Professor Janet Watson hosts series of online workshops

The workshops focus on Language and Nature in Southern Arabia and are accessed via Zoom.

The online events organised by Professor Janet Watson focus on, but are not exclusive to, early career researchers and speakers of the languages of southern Arabia. Sessions include six or seven speakers, who each speak for 5-15 minutes.

Workshops are designed to include both academic and non-academic presenters, with at least one presentation in one of the indigenous languages of Southern Arabia. (Presentations are given in English, Arabic or Mehri).

The workshops have been enthusiastically embraced, with a growing audience of:

  • Session 1: 19 participants from 10 different countries
  • Session 2: 35 participants from 12 different countries
  • Session 3: 39 participants from 16 different countries

There is a waiting list for presenters.

If you are interested in joining future meetings, please contact Janet Watson:


Series information

  • 23 March 2020, 13:00 GMT (via Zoom) - Modern South Arabian

Fabio Gasparini (FU Berlin):  Investigating Modern South Arabian (MSAL) emphatics – a collaborative approach

Hammal al-Balushi (UoLeeds):  The documentation of Harsusi (in Arabic)

Abdullah al-Mahri (Salalah):  Children's language in Mehri (in Arabic and Mehri)

Andrea Boom (Manchester):  Language, gesture and nature

Saeed al-Mahri (Salalah):  The documentation of MSAL within the community

Giuliano Castagna (UErlangen): The Austronesian substrate in MSAL

Said Baquir (Salalah):  The sounds of Shehret (in Arabic and Shehret)

  • 31 March 2020, 12:00 BST (via Zoom) - Language and Nature in Southern Arabia

Simone Bettega (UTurin):  Gender and environment in the Arabic dialects of Arabia

Abdullah al-Mahri (Salalah):  Demonstration of children’s ebooks on human-nature relationship (in Mehri and Arabic)

Roberta Morano (UofLeeds):  The threat of climate change on the languages of Southern Arabia

Saeed al-Mahri (Salalah):   Water sources in Dhofar (in Arabic/Mehri)

Fabio Gasparini (FUBerlin):   Planning a digital atlas for MSAL: ideas and perspectives

Munira al-Azraqi (UDammam):  Mehri lexicon: Nature words (in Arabic)

  • 07 April 2020, 14:00 BST (via Zoom) - Language and/or Nature in Southern Arabia 

Amir al-Kathiri (SQUMuscat):    القلب بين الشين والهاء واختلافه في مناطق عمان من ظفار حتى مسندم (in Arabic)

Imar Koutchoukali (Tartu):  Toponyms of South Arabia: Between ESA, MSA, and Arabic

Suad al-Manji (SQUMuscat):    اللغة و الطبيعة : قصص عن قدرة المجتمعات المحلية على الصمود أمام الكوارث الطبيعية : Language and Nature: Community stories around resilience in the face of catastrophic events (in Arabic)

David Wilmsen (AUSharjah):   The enigma of Mehri existential śī and Arabic šī

Kamela al-Barami (ULeeds) & Said Baquir (Salalah):  Butter oil: A staple traditional delicacy among the Sheret / Jibbali speaking communities of Dhofar (in English, Arabic and Shehret)

  • 14 April 2020, 14:00 BST (via Zoom) - Language and/or Nature in Southern Arabia

Sam Liebhaber (Middlebury):  Bin Faris, Bin Shamasa and Ba Dujana: The sovereign dynasties of western al-Mahra

Abdullah al-Mahri (Salalah):    حروف الجرّ بالمهرية : Prepositions in Mehri (in Arabic and Mehri)

Jack Wilson (USalford):   Phonological iconicity on MSAL

Abdullah al-Saqqaf (Dhofar):  Flora and fauna terms in South Arabian Arabic dialects (in Arabic and English)

Shahina Ghazanfar (Kew):   The many names of grape

Kamala Russell (UC Berkeley):    Da'abet and da'awet in Central Shehret

Giuliano Castagna (Erlangen):    Sound shifts in the Shehret of al-Hallaniya

Abdullah al-Mahri (Salalah) and Janet Watson (Leeds):    Silent articulations in Mehri

Farida al-Manji (CoAS, Rustaq) and Suad al-Manji (MoE, Muscat):  أدوات الاستفهام، و أسماء الإشارة في لهجات شمال عمان ( لهجة إبراء)

Muhammad al-Shahri (Heidelberg): المشتركة اللفظي بين اللغات السامية: الشحرية والسريانية نموذجا

Hammal al-Balushi (Leeds):  Dissemination of Covid-19 information in the languages of Oman

Jon Lovett (Leeds):  Institutions, economics, language and nature

Maryam Al Bayshak (UAE):  The linguistic heritage of the Shuhuh (in Arabic)