Berber language ideologies, maintenance, and contraction: Gendered variation in the indigenous margins of Morocco

Katherine E. Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Language contraction is shaped by the unequal distribution of power and resources, both between the language community and the dominant society, and within the contracting language community itself. Gender is connected to other social divisions and inequalities, rendering it central to processes of maintenance and loss. For indigenous groups struggling for recognition and rights, public acknowledgement of intra-group fractures may be political suicide, but for scholars it is crucial, albeit absent from the outpouring of attention to endangered languages. Linguistic ideologies about place, gender, and social change naturalize, reinforce, and mediate subjectivities, ethnolinguistic repertoires, national identities, and collective moralities. Two groups of Tashelhit Berber speakers of southwestern Morocco - Anti-Atlas mountain dwellers and Sous Valley plains dwellers - contrast in regard to their patterns of language maintenance and contraction, but in both, women are central in ways that engage their dissimilar relationships to Arabic speakers and to their own conceptions of rurality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-167
Number of pages24
JournalLanguage and Communication
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Keywords

  • Ethnic identity
  • Gender
  • Imazighen (Berbers)
  • Language contraction
  • Language maintenance
  • Morocco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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