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Introduction and Study

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the key themes discussed in the book. The book analyzes the endangered oral literary tradition of Chaouen, northern Morocco, a vehicle for the transmission of a local culture and language, before it disappears without record. It seeks to preserve the oral tradition in its form of storytelling in the vernacular language in which it has been transmitted, presenting the original texts without any alterations, or creative or editorial changes, to assure the accuracy and the representativeness of the oral tradition and the verbal art embodied in the language and socio-cultural information carried in them. This includes philological commentary on the Moroccan Arabic used in these stories. Chaouen is one of the most venerated of the Moroccan cities and is known for its Andalusian-influenced urban culture. Colin's general classification was at first widely accepted by scholars but today is considered to be simplistic.

Keywords: Andalusian-influenced urban culture; Chaouen; Colin; Moroccan Arabic; northern Morocco; philological commentary

10.1163/9789004279131_002
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