The Arabic Influence on Northern Berber provides an overview of the effects of language contact on a wide array of Berber languages spoken in the Maghrib. These languages have undergone important changes in their lexicon, phonology, morphology, and syntax as a result of over a thousand years of Arabic influence. The social situation of Berber-Arabic language contact is similar all over the region: Berber speakers introducing Arabic features into their language, with only little language shift going on. Moreover, the typological profile of the different Berber varieties is relatively homogenous. The comparison of contact-induced change in Berber therefore adds up to a study in typological variation of contact influence under very similar linguistic and social conditions.
Maarten Kossmann, Ph.D. (1994), Leiden, teaches African Linguistics at Leiden University. He has published extensively on descriptive and historical linguistics of Berber, including
Grammaire du parler berbère de Figuig (1997),
Essai sur la phonologie du proto-berbère (1999) and
A Grammar of Ayer Tuareg (2011).
The book targets a broad academic readership consisting of all those interested in the history of the Berber languages, in Arabic as a contact language, and in contact linguistics in general.