Arabic or Latin: Language Contact and Script Practices

This study discusses the social aspects of script reforms and the hierarchies attached to languages and scripts in contact. In Morocco, Arabic, French, and Berber/Amazigh compete for similar social domains. In recent years, intense debates took place surrounding the official adoption of Tifinagh to...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Middle East - Topics & Arguments (Band 13)
Main Author: Soulaimani, Dris
Format: Journal Articles
Language:English
Published: 2019
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Online Access:PDF Full Text
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Summary:This study discusses the social aspects of script reforms and the hierarchies attached to languages and scripts in contact. In Morocco, Arabic, French, and Berber/Amazigh compete for similar social domains. In recent years, intense debates took place surrounding the official adoption of Tifinagh to codify Amazigh; however less focus has been placed on the unofficial selection of the French-based Latin characters to write both Arabic and Amazigh. This study argues that, besides practicality, preference of the Latin script in Morocco is ideologically connected to the status of French as a language that indexes power, modernity and social prestige.
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/meta.2019.13.8080