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Vassar College

Publication Date

Spring 2017


In 2001, in an unprecedented act, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, stated in a speech that he would take actions to create an organization dedicated to the protection of Amaizgh language and culture. A few months later, he issued a royal Dahair that created the Insitut Royale de la Culture Amazighe (IRCAM), an organization that was tasked with protecting the Amazigh language and culture, as well as, advising King Mohammed VI on all matters related to Amazigh language and culture. The creation of this institution led to the start of a standardization process, whereby the IRCAM has committed to creating one standardized Amazigh language from the three regional Moroccan dialects of Tarafit, Tamazight, and Tashlhit. The importance of this process was only increased when in 2011, Amazigh became the second official language of Morocco, enshrined in the new constitution. Today, IRCAM continues their efforts to preserve this “endangered” language through standardization and education, but are they doing enough? This paper looks to answer that question, and looks to examine the reasons why Amazigh is thought to be endangered in the first place. This paper will also try to determine whether Amazigh continues to be thought of as worth saving in Moroccan society through the use of personal interviews to various IRCAM officials, Amazigh identifying people, and non-Amazigh identifying people. This study will be supplemented through an in depth analysis of various secondary sources that will hopefully help determine the future of Amazigh languages in Morocco.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Arts and Humanities | Family, Life Course, and Society


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