Lahrouchi (2018) – The Amazigh influence on Moroccan Arabic: Phonological and morphological borrowing

The Amazigh influence on Moroccan Arabic: Phonological and morphological borrowing
Mohamed Lahrouchi
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January 2018
This paper outlines some of the main phonological and morphological features that Moroccan Arabic has developed in contact with Amazigh. Based on previous work, it is argued that Moroccan Arabic has lost the Classical Arabic short vowels and has developed a short central vowel, used break up illicit consonant clusters. It is shown that the distribution of this schwa-like vowel is better analysed within a strict CV model where ungoverned empty vocalic positions surface at the phonetic level. In the same vein, it is proposed that the Classical Arabic short [u] is kept in Moroccan Arabic as a labial feature when it occurs in the vicinity of a labial, velar or uvular consonant. Sibilant harmony is another feature that Moroccan Arabic shares with Amazigh. It is analysed as a long distance process which occurs within a specific domain, consisting of the stem template, plus an empty initial CV. This empty site allows for the Moroccan Arabic definite article and the Amazigh causative prefix to harmonize with the stem sibilant. The influence of Amazigh on Moroccan Arabic is also visible at the morphological level. We discuss the behaviour of the circumfix /ta…-t/, which Moroccan Arabic borrowed as an unanalysed complex, used to form abstract and profession nouns.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004421
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: International Journal of Arabic Linguistics 4(1)
keywords: berber (amazigh), arabic, loanwords, morphology, phonology