It is acknowledged that our style of speaking changes according to a wide range of variables such as gender, setting, the age of both the addresser and the addressee, the conversation topic, and the aim of the interaction. These differences in style are noticeable in monolingual and multilingual speech communities. Yet, they are more observable in speech communities where two or more codes coexist. The linguistic situation in Algeria reflects a state of bilingualism because of the coexistence of Arabic and French. Nevertheless, like all Arab countries, it is characterized by diglossia i.e. the concomitance of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Algerian Arabic (AA), the former standing for the ‘high variety’ and the latter for the ‘low variety’. The two varieties are derived from the same source but are used to fulfil distinct functions that is, MSA is used in the domains of religion, literature, education and formal settings. AA, on the other hand, is used in informal settings, in everyday speech. French has strongly affected the Algerian language and culture because of the historical background of Algeria, thus, what can easily be noticed in Algeria is that everyday speech is characterized by code-switching from dialectal Arabic and French or by the use of borrowings. Tamazight is also very present in many regions of Algeria and is the mother tongue of many Algerians. Yet, it is not used in the west of Algeria, where the study has been conducted. The present work, which was directed in the speech community of Tlemcen-Algeria, aims at depicting some of the outcomes of the contact of Arabic with French such as code-switching, borrowing and interference. The question that has been asked is whether Algerians are aware of their use of borrowings or not. Three steps are followed in this research; the first one is to depict the sociolinguistic situation in Algeria and to describe the linguistic characteristics of the dialect of Tlemcen, which are specific to this city. The second one is concerned with data collection. Data have been collected from 57 informants who were given questionnaires and who have then been classified according to their age, gender and level of education. Information has also been collected through observation, and note taking. The third step is devoted to analysis. The results obtained reveal that most Algerians are aware of their use of borrowings. The present work clarifies how words are borrowed from French, and then adapted to Arabic. It also illustrates the way in which singular words inflect into plural. The results expose the main characteristics of borrowing as opposed to code-switching. The study also clarifies how interference occurs at the level of nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Traditional medicine has been part of the Algerian culture for decades. In particular, the city of Tlemcen still retains practices based on phytotherapy to the present day, as this kind of medicine fulfills the needs of its followers among the local population. The toxic plants contain diverse natural substances which supplied a lot of medicine in the pharmaceutical industry. In order to explore new medicinal sources among toxic plants, an ethnobotanical study was carried out on the use of these plants by the population, at Emir Abdelkader Square of the city of Tlemcen, a rather busy place with a high number of traditional health practitioners and herbalists. This is a descriptive and transversal study aimed at estimating the frequency of using toxic plants among the studied population, for a period of 4 months. The information was collected, using self-anonymous questionnaires, and analyzed by the IBM SPSS Statistics software used for statistical analysis. A sample of 200 people, including 120 women and 80 men, were interviewed. The mean age was 41 ± 16 years. Among those questioned, 83.5% used plants; 8% of them used toxic plants and 35% used plants that can be toxic under certain conditions. Some improvements were observed in 88% of the cases where toxic plants were used. 80 medicinal plants, belonging to 36 botanical families, were listed, identified and classified. The most frequent indications for these plants were for respiratory diseases in 64.7% of cases, and for digestive disorders in 51.5% of cases. 11% of these plants are toxic, 26% could be toxic under certain conditions. Among toxics plants, the most common ones are Berberis vulgaris with 5.4%, indicated in the treatment of uterine fibroids and thyroid, Rhamnus alaternus with 4.8% for hepatic jaundice, Nerium oleander with 3% for hemorrhoids, Ruta chalepensis with 1.2%, indicated for digestive disorders and dysmenorrhea, and Viscum album with 1.2%, indicated for respiratory diseases. The most common plants that could be toxic are Mentha pulegium (15.6%), Eucalyptus globulus (11.4%), and Pimpinella anisum (10.2%). This study revealed interesting results on the use of toxic plants, which are likely to serve as a basis for further ethno-pharmacological investigations in order to get new drug sources.