An Onomasiological Examination of Lexical Distinctiveness in Literary Productions from Algeria and Morocco

فحص أونوماسيولوجي للتميز اللغوي في الأعمال الأدبية الجزائرية والمغربية

Examen onomasiologique des particularités lexicales dans les productions littéraires de l’Algérie et du Maroc

Ikram Aya Bentounsi

p. 167-181

Ikram Aya Bentounsi, « An Onomasiological Examination of Lexical Distinctiveness in Literary Productions from Algeria and Morocco », Aleph, Vol 11 (3-1) | 2024, 167-181.

Ikram Aya Bentounsi, « An Onomasiological Examination of Lexical Distinctiveness in Literary Productions from Algeria and Morocco », Aleph [], Vol 11 (3-1) | 2024, 10 March 2024, 18 June 2024. URL : https://aleph.edinum.org/10928

This study delves into a corpus of Algerian and Moroccan literary works, aiming to discern the semantic fields giving rise to lexical peculiarities based on meaning and context. Through a comparative onomasiological approach, we identify neological lexicons and the domains fostering their emergence, revealing a nuanced connection to the socio-cultural reality of the Maghreb.

تركز هذه الدراسة على مجموعة من الأعمال الأدبية الجزائرية والمغربية، بهدف تمييز المجالات الدلالية التي تؤدي إلى ظهور خصوصيات معجمية بناءً على المعنى والسياق. من خلال نهج أونوماسيولوجي مقارن، نحدد المصطلحات الجديدة والمجالات التي تعزز ظهورها، كاشفين عن ارتباط متداخل مع الواقع الاجتماعي والثقافي للمغرب.

Cette étude se concentre sur un corpus d’œuvres littéraires algériennes et marocaines afin de dégager les champs sémantiques pourvoyeurs de particularités lexicales, en se basant sur leur sens et leur contexte. Grâce à une approche onomasiologique comparative, nous identifions des lexies néologiques et les domaines favorisant leur émergence, révélant une connexion nuancée avec la réalité socio-culturelle du Maghreb.

Introduction

The Maghreb region presents a socio-linguistic landscape marked by complexity and diversity. Its unique historical narrative has transformed it into a crucible of cultures with diverse origins, resulting in the collision of several languages or language variants with varying degrees of influence.

In the face of a pronounced policy of Arabization, the usage of spoken and written French in the Maghreb has permeated diverse facets of social life and is prominently employed across socio-cultural, media, and literary domains.

“This situation is characterized by the emergence of novel lexical terms and the inherent complexity of the involved languages. Indeed, the Maghreb countries grapple with an’endemic’ multilingualism burdened by the phenomena of diglossia or even triglossia, along with code-switching: scholars identify a linguistic space subjected to the tensions and conflicts arising from the coexistence of four to six languages from Tunisia to Morocco” (Azouzi, 2008).

Numerous sociolinguists have endeavored to delineate the sociolinguistic landscape in the Maghreb, aiming to elucidate the characteristics of the French language and its nuances. This scholarly discourse has given rise to various lexicographical initiatives, culminating in the compilation of inventories detailing lexical peculiarities by Maghrebian sociolinguists (Benzakour Fouzia, Gaadi Driss, Debov Valery, Smaali-Dekdouk Dalila).

Our scholarly pursuit involves the creation of a comprehensive inventory encompassing the domains and semantic fields conducive to the emergence of lexical particularities within Algerian and Moroccan literary works. The endeavor is to discern the domains instigating linguistic idiosyncrasies by delving into their meaning and contextual relevance. To achieve this, we embark on a meticulous comparative analysis, scrutinizing the prevailing semantic fields in literary works through an onomasiological lens.

1. Literary Corpus Overview

Our corpus encompasses 14 literary works, notably featuring D. Chraïbi’s “La Mère du Printemps”, L. Ben Mansour’s “La Prière de la Peur”, M. Mokeddem’s “L’Interdite”, A. Laabi’s “L’Œil et la Nuit”, among others. The following presentation focuses solely on works displaying a high frequency of lexical peculiarities.

Selected Literary Works

  1. Driss Chraïbi - “La Mère du Printemps” (1982): A pinnacle of Chraïbian writing strategy by one of Morocco’s esteemed French-speaking authors.
    “Considered one of Morocco’s greatest French-speaking writers, Driss Chraïbi (1926-2007) published’La Mère du Printemps’ in 1982, bringing a Chraïbian writing strategy to a climax.”

  2. Latifa Ben Mansour - “La Prière de la Peur” (Year of publication not specified): Addressing the plight of Algerian women, Mansour explores themes of marginalization, socio-cultural exclusion, discrimination, and political inaccessibility.
    “In’La Prière de la Peur,’ Algerian novelist Latifa Ben Mansour (1950) addresses the abuses suffered by Algerian women, namely marginalization, socio-cultural exclusion, multiple forms of discrimination, and inaccessibility to politics.”

  3. Malika Mokeddem - “L’Interdite” (1993): Published by Éditions Grasset, this work delves into the unspeakable, the unspoken, death, abstraction, and the internal.
    “In’L’Interdite,’ published by Éditions Grasset in 1993, Algerian writer Malika MOKEDDEM recounts the unspeakable, the unspoken, the absent, death, the abstract, and the interior.”

  4. Abdellatif Laabi - “L’Oïl et la Nuit” (1969): A foundational text liberating Moroccan literature from colonialism’s constraints, ushering it into the realms of modernity.
    “Published in 1969 by A. LAABI, ’L’Oïl et la Nuit’ is considered one of the founding texts that enabled Moroccan literature to free itself from colonialism and embark freely on the adventure of modernity.”

2. Onomasiological Analysis of Lexical Features

Our comprehensive onomasiological analysis discerns various neological processes within the literary corpus, with linguistic borrowing and hybridization emerging as the predominant methods. To ensure academic rigor, we define these processes based on the insights of renowned scholars in the field, notably Gaudin and Guespin (2000) and L. Guilbert (1975).

Linguistic Borrowing: Gaudin and Guespin (2000) elucidate that linguistic borrowing transpires when a sign is integrated into a linguistic system without undergoing formal modifications, originating from another language. This process is pivotal in understanding the lexical dynamics of our corpus.

Hybridization: Hybridization, as outlined by L. Guilbert (1975), involves constructing neologisms by uniting distinct language units, thereby assigning them a novel meaning. Hybrids signify a deliberate appropriation of identity referents and an intention to integrate into the conventional French language through francization.

Taxonomy and Semantic Fields: To ascertain the prevalence of lexical peculiarities in specific semantic fields, our taxonomy classifies lexemes based on their conceptual affiliation. The overall lexical inventory, totaling 1103 lexemes across 16 distinct domains, provides a robust foundation for our analysis.

2.1. Cultural and Societal Lexical Dynamics in Maghreb Literature

2.1.1. Art and Culture: An In-depth Lexical Examination

The domain of Art and Culture stands out as the most prolific semantic field, boasting a rich tapestry of lexical peculiarities delving into the cultural intricacies of Maghrebian society. A comprehensive analysis of this domain reveals 180 occurrences, spanning themes such as music, literature, interculturality, foreign languages, poetry, songs, instrumentalists, leisure activities, tradition, and Berber festivals.

Within this lexically vibrant landscape, 170 out of the identified 180 lexèmes manifest as either borrowings or hybrids, underscoring the dynamic linguistic interplay prevalent in Algerian and Moroccan literary works. This substantial reliance on borrowed or hybrid terms underscores the cultural amalgamation inherent in the creative expression of Maghrebian authors.

Furthermore, our meticulous analysis brings to light six common lexèmes, constituting a mere 1.97 % of the total, shared between Algerian and Moroccan literary realms. Noteworthy among these are terms such as “Re-Islamization”, “Sira”, “gnaoui”, “échéphile”, “Sofa”, “maroua”, “Sunnism”, and “Wadjib.” These shared lexical markers serve as linguistic bridges, reflecting common cultural threads woven into the fabric of Maghrebian literature.

An illuminating example within this domain is the lexicon “hadra” (n.), denoting a religious ceremony dedicated to liturgical dances accompanied by songs extolling the divine, often incorporating therapeutic sequences such as trances. The significance of “hadra” transcends its linguistic confines, encapsulating the cultural and spiritual dimensions inherent in Maghrebian societies.

As articulated by Mokeddem (1993), the author provides a personal testament to the cultural impact of hadras, stating,

“Moi, je vais vous dire, j’avais la tête plus solide quand j’allais régulièrement aux hadras” (“I’ll tell you, I had a stronger head when I regularly went to the hadras”).

This introspective statement underscores the experiential and transformative power of cultural practices, shedding light on the profound influence of such rituals on the individual psyche.

2.1.2. Society: Lexical Dynamics of Societal Realities

The semantic field of Society unfolds as a nuanced landscape, articulating the lexical nuances surrounding societal dynamics within the Maghreb. Exploring themes of unemployment, divorce, delinquency, poverty, voluntary work, standards, neighborhood, and marriage, this domain encapsulates the multifaceted dimensions of Maghrebian societal experiences.

An in-depth lexical analysis reveals 155 occurrences within the societal realm, with a predominant prevalence of borrowings and hybrids, accounting for 78.06 % of the identified lexemes. This lexical borrowing reflects a deliberate linguistic strategy employed by Maghrebian authors to articulate and navigate the complexities of societal issues.

Additionally, our scrutiny unveils 34 lexèmes of French origin, constituting 21.93 % of the lexicon within this domain. This linguistic juxtaposition of borrowed and native terms mirrors the linguistic and cultural hybridity intrinsic to the Maghrebian literary landscape.

Notably, 16 occurrences, amounting to 10.32 % of the lexicons, stand as common ground between Moroccan and Algerian literary works. Among these shared lexèmes are terms like “come back”, “dealer”, “Djemaâ”, “Azriya”, “crash”, “Babor Australia”, “Cool”, “Baroudeur”, and “arriviste.” The universality of these terms emphasizes shared societal experiences, transcending national boundaries.

For instance, the lexicon “Djemaâ” (n.), signifying community or a group of people living together, finds resonance in the words of Ben Mansour (1997):

“La djemaa se serait réunie pour juger les comportements séditieux d’un enfant perverti” (“The Jemaa would have met to judge the seditious behavior of a perverted child”).

This usage exemplifies how linguistic expressions within the societal domain intricately mirror and interpret shared experiences, fostering a collective understanding of societal dynamics in the Maghreb.

2.1.3. Identity: A Comprehensive Analysis of Lexical Integration

Within the intricate tapestry of cultural and social dimensions, the semantic domain of Identity emerges as a reservoir of 98 lexemes, encapsulating the intricate union of individuals within a group. This union is fostered through cultural, linguistic, or language variety affiliations, and the shared membership of a social community bound by familial structures, encompassing titles, religions, and appellations.

In a nuanced exploration of the lexicon within this domain, our analysis reveals a profound interplay of linguistic origins. Of the total 98 lexemes, a substantial 85.71 % are products of borrowings and hybrid linguistic evolution, attesting to the dynamic nature of linguistic assimilation within the Maghrebian literary corpus. In addition, 14 lexemes, constituting 14,28 % of the total, emanate from the French lexicon, reflecting a nuanced interweaving of linguistic influences.

This semantic field is further enriched by the presence of three Maghrebisms — namely “Legmi”, “Oussifa”, “Ammi”,— which serve as linguistic conduits, establishing a shared cultural ground between the literary works of Morocco and Algeria. These Maghrebisms, like linguistic keystones, contribute to the cohesion of cultural identity across geographical borders.

A captivating exemplar within this domain is the lexeme “Chleuh” (n. m. and n. f.), a term embodying a person of Berber origin and, by extension, the Berber language itself. In the evocative words of Chraïbi (1982), surveyors and land registry specialists grapple with the complexities of demarcating land among the Basfao, Aït Yafelmane, Boukhrissi, and other Chleuhs. The struggle, metaphorically articulated through mathematical abstractions, underscores the intricate logic and identity nuances embedded in the Chleuh cultural milieu.

In summation, the semantic domain of Identity transcends mere lexical compilations, evolving into a rich narrative of cultural unity, linguistic amalgamation, and familial interconnectedness, thereby contributing significantly to the scholarly discourse on Maghrebian literary linguistics.

« Géomètres et spécialistes du service du cadastre calculèrent bien au centimètre près les services habitables, les lieux communs du lieu-dit. Mais tangentes, sinus et cosinus n’arrivèrent jamais, même grosso modo, à déterminer cette inconnue immémoriale et anti-algébrique ; quoi appartenait à qui ? Les Basfao, les Aït Yafelmane, Boukhrissi et autres Chleuhs nageaient dans leur logique comme des poissons dans l’eau. » (Chraïbi, 1982)

2.2. Exploring Linguistic and Educational Realms in Maghreb Literature

2.2.1. Politics and the Army: A Scholarly Exploration of Lexical Dynamics

In scrutinizing the semantic domain of Politics and the Army, we unveil a lexico-cultural landscape characterized by 81 lexemes, intricately interwoven with themes of war, politics, elections, victories, and political parties. A meticulous analysis of this domain discloses a paradigm where 64 lexemes, constituting 79.01 % of the total, manifest as borrowings and hybrids, attesting to the domain’s linguistic malleability. Complementarily, 17 lexemes (20.98 %) trace their origin to the French lexicon, underscoring the multifaceted linguistic tapestry that encapsulates this domain.

Within the corpus of Moroccan and Algerian literary works, a confluence of lexical elements is discerned, epitomized by four common lexemes — namely “ouissam”, “goummier”, “harka”, and “Usfpéiste.” The lexical synergy is eloquently captured through the shared lexicon “harka” (n.), denoting a troop of indigenous auxiliary soldiers (harkis) enlisted by the French army during the War of Independence. As elucidated by Laâbi (1982), this historical context predates the protectorate era, wherein harkas were orchestrated by the Maghzen to pacify the bled siba.

« Cela se passait très bien avant le protectorat à l’époque où des harkas étaient organisées par le maghzen pour pacifier le bled siba. » (Laâbi, 1982)

2.2.2. Religion: Exploring the Lexical Panorama of Religious Discourse

The semantic realm of Religion beckons with 77 lexemes, embracing themes of religious festivals, prayers, the Koran, rites, and practices. A discerning analysis reveals a profound linguistic assimilation, wherein 75 lexemes (97.40 %) are identified as borrowings, while a mere two lexemes (2.59 %) trace their etymological roots to the French lexicon.

In the shared literary tapestry of Morocco and Algeria, 13 common lexicons (16.88 % of the total) stand as testaments to the cultural congruity. These lexicons, including “Sadaqa”, “Idda”, “Nuit du Destin”, and “Achoura”, among others, transcend geographical boundaries, forming a shared linguistic terrain. For instance, the lexeme “Ashura” (n. f.) encapsulates the essence of a Muslim religious festival celebrated ten days after the Muslim New Year, embodying a collective cultural and religious heritage.

« Oui “te dis-je” et rien à voir avec achoura » (Teriah, 2002)

In sum, our scholarly excursion into these lexical domains affords a nuanced understanding of the intricate interplay between language, culture, and history, underscoring the richness and depth inherent in Maghrebian literary discourse.

2.2.3. Languages and Dialects: An In-depth Exploration of Linguistic Diversity

Within the lexico-cultural expanse of Languages and Dialects, a trove of 76 items unfolds, with 65 lexemes representing borrowings or hybrid entries (85.52 %) and 11 lexemes originating from the French lexicon (14.47 %). This domain encapsulates a linguistic kaleidoscope, adorned with shared lexicons between the two countries and those exclusive to either, such as Amazighe, Amazighophone, Berberising, Berberophone, Chenoui, Darijophone, Derdja, Hassania, Tachlhit, Tamazighophone, Tamazighte, Tarifite, and more.

An illustrative lexicon, “Derdja” (n. f.) derived from dialectal Arabic, resonates with nuanced significance. It embodies the Arabic language spoken by the people, as captured by Sansal (1999) in a vivid portrayal:

« Pire, il écoutait les réponses en DERDJA ! Ce pataouète souffre de mille maux ; il n’est que cris, onomatopées, clins d’yeux, jeux de mains, mots de vilains, parce que contraint à la rue et aux apartés louches par un arabe officiel, irrédentiste et brutal. » [Worse still, he listened to the answers in DERDJA ! This pataouète suffers from a thousand ills ; he is nothing but cries, onomatopoeia, winks, hand games, naughty words because he is forced onto the streets and into shady asides by an official, irredentist, and brutal Arabic] (Sansal, 1999)

2.2.4. Education and Teaching: Navigating the Lexical Tapestry of Learning

The Education and Teaching domain unfolds with 65 lexemes intricately linked to education, schools, institutions, universities, educational establishments, learning, and illiteracy. This lexico-educational landscape is marked by a dichotomy, with 57 lexemes rooted in internal matrices (87.69 %) and eight lexemes tethered to external matrices (12.30 %).

A solitary common lexicon, “sheikh”, punctuates this domain, extending its semantic reach from denoting a tribal chief to embodying the civil servant of the Ministry of the Interior. An evocative portrayal by Hannama (1999) breathes life into this lexical entity:

« Bonne matinée, oncle Ouahrouch “murmura Agourram en dépoussiérant les babouches du cheikh » [Good morning, Uncle Ouahrouch” Agourram murmured as he dusted off the sheikh’s slippers] (Hannama, 1999).

This nuanced exploration of lexemes within Languages and Dialects, and Education and Teaching, underscores the intricacies of linguistic evolution and cultural representation within the Maghrebian literary panorama.

2.3. Diverse Realms in Maghreb Literature

2.3.1. Common Objects: Navigating the Material Realm

In the domain of Common Objects, a lexicon tapestry unfolds, intricately woven with 61 entries, comprising 49 borrowed and hybrid terms (80.32 %) juxtaposed with 12 French items (19.61 %). Within this lexico-material realm, 15 lexemes emerge as common ground between the literary landscapes of Morocco and Algeria, including Akoufi, Arabat, Bousâadi, Fatra, Hanbal, Kaïrouan, Narguilé, Parpaigneuse, Perfuseur, Taxi-colis, Ferch, Tebsi, Tire-Boulettes, Mitherd, and Zerbia.

An exemplar from this domain is the lexicon “Guerba” (n. f.), in the plural “guerbat”, embodying the essence of goatskin wineskin, vividly portrayed by Mokeddem (1992):

« Ensuite, munie d’une carafe, elle se dirige vers la guerba, l’outre en peau de chèvre suspendue à un trépied de bois » [Then, armed with a carafe, she heads for the guerba, the goatskin wineskin suspended from a wooden tripod] (Mokeddem, 1992)

2.3.2. Space: Navigating the Geographical Terrain

The Space domain, with its 59 identified items, unveils a nuanced interplay between borrowed terms (66.10 %) and French-formed lexemes (33.89 %). This lexico-geographical exploration encapsulates the essence of rural and urban spaces, intertwining streets, towns, farms, countryside, and more.

Embedded within this semantic field are eight common lexemes, representing 13.55 % of the total entries. Noteworthy examples include bain-douche, café maure, derb, and hai. An illustrative instance is the lexicon “derb” (n.) in the plural “drouba”, conveying the essence of the old working-class district of a town, as captured by Serhane (1986):

« Arrivé au bout de la rue, je vis ton frère cadet avec tous les enfants du derb. » [When I got to the end of the street, I saw your younger brother with all the children from the derb] (Serhane, 1986)

2.3.3. Miscellaneous: Exploring Diverse Realms

The Miscellaneous semantic field unfolds with 49 lexical features, comprising 41 borrowed and hybrid terms (83.67 %) and 8 French-formed words (16.32 %). In this lexical mosaic, specific terms such as spoiler, Goul, Gouler, Hata, Heading, H’nana, Keeper, Malcompréhension, Margine, Noufi, Médicamentale, Wayout, and Wech weave a rich tapestry of diverse realms.

An illustrative lexicon, “bessif” (adv.), meaning “by force” offers a glimpse into the linguistic nuances, as portrayed by Mokeddem (1993):

“Tu as personne qui veut te marier bessif et t’empêcher d’étudier et de marcher et trouver l’espace que tu veux.” [You don’t have anyone who wants to marry you bessif and prevent you from studying and walking and finding the space you want] (Mokeddem, 1993)

2.3.4. Universe and Nature: Exploring Natural Marvels

Within the Universe and Nature domain, a repertoire of 45 lexemes unfolds, with 39 borrowed and hybrid forms (86.66 %) juxtaposed with French lexemes (13.33 %). This notional field delves into the realms of nature, land, sea, ocean, river, forest, mountain, desert, and all living beings, whether plant or animal.

A commonality of 12 entries, including “djebel” and “doum”, underscores shared linguistic and cultural elements. An exemplary lexicon, “doum” (n.) (Hyphaene thebaïca), as portrayed by Maleh (1983), brings to life the dwarf palm with a branched trunk and evergreen palmate and fan-shaped leaves:

“L’éventail en doum tressé allait plus ou moins vite selon le geste requis, le battement majestueux d’une aile invisible.” [The braided doum fan moved faster or slower depending on the gesture required, the majestic flapping of an invisible wing] (Maleh, 1983)

2.3.5. Power Supply: Nourishing the Lexical Landscape

In the realm of food, the Power Supply domain encompasses 41 items, with 31 borrowed and hybrid terms (75.60 %) harmonizing with 10 French lexemes (24.39 %). Terms within this culinary lexicon span gastronomy, cooking, cakes, pastries, and both modern and traditional cuisine.

These two Maghreb countries converge on 17 shared lexicons, representing 41.46 % of the total entries. An illustrative lexicon, “kefta”, meaning minced and seasoned meat, offers a savory glimpse into culinary culture, as captured by Khatibi (1971):

“Je dirai la suite sens dessus dessous, en souffrance giratoire, devant la kafta en brochettes.” [I will tell the rest upside down, in gyratory suffering, in front of the kafta on skewers.] (Khatibi, 1971)

2.3.6. Habitat: Exploring Diverse Living Spaces

Within the notional field of Habitat, a lexicon landscape of 37 entries unfolds, comprising 29 hybrid or borrowed terms (78.37 %) and eight French-origin terms (21.62 %). This realm delves into various forms of living spaces, including buildings, blocks, villas, houses, shantytowns, hotels, castles, patios, and both general and particular habitats.

Highlighted within Moroccan and Algerian literary works are lexicons such as Bordj, Chemsia, Dar El Makhzen, Débidonvillisation, Dégourbisation, Dégourbiser, Djenan, Doukkana, Domiciliation, Douéra, Fondouk, Ghorfa, Gourbi, Gourbification, Gourbiville, Guelaâ, Habitational, Henchir, Nouala, Dar, Oukala, Tabia, Sedda, and Sénia. An illustrative lexicon, “Fondouk” (n.), denoting a “small popular hotel located in the medina”, comes to life through Chniber (1988):

“Dès que les guerriers eurent déposé les armes, le blocus levé, il alla s’installer dans un hôtel (un foundouk).” [As soon as the warriors had laid down their arms and the blockade was lifted, he moved into a hotel (a foundouk)] (Chniber, 1988)

2.3.7. Administration: Navigating Organizational Realms

In the Administration field, a lexicon tapestry of 33 entries unfolds, comprising 27 borrowed terms and hybrids (81.81 %) and six French-origin lexes (18.18 %). This lexico-administrative exploration encompasses domains such as administration, personnel, managers, management, public or private services, and the State.

Within the surveyed literary corpus, only one common lexicon emerges, “bakchich”, elucidating the practice of “a sum of money paid underhand to bribe a civil servant or chief of staff, bribe, kickback”, as captured by Saïd (2002):

“Au barrage de la police, le problème du surnombre a été réglé par un bakchich.” [At the police roadblock, the overcrowding problem was solved by a bakchich] (Saïd, 2002)

2.3.8. Economy: Unveiling Economic Realities

The Economy domain encompasses 29 items, delving into the economic system, country politics, taxes, currency, trade, and the market. Though not as prolific, this notional field hosts 24 borrowed anglicisms and hybrids (82.75 %) and five French-origin terms (17.24 %).

An illustrative lexicon, “Flouse”, denoting money or the act of “having flouse”, brings forth the economic intricacies within Yacoubi’s narrative (1995):

“C’était un de leurs proches. Un bel homme qui avait beaucoup de classe et de bonnes manières. Un oisif alléché par le flouse.” [He was a close friend of theirs. A handsome man with much class and good manners. He was an idler attracted by the flouse] (Yacoubi, 1995)

2.3.9. Trades and Professions: Delineating Professional Realms

Ranked last in the list of fields, Trades and Professions refer to occupations in medical, craft, and commercial services, spanning both the public and private sectors. This domain comprises 17 occurrences, with 14 borrowings from other languages (anglicisms) or hybrid formations (82.35 %) and three French-origin words (17.64 %).

An illustrative common lexicon, “Amin” (n. m.), harking back to colonial times and signifying chief, village official, or representative of the French administration, is vividly portrayed by Mammeri (1978):

“Pourtant l’homme […] était Raveh-Ou-Hemlat, l’amin d’Ighzer.” [Yet the man […] was Raveh-Ou-Hemlat, the amin of Ighzer] (Mammeri, 1978)

Conclusion: Unraveling the Lexical Tapestry of Maghrebi Literary Works

Our exhaustive onomasiological exploration of Moroccan and Algerian French-language literary creations uncovered a rich tapestry of 16 conceptual domains. Here’s a comprehensive summary of the findings, highlighting the dominance, nuances, and trends within these domains:

Conceptual Domain

Moroccan Lexes

Algerian Lexes

Dominant Theme

Language Composition

Art and Culture

80

100

Dominant theme, rich in Maghrebi identity

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Society

80

75

Pertains to divorce, delinquency, and poverty

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Identity

53

45

Explores group identity and cultural belonging

Majority Borrowings and Hybrids

Politics and the Army

45

36

Encompasses political and military themes

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Religion

36

41

Encompasses religious festivals and prayer themes

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Languages and Dialects

31

45

Focuses on language diversity and usage

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Education and Teaching

33

32

Centers around educational concepts

Majority Borrowings and Hybrids

Everyday Objects

34

27

Concerns daily items and tools

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Space

33

26

Encompasses rural and urban landscapes

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Miscellaneous

33

16

Covers a diverse range of concepts

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Universe and Nature

20

25

Focuses on natural elements and living beings

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Food

20

21

Explores gastronomy and culinary concepts

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Housing

24

13

Pertains to dwelling and habitation

Majority French-Formed Lexes

Administration

18

15

Relates to administrative concepts

Majority French-Formed Lexes

Economy

17

12

Examines economic systems and trade

Predominantly Borrowings and Hybrids

Trades and Professions

11

6

Explores various occupations and professions

Majority Borrowings and Hybrids

Observations

  1. Dominance of Art and Culture: The most prolific theme is Art and Culture, with Moroccan literary works leading in both quantity and richness of Maghrebi identity.

  2. Language Composition: All conceptual domains are conducive to producing borrowings, anglicisms, and hybrids. Moroccan literary works feature more Moroccanisms, indicating a certain spontaneity and freedom of expression.

  3. Identity Assertion: Hybrid terms play a significant role, reflecting an intention to integrate the French language while asserting Maghrebi identity within the cultural, social, and geographical context.

  4. Quantitative Analysis: Moroccan literary works dominate with 54.21 % of lexical peculiarities, while Algerian counterparts contribute 45.78 %. This could be attributed to the spontaneity and freedom of expression in Moroccan authors.

In conclusion, our onomasiological analysis not only unveils the lexical richness of Maghrebi literary works but also provides insights into the nuanced interplay between language, identity, and cultural expression within this literary landscape.

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