Document Type

Honors Paper

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

The process of decolonization in Morocco has created new spaces for displaying national identity, most notably through the development of official policies regarding the acquisition, promotion, and performance of language in the public sphere. The flow of languages into the Moroccan linguistic mosaic has facilitated the transmission of beliefs about language as well. These beliefs are far from neutral, for each language possesses symbolic capital that grants access to explicitly demarcated domains of power. In this thesis, I examine the construction of national power that resides in discourses on multilingualism in Morocco. In the process, I uncover the sources of competing language ideologies through which beliefs about national identity are negotiated. I show that the project of establishing and maintaining power depends largely on the control of language reproduction. By focusing on forms of familial, ethnic, national, and religious power embedded in Morocco’s languages, I locate the sites in which language ideologies are enacted and reveal the consequences of internalized linguistic imperialism.

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The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.