The Amazigh Language at Home and at School

The Amazigh Language at Home and at School

ISBN 978-3-89645-921-3

The Amazigh Language at Home and at School

Perspectives on Oral Discourse Structure and Academic Language Skills

Edited by: Abderrahman El Aissati. With contributions by: Aïsha Bouhjar, Ahmadou Bouylmani, Yahya E-Rramdani, Abderrahman El Aissati, Guus Extra, Mena Lafkioui, Mohammadi Laghzaoui, Amina Mettouchi, Hakim Smaïl, Miloud Taïfi. Series edited by: Harry Stroomer.

Series: BS Berber Studies Volume 21

139 pp.
1 map, 1 colour illustration, 1 facsimile reproduction, 5 graphs, 31 tables
Text language(s): English, French
Format: 170 x 240 mm
310 g
€ 34.80

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This volume is a collection of articles prepared by the authors for the workshop From oral discourse structure in Berber to academic language skills in Dutch, held at Tilburg University (Netherlands). The content of the contributions proves highly relevant – both scientifically and socially – for the debate about the introduction of Berber in Moroccan public schools. The first few contributions give an overview of the sociolinguistic situation and the linguistic variation of the Amazigh language in Europe and in Morocco.

Guus Extra reports on large scale home surveys in major European cities, with a focus on the Hague, and discusses the impact of such surveys on language planning. At a more micro level, Lafkioui presents a case for a linguistic analysis that takes variation as a starting point. In her view taking into consideration the language facts as well as the speakers’ intuition is important in conceiving a standard Tarifit.

Moving closer to what takes place at the level of the school, Bouylmani reports on the situation of the Amazigh language in the first two years of its introduction into the Moroccan public school, while also focusing on the ongoing debate regarding the choice of an alphabet for writing the Amazigh language. Mettouchi and Ismaïl present a project for building an internationally accessible corpus for Berber languages. In their contribution they illustrate the making of such a corpus, focusing on the difficulties of Berber as a language with many variants.

Four contributions in this volume deal with the language itself in the form of written and oral discourse in Berber. Taïfi discusses the use of oral discourse markers in Tamazight, which have as main function a non-linguistic context-bound function, thus making them characteristic of oral discourse. Bouhjar discusses results of an earlier research in the field of bilingual language acquisition in Brussels. She presents data illustrating language use of Berber-French and Moroccan-Arabic-French bilingual children in this large city.

E-rramdani reports on one aspect of the acquisition of Tarifit in a migration context, namely the acquisition of the perfective by young children with Tarifit Berber as the main home language. Laghzaoui examines the text of a novel and some fragments from daily conversations in Tarifit Berber, comparing characteristics of written discourse with those of oral discourse. Next to the technical question of which terminology will be used, research should be carried out about issues such as the ongoing standardization of this language, the place of regional varieties in the school system, the economic value of learning this language at school, the future of the language as a school subject and/or as a language of instruction, etc.


Guus Extra (Tilburg University): Crossnational and crosslinguistic perspectives on the status of Berber in European cities, with a focus on The Hague

Abderrahman El Aissati (Tilburg University): Status planning and corpus planning of Amazigh (Berber) in Morocco

Mena Lafkioui (Universiteit Gent & Università di Milano-Bicocca): Variation géolinguistique berbère du Rif – Le cas des indices personnels verbaux

Ahmadou Bouylmani (Université Chouaib Doukkali, Al Jadida): Berber at school – Some implications of Berber teaching in Morocco

Amina Mettouchi (University of Nantes, and INALCO, Paris) & Hakim Smaïl (University of Paris 5, and INALCO, Paris): A corpus for Berber languages

Miloud Taifi (Université de Fès): Les lubrifiants discursifs à valeur modalisante en berbère (tamazight)

Aïcha Bouhjar (IRCAM Institut Royal de la culture amazigh, Maroc): Developpement du lexique en milieu migrant marocain à Bruxelles

Yahya E-rramdani (Tilburg University): Acquisition of perfective by bilingual children

Mohammadi Laghzaoui (Tilburg University): On discourse conventions in academic and interactional Tarifit-Berber texts


In addition to this proceedings volume, further studies on African educational systems and national language planning have been published in our programme:

Accompanying material:

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