With 2019 being the international year of Indigenous Languages, the Institute at Davis is offering a course on The Structure of Tashlhiyt Berber taught by Mohamed Lahrouchi (CNRS). Read our interview with Professor Lahrouchi here:
1. Can you please tell us about your linguistic background?
I did my PhD at Paris 7 University. I was 23 when I arrived in France. I grew up in Southern Morocco, more precisely in Agadir, a city where most people, including myself, are natives of Tashlhiyt Berber. My PhD dealt the morphophonology of this variety of Berber. I studied the morphological structure of derived verbs, using a root-and-template approach to word formation. I joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 2004.
2. Can you tell us about the course you are teaching at the Institute?
The course I will be teaching is an introduction to the structure of Tashlhiyt Berber spoken in Morocco. This variety is well-known for its extensive use of consonant clusters, which may result in utterances without any vowel. It also presents various morphophonological phenomena (non-concatenative operations, vowel alternations, allomorphy), which prove interesting for a better understanding of word formation processes.
3. What research are you currently working on?
The project I am currently working on is an exploration of the structure of roots and templates in Afroasiatic languages, mainly in Berber and Arabic. It aims to provide supporting evidence for the root as an abstract unit of morphological analysis. The project also examines the role of roots and templates in accounting for certain morphophonological process and allomorphy selection in light of recent work at the interface between phonology and syntax. In addition to this, I work on language acquisition, mainly from a phonological perspective.
4. In a parallel universe in which you are not an academic/linguist, what would you be?
I’d probably be a cook.
5. What are you most looking forward to about Davis?
Meet new people and discuss linguistics.
6. What advice would you give to graduate students interested in pursuing a career in linguistics?
Love what you do. Be creative and resourceful.
Here is professor Lahrouchi’s website.