AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 6, Number 4. October 2022                                Pp. 15-31

Analysis of the Algerian Novel Fahla (Rabah Sbaa) from a Sociolinguistic Approach

Global Studies, Pompeu Fabra University
Barcelona, Spain

Translation department, Granada University
Granada, Spain


This study analyzes the Algerian novel Fahla from a sociolinguistic point of view. The author has taken the initiative to write his novel in Algerian and in Latin characters and Arabic characters for both Arabic and Francophone readers since Algerian remains uncodified to this day. The main objective is to observe the linguistic system of the Algerian language and that of the standard Arabic one to understand the functioning of the dialect mentioned above and demonstrate the need to study its linguistic typology and the phylogenetic relationships between the two languages. It is essential to investigate the relationship between language use, society, and identity to compare them. The novel is an appropriate example to analyze this three-dimensionality of language as osmosis that reflects the uniqueness of each speaker. A sociolinguistic study is carried out to evaluate the validity of Algerian as an official language. Fragments of texts that reflect these characteristics are considered following a qualitative methodology based on the observation and interpretation of data to demonstrate the use of various literary resources, syntax, structures and phrases of a language which is considered a dialect. The analyzed work reveals the real attitudes of society through the Algerian language for the first time in the literary field. It is a linguistic revolution that accompanies the social revolutions of recent years. The importance of communication in the mother tongue is shown through this work. To further raise awareness in the sociolinguistic community, there must be more encouragement for authors and journalists to write in this language, just as it is used by the media and culture (through means such as the theatre and the cinema) to emphasize the importance of identity values, including verbal and written expression in the mother tongue.

Cite as:

Kerras, N., & Baya, M. L. (2022). Analysis of the Algerian Novel Fahla (Rabah Sbaa) from a Sociolinguistic Approach. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 6 (4)15- 31.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol6no4.2


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Nassima Kerras received her Ph.D. in translation and interpreting from the University of Granada in 2012. She is a professor of Languages and Culture at University of Pompeu Fabra, ESADE and Blanquerna, and professor of Sociolinguistics in Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain). Member of the Research Group HUM-835 “Translation, Knowledge and Culture”. Her dissertation focused on pragmatic, sociocultural, and contextual aspects of multilingual multimedia texts.
ORCID ID: http://orcid. org/0000-0002-9700-8257.

Moulay-Lahssan Baya E. is a professor of Translation & Interpreting, Faculty of Translation & Interpreting at University of Granada (Spain). Director of the Research Group HUM-835 “Translation, Knowledge and Culture”. Main lines of research: journalistic translation, interpretation, dialectology, food in Arab Bedouin societies.
ORCID ID: http://orcid. org/0000-0002-3066-8082.