SRPP: Amazigh Substratal Phonology and Morphology in Moroccan Arabic

Karim Bensoukas (Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco)
16 avril 2021, 14h0015h30

The long-standing contact between Amazigh (aka Berber) and Arabic has resulted in mutual contact-induced phenomena in either language. The undeniable presence of an Amazigh substratum in the grammar of North African Arabic definitely goes beyond the straightforward case of lexical borrowing. In this presentation, focus is on the contact-induced Amazigh phonological and morphological traits in Moroccan Arabic that ensue from structural borrowing. The phenomena under scrutiny are collated from various treatments in the literature. Although unavoidably programmatic, the treatment makes the claim that although some cases are clear borrowings from Amazigh both at the lexical and structural levels, other affinities between the two languages pose a twofold challenge. First, the Afro-asiatic affiliation of the two languages entails the presence of cognate structure, potentially blurring the distinction between the donor and recipient language. Second, the prolonged co-existence of the two languages opens the possibility for simultaneously developed entangled, common areal traits.