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Senhaja Berber Varieties : phonology, Morphology, and Morphosyntax

Auteur : Gutova Evgeniya
Collectivite Auteur : Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle - Paris III
Date de publication : 04/12/2021
Type : Thèse / Mémoire
Thème : Culture
Couverture : Maroc

Résumé/Sommaire :

This thesis presents a polylectal study of Senhaja Berber varieties (Northwestern Morocco), underlining the differences and commonalities between them. The thesis is based on fieldwork data, issuing from seven varieties. Three varieties – Ketama (West), Hmed (Center), and Zerqet (East) – are focused on to cover Senhaja most fully and accurately. The studied varieties are important for the understanding of the linguistic variation and history of the region. Senhaja shows some similarities to the Ghomara language (spoken to its West), and to Tarifiyt (spoken to its East), but there are also substantial differences. Senhaja and Ghomara might share a common origin.
The thesis covers the major domains of the language (phonology, morphology, morphosyntax) and pays attention to the contact linguistics phenomena. Senhaja has been heavily influenced by Arabic in its lexicon, morphology, and syntax. Arabic patterns are found, for example, in verb derivation and derivation of diminutives. In Senhaja, adjectives form a distinct class, which is not common in Berber. Some Senhaja varieties allow for adjectives to be conjugated, which makes them similar to verbs. Another special feature of Senhaja is the divergent behavior of the verbal clitics. Across Berber, clitics are fronted under specific syntactic conditions. In Ketama, clitic fronting can be incomplete, and the deictic clitic may be doubled.
In other parts of Senhaja, clitics can remain postposed, where they normally should be fronted. It is argued that the main driving forces behind the divergent clitic behavior in Senhaja are reanalysis, grammaticalization, and the drive to avoid ambiguity.

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