Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2004


While research on the presence of the Spanish language outside Spain and the Americas has made considerable advances in recent years, it has concerned itself primarily with the Philippines (Quilis 1992, Lipski 2001), Equatorial Guinea (Granda 1991, Lipski 1985), and less frequently with other regions where Spanish is acquiring importance as a foreign language (Quilis 2000). North Africa, on the other hand, has failed to attract similar attention in spite of its close geographic and historical links with Spain and the uninterrupted presence of the Spanish language there since the 15'h century. Few references signal such presence (Heath 1989, Silva-Corvahin 1995, Quilis 2002) but detailed studies are still lacking. Moreno Fernandez's 1992 article on Spanish in Oran and later his brief review "El espanol en el mosaico lingiiistico del Magreb", represent two of the few contemporary contributions on the topic. Another contribution is Tarkki's 1995 analysis of Spanish as it is spoken by the Saharawi refugees in Tinduf (Algeria). As for Northern Morocco, current research is often in the form of unpublished doctoral dissertations (Amzid 1997, Ghailani 1997, El Harrak 1998) or other unedited projects produced mainly at L'Universite Abdelmalek Saadi (Tetouan) where the only department of Spanish in former Spanish Morocco is located. Much of this investigation, however, is often limited to the identification of Spanish lexical and semantic borrowings into local varieties of Moroccan Arabic. Hence, the object of this article is to explore the presence of Spanish in Northern Morocco from a distinct angle by analyzing the case of Tangier, a city where this language is still an important part of the local linguistic market (Bourdieu 1991). Through a sociolinguistic survey, I will describe the different levels of competence, the structural variation in Tangerine Spanish, and the speakers' attitude towards its use. In the conclusion, I will synthesize the findings and explore their implications for future research on Spanish in Northern Morocco and North Africa as a whole.


Publisher Acknowledgement:

The following article was reproduced with permission of Afro-Hispanic Review © 2004: Sayahi, Lotfi. “The Spanish Language Presence in Tangier, Morocco: a Sociolinguistic Perspective.” Afro-Hispanic Review, vol. 23, no. 2, 2004, pp. 54–61

Included in

Linguistics Commons



Terms of Use

This article is made available under the Scholars Archive Terms of Use.