If you have no interest in linguistics, language history, or dialects of Moroccan Arabic, read no further.
As I've mentioned before, in the east of Morocco, the people speak a subdialect of Moroccan Darija. It's called Sharqiya, and is spoken in Oujda, my town, Al'eiun, Taourirt, and a number of other smaller towns in the area. Of course, from town to town there are variations within the Sharqiya dialect. The term Oujdiya is alternatively used for Sharqiya. Sharqiya means 'of the East', and Oujdiya means 'of Oujda'. (I'm not sure how to translate any of this stuff exactly).
Since it's a dialect, I generally assumed that it's some sort of pidgin Darija, backward, non-grammatical, and nonsensical. However, I have heard that some of the Arabic dialects tend to have more classical underpinnings, while others are closer to contemporary modern standard Arabic. For example, while I have found the verb Arad-a, conjugated to 'ureed' (meaning 'I want'), in the Quran, I've also read that the verb Bgha is a classical alternative (conjugated here to 'Bgheet' for 'I want'). And although many people claim Moroccan Arabic is not really Arabic, it appears to be the only modern dialect which retains this classical oddity in its most basic lexicon.
This brings me to Sharqiya. I've noticed over the last few days as I slog my way through the Quran, that there are a number of distinctly classical words that Sharqiya has retained, while the rest of Darija has let them slide. 'L'afiya' means 'fire' in the West, but over here, people say 'nar'. They claim it comes from Algeria, and that they're speaking Algerian Arabic, which may well be correct. However, I've also noticed that 'nar' appears repeatedly in the Quran- always associated with hell (the fires of hell, the fire of punishment, etc.). Next up, 'sxhoon' or 'Har' means 'hot' the the West, while the Berkanins say 'Human' for hot weather or 'Hamii' for hot water. The root of that must be H-m-m. And I just found it in the Quran as well, so that's another point to my local lingua in terms of classicalness. Lastly, 'Gu'ud'. This means sit as an imperative (hard G-ayn-dal with two dummas as vowel markings). The rest of Morocco says 'Gliss'. This term appears in an account of American sailors in 1815 who washed ashore on the western Sahara (now Western Sahara/Morocco), so it appears the term has been around for quite a while, and over an extended area. But... I was very excited (geeky, I know) to have recently found q-ayn-dal in the Quran meaning 'to sit'. Our people tends to turn the Qaf letter into the hard G sound (Qlb, meaning 'heart' in the rest of Morocco is pronounced Glb here). So, it turns out, 'Gu'ud', what I thought to be a true hallmark of the madness that is Sharqiya, turns out to actually be quite close to the classical verb. (Those who have studied FusHa know that m-qaf-ayn-dal is still used for seat/chair/couch, and if you're a volunteer in Morocco you know that you were supposed to visit your local Qaid- same root?)
I've reached my nerdiness limit of the day, so that's enough for now.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.
Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.