Dissertation; Language Use and Maintenance among the Moroccan Minority in Britain

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Oct 28 17:16:26 UTC 2008

Language Use and Maintenance among the Moroccan Minority in Britain

Institution: University of Salford
Program: Sociolinguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Abdeslam Jamai

Dissertation Title: Language Use and Maintenance among the Moroccan
Minority in Britain

Dissertation Director:
Charlotte Hoffmann

Dissertation Abstract:

The goal of this study is to investigate language use among a relatively
young immigrant community in Britain with a view to finding out what role
English plays in their lives, whether they still use their languages of
origin, and what are the reasons for their particular language behaviour.
Language use and maintenance in an immigrant minority setting is an
important area of investigation if one is to understand some of the factors
involved in the community's integration process, or the lack of it, in
general, and to appreciate the role of language for integration in
particular. Minority communities adopt a number of linguistic strategies
for communication among themselves and their wider community. In most
cases, these linguistic strategies are dictated by both the social and
linguistic environment the immigrant minority finds itself living in.

The thesis first looks at the sociolinguistic situation of Morocco in order
to establish the linguistic background of this community. It then considers
the British Moroccans from a socio-economic perspective with a view to
identifying factors that may influence language shift behaviour. The
empirical part of the thesis is concerned with establishing linguistic as
well as non-linguistic determinants of language maintenance such as those
that influence language choice, code-switching, attitudes and use of
language-specific media. The study has two main hypotheses: first, the
Moroccan community in Britain is undergoing a generational language shift,
and second, typical Moroccan sociolinguistic patterns are reflected in the
language use of Moroccan speakers in Britain as well. While the former
hypothesis has, on the whole, proved correct, the latter did not hold true.

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