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Sociolinguistics of Moroccan Arabic

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Adil Moustaoui Srhir

This book focuses on Moroccan sociolinguistic dynamics of change. Its aim is to analyse the changing contemporary situation of Moroccan Arabic as a local language and linguistic resource. Starting with a critical sociolinguistic overview of language policy in Morocco, the book aims to respond to the following questions: How do new linguistic practices in Morocco contribute to a restructuring of the Moroccan linguistic field? Will the new local multilingual practices, specifically the use of Moroccan Arabic in writing and other communicative modalities, play an important role in the social and political empowerment as well as the standardisation of this linguistic variety? Finally, the book examines current attempts to achieve a standardisation of the written variety of Moroccan Arabic, and how these attempts are influenced by a number of factors, including political, ideological and obviously sociolinguistic dynamics of change.

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Chapter 4 Language Policy and Planning in Morocco: Historical and Critical Approach


4.1 Introduction

The study of language policy and planning (LPP) is a relatively recent phenomenon. However, the process of intervention into language as social practice Chapter 4 a long history. As Ricento (2000) mentioned, the history of LPP can be examined in terms of three main stages. Nevertheless, in this article I am interested in the stage in which the aim of the study and analysis of the LPP is to reconstruct it “as a multidisciplinary and politicised approach, since the issues it grapples with are complex and represent interests that can pervade multiple levels.” (Wee 2012:11).

So, this contribution is a critical sociolinguistic overview of language policy in Morocco. For this purpose, I will analyse the language policy model implemented by the Moroccan state since independence. I will also present the evolution of Moroccan language policy since 2000, and how this evolution has created a dynamic of change in the linguistic market. Looking at LPP from a critical perspective, I will try to analyse some new categories introduced into a new agenda concerning the analysis of language policy in Morocco. This analysis will be focused on two aspects: firstly, I will examine how a new sociopolitical context, which has emerged since the Arab Spring, has introduced a new power relationship between the languages used in Morocco, as seen in new language practices. Thus we observe a new Glottopolitical model that resists the Moroccan sociolinguistic regime and its approach to language policy. Secondly,...

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