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Historical and typological approaches to Mauritanian and West Saharan Arabic

Abstract : Mauritania, a Muslim country where the majority of the population speaks Arabic, is located at the periphery of the Muslim world. By the first centuries of Islam, the western part of the Sahara was inhabited by Berber populations, with Black-African populations bordering their territories on the South and South-East frontiers. Since the arrival of the Banī Maˤqil at the end of the XIIIe century, Arabic and Berber speaking groups have coexisted more or less easily, the first imposing little by little their supremacy, starting with military and political power and ending with cultural and linguistic domination. If the close contact between those groups has left important marks on the Zenaga Berber (and resulted in its disappearance), Zenaga has also contributed to give Ḥassāniyya Arabic a number of its characteristics. The article studies the different stages of arabization and offers a historical reconstruction of Ḥassāniyya through the inventory of features shared with other dialects.
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Contributor : Catherine Taine-Cheikh <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 24, 2020 - 11:46:21 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 9:55:22 PM


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Catherine Taine-Cheikh. Historical and typological approaches to Mauritanian and West Saharan Arabic. Clive Holes. The Historical Dialectology of Arabic: Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Approaches, 30, Oxford University Press, pp.293-315, 2018, Oxford Studies in Diachronic & Historical Linguistics (OSDHL), 978-0-19-870137-8. ⟨halshs-03087770⟩



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