A Linguistic Study of Borrowing in Moroccan Teenage Talk

Samira Elouakili


This paper aims to examine one of the most productive linguistic resources Moroccan teenagers use widely to create novel lexical and phrasal items–borrowing. Of particular interest to us are the varied aspects of their borrowings’ innovativeness, which has often been reported to be one of the main features of youngspeak. The examples are taken from recorded dyadic and triadic conversations mainly between six female high school mates and relaxed group interviews involving four of the latter and two female others from the same school. The results reveal first that Moroccan teenagers are ‘linguistic doers’ capable of creating, through borrowing, novel words and expressions to talk about their concerns, interests, and attitudes. Second, they corroborate findings of previous research that teenagers are highly innovative. To achieve innovativeness, they employ various linguistic and rhetorical devices and break the linguistic norms of both the source and recipient languages. The product is thus a distinct language that is colourful, vivid, and expressive, which scholars largely agree teenagers use to express their autonomy and affiliation to their peers.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ire.v5i1.11022


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