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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage

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Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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Between official recognition and social reality: The case of Tamazight/Berber in Algeria

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This paper deals with the sociolinguistic and socio-political situation of the Tamazight/Berber in Algeria. And it is also first attempt to point to the pluricentric character of this language which causes some difficulties as the language is split over many national and regional varieties with a low degree of codification and unification. Although this language has been recognised in Algeria ever since 2001, the situation of the language is complicated because of the religious and linguistic hegemony of the Arab language, which excludes de facto cultural diversity and freedom of conscience. It will be shown which different problems Berber has to cope with in order to get more than just a formal status within the Algerian society.

1.   Tamazight/Berber as a pluricentric language

According to the criteria put up in Clyne (1992) and Muhr (2012) Berber/Tamazigh definitely is a pluricentric language. It is an officially recognised national language both in Morocco (since 2011) and Algeria (since 2001) and it has some status in Mali and in Niger where Touareg is used which linguistically is considered as a variety of Berber. The majority of speakers are living in North Africa and there particularly in Morocco and Algeria. The number of speakers ranges between an estimated 7.5 to 10 millions as national censuses based on language and ethnic criteria are not permitted in those countries.

The language is divided into three major varieties: (1) Rif Tamazight in North Morocco with about...

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