Amazigh Language Revitalisation and the New Moroccan Linguistic Landscape


Author: Houssine Soussi (University of Ibn Zohr, Morocco)
Speaker: Houssine Soussi
Topic: Language Revitalization
COMELA 2020 General Session


Abstract

This paper describes the language contact situation in Morocco with particular focus on Amazigh and Arabic, and the current language policies that strengthen the use of these official languages in the context of Amazigh language revitalization. It presents the results of a case study analysis of linguistic landscapes in Morocco that reveals to what extent Amazigh in general and the official Tifinagh script (Amazigh script) in particular are present in public spaces. In this analysis we assume that only recent linguistic landscape data would be able to provide innovative and valuable insights into ‘patterns of language […] use, official language policies, prevalent language attitudes, [and] power relations between different linguistic groups’ (Backhaus 2007, p. 11). Accordingly, these conclusions are analyzed in relation to the results of a survey study about Moroccan’s attitudes regarding Amazigh and Arabic languages.

Keywords: Amazigh, revitalization, linguistic landscape, Morocco