Moroccan Arabic

Authored by: Mike Turner

The Semitic Languages

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415731959
eBook ISBN: 9780429025563
Adobe ISBN:


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Moroccan Arabic (MA) 1 refers to a group of closely related varieties of the Arabic branch found in Northwest Africa and represents, along with dialects found in Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, one of the key dialect clusters of the Western Arabic subgroup (see Palva 2006 on classification of dialects). Although neither afforded official status nor standardized by any top-down authority, MA is the everyday lingua franca of Morocco and widely used on national television and radio, in advertising and for personal electronic communication (see Map 18.1). The 2014 Moroccan Census reported that 90.9% of the Moroccan population spoke MA, totaling over 30 million people; this figure includes both speakers for whom MA is a first language and those for whom it is a second or conative language alongside a Berber variety or French.

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