Dictionnaire

From the Introduction to Dictionnaire de la Langue Franque.

[Translated from the original French.]

Lingua Franca or petit mauresque became widespread in the Barbary States when the corsairs of Tunis and Algiers brought back large numbers of Christian slaves from their privateering expeditions. It is still [1830] used by the inhabitants of the coastal cities in their relations with Europeans. This language, which is used only in day-to-day life situations, and in the least complicated commercial transactions, has no fixed orthography, and no established grammatical rules. It differs on a number of points according to the cities where it is spoken, and the petit mauresque in use in Tunis is by no means the same as that used in Algiers. It draws largely on Italian in the first of those regencies, while in that of Algiers it approaches Spanish. In this dictionary we have had to gather the petit mauresque as it is spoken in the coastal towns of the State of Algiers, and we have set out to give the pronunciation as it is used in this country...Nouns have no plural...Only adjectives in -o have a feminine...

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Alan D. Corré
corre@csd.uwm.edu