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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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The book focuses on Moroccan sociolinguistic dynamics of change. Its aim is to describe and analyse the changing contemporary situation of Moroccan Arabic (hereinafter MA) as a local language and linguistic resource.

Historically, MA has been considered to be undervalued and dominated in a Moroccan linguistic market characterised by ethno-linguistic stratification (Boukous 1999 and 2008). Nevertheless, currently there are ongoing political, economic and sociolinguistic changes in Moroccan society in the form of an expansion of new linguistic practices related to initiatives of local, regional and national economic and social development. I argue that these practices have different aims, some of them related to the process of linguistic standardisation of MA, and consequently might have a pragmatic influence on communicative practices in an innovative and alternative model of language politics in Moroccan society.

In this book we examine current attempts to achieve a standardisation of the written variety of MA for the future, and how these attempts are influenced by a number of factors, including political, ideological and obviously sociolinguistic dynamics of change (See also Moscoso 2010 and Hoogland 2013). These sociolinguistic dynamics of change naturally affect the way we conceive of MA as a language as well as its standard model for writing. Therefore, language planning for the standardisation of MA implies a more comprehensive examination of this issue within the core of the Moroccan sociolinguistic regime. Specifically, what we would like to examine is the transition of MA from an oral to a...

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