The Barefoot Linguist

An introduction to baby talk in the Maghreb

This presentation provides an introduction to the BT in the Maghreb and discusses its different features, such as phonetics/phonology, word structure, morphology, syntax, and the origin/etymology of BT terms.

Other features of Maghrebian BT are also investigated, such as continuity & change (how stable & conventionalized is BT?), regional differences, and differences between Arabic and Berber speakers.

Finally, some questions are raised which are related to BT, but go beyond BT lexemes, such as gender switch, role switch, scolding, and the use of protective (“bad/ugly”) names.

The BT data is available at

Bibliography on BT and related topics can be found here.