The Sociolinguistic Reality of Algeria: Between Cohabitation, Contact or Conflict

Author: A. S. Réda Boukli-Hacene (University of Adrar, Algeria)
Speaker: A. S. Réda Boukli-Hacene
Topic: Sociolinguistics
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL AFALA 2023 General Session


This academic article aims to explore the sociolinguistic reality of Algeria, a diverse and multilingual country located in North Africa. The linguistic landscape of Algeria is characterized by the existence of Modern Standard Arabic (Semitic) and Tamazight or Berber (Hamito-Semitic) as the official and national languages of the country according to the constitution, and French (Latin), resulting from colonial, historical, social, and political factors. However, the sociolinguistic landscape of Algeria is complex, with other various languages (although not recognized as such) coexisting and interacting altogether. This study examines the sociolinguistic reality of Algeria in terms of the dynamics of language cohabitation, contact, and potential conflict within Algeria’s sociolinguistic context, highlighting the implications for identity, education, and social cohesion. By exploring the historical, political, and social factors influencing language use, attitudes, and policy, this article sheds light on the intricate linguistic tapestry and the relationship between languages in Algeria and their impact on individuals and society as a whole. The findings reveal that while language cohabitation and contact are prevalent, dissimulated or unmediated conflicts and tensions also arise, highlighting the need for new linguistic policies that promote inclusive practices and multilingualism, and combating any form of assimilative coercive segregating policies.

Keywords: Algeria, language cohabitation, sociolinguistic