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Dr. Elizabeth Bergman

Dr. Elizabeth Bergman

Dr. Elizabeth Bergman
Associate Professor


  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, Near Eastern Studies.1992. Dissertation:  “What the Old Ones Said:  The Syntax of the Moroccan Arabic Proverb," Ernest N. McCarus, Chair.  
  • M.A. University of Michigan, Near Eastern Studies.1987.
  • B.Sc. Georgetown University, Arabic Language and Linguistics.1978.


  • Program in Middle East and Islamic Studies (minor advisor)
  • Committee on Medieval Studies


  • American Association of Teachers of Arabic (Executive Director)
  • Arabic Linguistics Society
  • Middle East Studies Association
  • Modern Language Association


  • Finalist, E. Phillips Knox Teaching Award for 2010.


  • Arabic language and linguistics
  • Arabic dialects
  • Arabic forensic linguistics
  • Arabic language pedagogy



  • Spoken Algerian Arabic.  Publications of the African Language Project. Springfield, VA:  Dunwoody, 2005.
  • Sketch Grammar of Spoken Iraqi Arabic (with Eerik Dickinson). Springfield, VA:  Dunwoody, 2005.
  • Spoken Sudanese Arabic:  Grammar, dialogues, and glossary.  Publications of the African Language Project.  Springfield, VA:  Dunwoody, 2002.


  • “The More Things Change: A Learner’s Perspective on Learning Another Arabic Dialect. Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages Volume 9, 1 (Spring 2011).
  • Robert Joe Lee, Elizabeth M. Bergman, and Aziz Ismail. “Becoming an Arabic Court Interpreter” (Rev. ed.) Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts, 2010.
  • “Introducing Arabic:  Meeting the Challenges” in Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, Volume 6:  2009.
  • “Foreword” to Ernest T. Abdel-Massih, Zaki N. Abdel-Malek, El-Said M. Badawi, with Ernest N. McCarus, Reference Grammar of Egyptian Arabic. Georgetown Classics in Arabic Language/Linguistics. 2009
  • “Becoming an Arabic Court Interpreter” with Robert Joe Lee and Aziz N. Ismail.
  • “Orality” in Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Ed. Kees Versteegh.  Leiden, Boston:  Brill, 2005 - .
  • “Frozen expression” in Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics.  Vol. 2.  Ed. Kees Versteegh.  Leiden.  Boston:  Brill, 2005 - .
  • “Jargon,” in Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics. Vol. 2.  Ed. Kees Versteegh.  Leiden, Boston:  Brill, 2005 -.  
  • "Foreword" to Dictionary of Moroccan Arabic:  Arabic - English/English - Arabic.  Eds. Richard S. Harrel and Harvey Sobelman.  Georgetown Classics in Arabic Language and Linguistics.  Washington, DC:  Georgetown UP, 2004.
  • "Foreword" to Dictionary of Syrian Arabic:  English - Arabic.  Eds. Karl Stowasser and Moukhtar Ani.  Georgetown Classics in Arabic Language and Linguistics.  Washington, DC:  Georgetown UP, 2004.
  • “A Proposal for the Classification of Arabic Dialects,” Administrative Office of the Courts of the State of New Jersey.  1998.
  • “Ma ti‘raf xeeri:  Negation in Egyptian and Moroccan Arabic Proverbs,” in Perspectives in Arabic Linguistics IX.  Eds. Mushira Eid and Dilworth Parkinson.  Amsterdam:  John Benjamins, 1996.
  • “Keeping It in the Family:  Gender and Conflict in Moroccan Proverbs,” in Gender and Society in the Middle East.  Eds. Fatma M. Gocek and Shiva Balaghi.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1995.
  • “Arabic Script” in Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East.  New York:  Macmillan, 1995.
  • “The Authority of Negation in Proverbs,” in Investigating Arabic:  Linguistic, Pedagogical and Literary Studies in Honor of Ernest N. McCarus.  Eds. Raji M. Rammuny and Dilworth B. Parkinson.  Columbus, OH:  Greyden, 1994.


  • Arabic Dialects Today: From Morocco to Iraq. An overview of Arabic dialects. In progress.
  • “New domains, new models of language use.” This study considers a relatively new development in the Arabic media, animated cartoon series voiced in spoken Arabic. These series address societal anxieties about modernization and authenticity, westernization and tradition. The result in both cases is a model of a national self, one that is linked to and defined by language use. In progress.
  • “Learning a Second (or Third) Variety of Spoken Arabic.” Presents a framework for understanding variation in spoken Arabic, considering representative varieties from four major dialect families. In progress.


  • “Reversing Privilege: Teaching Arabic Dialects in the Classroom.” 126th Modern Language Association Annual Convention. Los Angeles, CA. 08 January 2011.
  • “Mixed registers and mixed varieties of contemporary spoken Arabic.” International Association for Middle Arabic (AIMA) Third Symposium, “Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic: an intentional choice of register? Researches on medieval, modern and contemporary sources.” Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence. 12 October 2010.
  • “Aristotle in Arabic, Greek, and Latin.” “Digital humanities, Greek-Arabic-Latin.” Sponsored by the Perseus Project, Tufts University and the Islamic Manuscripts Project, University of Michigan. 14 July 2010.
  • “The Averroes Project: Greek, Arabic, Latin” (co-presenters Karla Mallette and Valerie Wilhite,) in “BABEL Working Group.” International Conference on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. 15 May 2010.
  • “New Domains, New Models of Language Use.” Georgetown University Round Table (GURT) 2010: Arabic Language and Linguistics, Washington, DC. 13 March 2010.
  • “New Americans Series: Bridging the Gap with Arabic Speakers” (co-presenters Mohamed Ali and Linda Mansour). Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College, Worthington, OH. 30 October 2009.


  • “Introduction to Arabic dialects” (in Arabic), Arabic Language Lecture Series, Princeton University, 23 April 2008.


  • Arabic (Classical Arabic; Modern Standard Arabic; Jordanian, Egyptian and Moroccan Arabic; Algerian, Iraqi, and Sudanese Arabic)
  • French
  • Modern Turkish
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian