Standard Moroccan Amazigh

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Standard Moroccan Amazigh[1]
Standard Moroccan Tamazight[2]
ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ ⵜⴰⵏⴰⵡⴰⵢⵜ
tamaziɣt tanawayt
Native toMorocco
Date2011
Native speakers
None[2][nb 1]
Afro-Asiatic
Tifinagh
Official status
Official language in
 Morocco
Regulated byRoyal Institute of Amazigh Culture
Language codes
ISO 639-2zgh
ISO 639-3zgh
Glottologstan1324
PersonAmaziɣ (male)
Tamaziɣt (female)
PeopleImaziɣen (males or males and females)
Timaziɣin (females)
LanguageTamaziɣt

Standard Moroccan Amazigh (ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ ⵜⴰⵏⴰⵡⴰⵢⵜ; Arabic: الأمازيغية المعيارية), also known as Standard Moroccan Tamazight, is a standardized language developed by the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) in Morocco by combining features of Tashelhit, Central Atlas Tamazight, and Tarifit, the three major Amazigh languages in Morocco.[2][3][1][4] It has been an official language of Morocco since 2011.[3][5]

Standard Moroccan Amazigh is typically referred to as Tamazight, Amazigh, or Berber, although these terms can also be used to refer to any other Amazigh language, or to Amazigh languages as a whole, including those outside Morocco.[3][1][4][6]

History[edit]

As of 1993, about 40-60 percent of Moroccans spoke Tamazight, referring to either Tashelhit, Central Atlas Tamazight, or Tarifit, as a native language.[7][8][9] Following the independence of Morocco in 1956, Amazigh activists began calling for greater inclusion of Tamazight in official and public contexts.[10][11] Cultural associations also began demanding the standardization of Tamazight in the 1980s.[12]

In 2001, the creation of IRCAM, and its role in teaching Tamazight in the classroom, was announced.[13] This development required the standardization of Tamazight writing and the creation of dictionaries, textbooks, and teaching materials.[3][13]

In 2011, the Moroccan constitution was amended to include Tamazight as an official language.[4][5]

Development[edit]

To develop Standard Moroccan Amazigh, IRCAM analyzed written sources of Tashelhit, Central Atlas Tamazight, and Tarifit. In this process, 3584 verbs were added to the standardized vocabulary.[4] Words and syntactic structures with identical meanings across languages were added as synonyms; for example, both taddart, the Central Atlas Tamazight word for house, and tigammi, the Tashelhit word for house, mean "house" in Standard Moroccan Amazigh.[3]

To add words not found in any of Tashelhit, Central Atlas Tamazight, or Tarifit, IRCAM borrowed from Amazigh languages from outside Morocco when possible, and otherwise derived a new word from the existing Tamazight lexicon.[3]

Orthography[edit]

Tamazight has typically been written in the Arabic script, the Berber Latin alphabet, or Tifinagh. As part of the standardization process, in 2003, IRCAM chose Tifinagh, referring to Neo-Tifinagh, as Standard Moroccan Amazigh's orthography.[14][15][16] The decision was controversial both inside and outside the deciding committee, having been made for political, rather than practical, reasons; most Moroccan speakers of Tamazight do not use Tifinagh.[14][15][17][18]

The version of Neo-Tifinagh used by IRCAM is slightly different from other versions.[19] As of 2016, the use of Tifinagh has been restricted primarily to public signage and other culturally conspicuous uses; it is not widely used in education or media.[20][21]

Criticism[edit]

The 2003 adoption of Tifinagh was met with widespread criticism, particularly among Amazigh activists, who find the choice impractical and limiting in the promotion of Tamazight.[18] Most Moroccan speakers of Tamazight use the Latin alphabet, rather than Tifinagh, and the Latin alphabet is the official script used for Amazigh languages outside of Morocco.[15][17][20][22] As a result, the adoption of Tifinagh is seen as limiting both within Morocco, and in connecting Morocco with broader Amazigh culture in North Africa, with the decision's harshest critics viewing it as an intentional ploy by the government.[15][17][18] Linguist Salem Chaker argued that the decision was "dangerous" and intended to "[drive] this transitional period of Amazigh writing and teaching into a sure dead end."[23] However, most non-activists opposed the official adoption of the Latin alphabet for Tamazight, and a 2011 survey found that 45.5% of respondents agreed that Tifinagh was the most appropriate script for writing Tamazight.[14][18][22]

In practice, while all three dialects are used in primary school textbooks, Tashelhit otherwise appears to be the main basis of the language used in Amazigh-language materials produced by the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture, supplemented by numerous puristic neologisms. This has led some critics to argue that Morocco's official "language policy" is marginalizing the northern and eastern Berber dialects of Morocco, and tacitly making all the Berber dialects of Morocco 'non-standard', particularly those whose speakers do not identify with any of the three major dialects used by IRCAM, such as "Iznasen Tamazight" in the far northeast, "Senhaja-Ktama Tamazight" in the north, Eastern Atlas Tamazight in central Morocco, Figuig Tamazight, and Southeastern Berber.[24][25][26]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Amazigh population in Morocco speak Tashelhit, Tarifit, Central Atlas Tamazight, and a few other varieties natively, not the standardized combination of them.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ataa Allah, Fadoua; Boulaknadel, Siham (2018). Mastorakis, N.; Mladenov, V.; Bulucea, A. (eds.). "Morpho-Lexicon for standard Moroccan Amazigh". MATEC Web of Conferences. 210: 04024. doi:10.1051/matecconf/201821004024. ISSN 2261-236X.
  2. ^ a b c Standard Moroccan Amazigh at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) closed access
  3. ^ a b c d e f Alalou, Ali (2018-04-03). "The question of languages and the medium of instruction in Morocco". Current Issues in Language Planning. 19 (2): 6–8. doi:10.1080/14664208.2017.1353329. ISSN 1466-4208. S2CID 149159548.
  4. ^ a b c d Fadoua Ataa, Allah; Boulaknadel, Siham (May 2014). "Amazigh Verb Conjugator" (PDF). Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14). European Language Resources Association (ELRA): 1053.
  5. ^ a b Alalou, Ali (2018-04-03). "The question of languages and the medium of instruction in Morocco". Current Issues in Language Planning. 19 (2): 136–160. doi:10.1080/14664208.2017.1353329. ISSN 1466-4208. S2CID 149159548.
  6. ^ Zouhir, Abderrahman (2014). "Language Policy and State in Morocco: The Status of Berber". Digest of Middle East Studies. 23 (1): 37–53. doi:10.1111/dome.12039.
  7. ^ Alalou, Ali (2018-04-03). "The question of languages and the medium of instruction in Morocco". Current Issues in Language Planning. 19 (2): 136–160. doi:10.1080/14664208.2017.1353329. ISSN 1466-4208. S2CID 149159548. In Morocco, three Amazigh languages can be identified: Tamazight in the middle and center of the country, Tarifit in the north, and Tashelhit in the south. Although the adjective Amazigh is commonly used, the term Tamazight is now widely used as a generic name for all of the three languages.
  8. ^ Gross, Joan E. (1993). "The Politics of Unofficial Language Use: Walloon in Belgium, Tamazight in Morocco". Critique of Anthropology. 13 (2): 181. doi:10.1177/0308275X9301300204. ISSN 0308-275X. S2CID 145058398. Tamazight in Morocco is divided by linguists into three major dialect areas usually referred to as: Taselhit in the south, Tamazight in the Middle Atlas mountains, and Tarifit in the north.
  9. ^ Gross, Joan E. (1993). "The Politics of Unofficial Language Use: Walloon in Belgium, Tamazight in Morocco". Critique of Anthropology. 13 (2): 182. doi:10.1177/0308275X9301300204. ISSN 0308-275X. S2CID 145058398. As the mother tongue of 40-60 per cent of the population of Morocco, Tamazight is clearly a national language, yet in many ways it has less recognition by the state than does Walloon in Belgium since Walloon is now taught (as a foreign language) in the schools and Tamazight is not.
  10. ^ Bassiouney, Reem (2009-08-27), "Language policy and politics", Arabic Sociolinguistics, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 219–220, doi:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623730.003.0006, ISBN 9780748623730, retrieved 2022-12-14
  11. ^ Vourlias, Christopher (January 25, 2010). "Moroccan minority's net gain". Variety. Vol. 417, no. 10. Penske Business Media, LLC.
  12. ^ African Literacies: Ideologies. Abdelhay, Asfaha, Yonas Mesfun. Newcastle upon Tyne. 2014. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-4438-6826-6. OCLC 892969053.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ a b Crawford, David L. (2005). "Royal Interest in Local Culture: Amazigh Identity and the Moroccan State". Nationalism and minority identities in Islamic societies. Maya Shatzmiller. Montreal [Que.]: McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 164–165. ISBN 978-0-7735-7254-6. OCLC 191819018.
  14. ^ a b c Soulaimani, Dris (2016-01-02). "Writing and rewriting Amazigh/Berber identity: Orthographies and language ideologies". Writing Systems Research. 8 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1080/17586801.2015.1023176. ISSN 1758-6801. S2CID 144700140.
  15. ^ a b c d Larbi, Hsen (2003). "Which Script for Tamazight, Whose Choice is it ?". Amazigh Voice (Taghect Tamazight). New Jersey: Amazigh Cultural Association in America (ACAA). 12 (2). Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  16. ^ Maddy-Weitzman, Bruce (2011). The Berber identity movement and the challenge to North African states (1st ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-292-73478-4. OCLC 741751261. In Morocco, the Palace had chosen neo-Tifinagh as a compromise option, for political reasons.
  17. ^ a b c Silverstein, Paul; Crawford, David (2004). "Amazigh Activism and the Moroccan State". Middle East Report (233): 46. doi:10.2307/1559451. ISSN 0899-2851. JSTOR 1559451.
  18. ^ a b c d Soulaimani, Dris (2016-01-02). "Writing and rewriting Amazigh/Berber identity: Orthographies and language ideologies". Writing Systems Research. 8 (1): 12–14. doi:10.1080/17586801.2015.1023176. ISSN 1758-6801. S2CID 144700140.
  19. ^ African Literacies: Ideologies. Abdelhay, Asfaha, Yonas Mesfun. Newcastle upon Tyne. 2014. pp. 151–152. ISBN 978-1-4438-6826-6. OCLC 892969053.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  20. ^ a b Campbell, George L. (2012). The Routledge handbook of scripts and alphabets. Christopher Moseley (2nd ed.). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-203-86548-4. OCLC 810078009.
  21. ^ "Morocco draft law on official use of Berber language scrutinised". BBC Monitoring Middle East. August 4, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Soulaimani, Dris (2016-01-02). "Writing and rewriting Amazigh/Berber identity: Orthographies and language ideologies". Writing Systems Research. 8 (1): 6–9. doi:10.1080/17586801.2015.1023176. ISSN 1758-6801. S2CID 144700140.
  23. ^ Maddy-Weitzman, Bruce (2011). The Berber identity movement and the challenge to North African states (1st ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 170–171. ISBN 978-0-292-73478-4. OCLC 741751261.
  24. ^ Three Moroccan activists claim that the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture is favoring other dialects and sidelining the Southeastern Berber dialect of Morocco, adjacent to the Sous region
  25. ^ Criticism against Morocco's Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture
  26. ^ Criticism against Morocco's Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture