Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL No.3 July 2016                                         Pp.141-154 

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A Sociolinguistic Study of the Algerian Language

Moulay Lahssan Baya Essayahi
Group HUM-835 “Translation, Knowledge and Culture”
Department of Translation and Interpreting
University of Granada,  Granada, Spain

Nassima Kerras
Calle Avellá, 1. 08003 Barcelona


This article discusses the function of the Algerian language through the social networking site Facebook. The Algerian language is considered a dialect by Algerian politicians, but its daily use by the local community hands it an enormous amount of importance. The object of the article is to observe the frequency of use of Algerian within the analysed texts in comparison to Arabic, the official language of the Algerian Republic. Algerian is considered in this study a language which still finds itself in the initial stages of formation. For this reason, it is important to analyze its use, its grammatical rules and its social character. We are conducting a sociolinguistic study, that is, the language will be analyzed within a certain context, and time frame. A quantitative study will be done in order to study the Algerian language within society, and the frequency of use of other languages, such as the standard Arabic, the French language, or the English language, amongst others. The use of Algerian language will be dissected from a pragmatic point of view, considering its use youngsters; and different speeches from citizens from middle social classes, education and economic living standards to investigate all particularities within the above mentioned language. A sociolinguistic study has been made in order to observe the linguistic behaviour of Algerian speakers, and the obtained results allow us to observe the discourse rules of the Algerian language.
Key words: algerian language, identity, pragmatism, sociolinguistics


Moulay-Lahssan Baya E. is a professor of Translation & Interpreting, Faculty of Translation &
Interpreting at University of Granada (Spain). Director of the Research Group HUM-835
“Translation, Knowledge and Culture”. Main lines of research: journalistic translation,
interpretation, dialectology, food in Arab Bedouin societies.