi women seeking education and professional stature together, across generations, we will continue to collaborate in our march towards our liberation, a deepening of the process.


My dad passed away in my senior year, and I was a wreck with grief. Fortunately, I prevented my grades from suffering that much since my studies became my major escape from my sorrow. I am proud to say that I have never received a grade below ‘A’ for any of my classes in Linguistics. My passion and talent in English were noted, and I began teaching English at the university where I studied within two months of graduation, serving as a Junior Lecturer. I taught English skills, introduction to Linguistics, and Phonology. I also won the best translation project prize at Salman bin Abdul-Aziz University.


I am earning an MA in English, focusing on Linguistics at XXXX University. I will graduate this coming May 2019 and hope to begin my Ph.D. Program at XXXX University shortly after that. Curious by nature, linguistics is like a puzzle, and I never tire of seeking solutions to mysteries to which I set my mind. Towards the end of my undergraduate studies, I worked on translating a book with a commentary on the translation. Facing up to this challenge was one of my most incredible learning experiences, helping me appreciate the profound depth of the differences between languages and hence the significant challenges involved in an accurate translation. I learned a great deal during this project about the syntax of Arabic and English.

I am a native speaker of an endangered language, at least an endangered dialect, the Aljudhi dialect of the Mehri language, in Saudi Arabia. A Semitic language, it is central to my personal or individual mission since my grandfather was determined that we acquire this language to save it. Even though I feel like I am starting to lose it due to lack of practice, I want to reclaim and analyze it syntactically and phonologically. Interestingly, the Megri language has different words for both instead of having prefixes to determine masculinity and femininity. For example, seven is /bi:t/ for masculine and /hoba/ for feminine. No one has paid attention to the phonological and syntactical analysis of the Mehri language. The Linguistics program at X University will sharpen my research skills and help me learn more about linguistics concerning analyzing a variety of Arabic dialects, most specifically the Aljudhi dialect of the Mehri language, phonologically and syntactically. I need the guidance and the knowledge that I am sure I can only get at XXXX University, especially concerning phonological research. Another research area I have given a lot of energy to is the origin and constitution of the pidgin language. I look forward to studying this issue intensively at XXXX University.


I am thrilled to learn that Professor XXXX teaches at XXXX. I will never forget the day I received a pleasant and encouraging response to my email sent to Noam Chomsky concerning a phonological issue. I was shocked that he responded, giving me great positive energy. I also very much admire the work of Professor X in the area of the creole language, helping me understand the differences between pidgin and creole. Thus, I look forward to the course Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities.


I have also taught as a volunteer at an orphanage and served as a translator in hospitals. I write poetry and do graphic design. I am a good student, so I won a fully paid scholarship to study at the university that accepts me.


I appreciate your consideration of my application to Linguistics at XXXX University.


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