Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 2, No 1 (2008)

Contribución al estudio de los arabismos en francés magrebí: identidad versus modernidad

Dalila Fasla
Issued Date: 25 Jul 2008


This article presents a set of theoretical directives for the study of the borrowing of voices of Arab origin by the diatopic variety of French spoken in the Maghreb; this phenomenon, that nowadays still follows its course, begins in the nineteenth century as a result of the direct linguistic contact between Arab and French dating from the colonial time. Taking into account our object of study, and starting from the methodological directions postulated by the European and North American tradition, we propose an explanatory frame of the main factors that have motivated the borrowing of Arabic expressions in the Maghrebi French adstrate; moreover, this article offers a classification of these voices according to three criteria: the variety of Arab as source language, the grammatical category and the diatopic extension. The use of the Arabic expression frequently reveals, diverse constituent components of the native identity, since a significant percentage of such loans is adopted as authentic cultural markers of group membership. The ethnosociological valuation of the volume of documented Arabic expressions allows to conclude that this case of borrowing, based on the necessity to designate realities alien to the western culture, constitutes a key factor of maintenance of French within the Maghrebi community.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v2.i1.61


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