Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Linguistics Program

Committee Chair

Tully Thibeau

Commitee Members

Leora Bar-el, Naomi Shin


arabic, creole, morocco, pidgin


University of Montana


This thesis makes a claim about the processes of prior pidginization and creolization, and a process of current decreolization in Moroccan Arabic (a colloquial dialect of Arabic spoken in Morocco). The claim of this thesis is based on the theory of pidginization and creolization in Arabic as posited by Versteegh (1984). A case-study is built for the aforementioned processes having occurred in Moroccan Arabic through fulfillment of Southworth’s (1971) two principles for determining the credibility of a pidginization and/or creolization claim: (1) That the required socio-linguistic frameworks are in place, and (2) that the linguistic effects of such processes are evident. Moroccan Arabic is analyzed alongside other languages that have undergone the processes of pidginization and creolization in its socio-diglossic history as well as in the linguistic features that are common to most pidgin and creole languages (e.g. transformed TMA system, SVO word order, analytic genitive, periphrastic interrogative, indefinite article). The conclusions drawn upon by the data presented in this thesis is that claims for the processes of prior pidginization and creolization, and the current process of decreolization in Moroccan Arabic are substantiated.



© Copyright 2008 Kennetta Kathleen Aune