Vol. 1,No. 3, September 2011

Author(s): Nafla S. Kharusi, Amel Salman

Abstract: An especially challenging aspect of transliteration is adopting an adequate system that can be used by an average person who may be unable to interpret diacritics or all the character and character combinations used in traditional and contemporary systems. Also, significant phonological differences between two languages such as those between Arabic and English, and the absence of a consistently used universal system, may result in numerous variations in the spelling of a name. This paper, part of a larger study that the authors are conducting, proposes a simplified system for the English transliteration of Oman‟s place names written in the Arabic script. The system is meant to be used on tourist maps, at tourist sites, on signposts, and in marketing and public relations material. Considering the importance of toponyms in conveying the historical and cultural heritage of a people, the extended project will examine the linguistic aspects of all Oman‟s toponyms, such as their morpho-syntactic and semantic properties and also their lexical-source domains. The research will further illustrate how cross-cultural influences on place name phonology may serve as narratives of identity and symbolic resistance to the dominant majority.

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