Dictionary of Melhoun Poets’ Language

From 01/07/2018

To    30/06/2021

Project supervisor : DELLAI Ahmed Amine

Team members :




          The language of Melhoun’s poets, has been variously appreciated by those who have studied its texts: it combines in it the paradox of being a popular language while it looks difficult to access at first,  it means that it presents the aspect of the sought-after language and the elevated speech, while being popular and dialectal. Others spoke about a "mixed language between dialectal and classical". In short, we can define it as a popular literary dialect that is rooted in the substratum of dialectal Arabic while opening up widely to classical Arabic without ever being confused with it, in a borrowing-adaptation movement to the classical language, a movement that reflects a strong lexical demand driven by the needs of creation and innovation. The result of this constant contribution to the Melhoun language has made it a lexical reservoir of remarkable richness. The other phenomenon which constitutes the first source of lexical input, outside of classical Arabic, is this movement which aims deeply explore the hidden resources of the Arabic dialect.

The critical bibliography:

           Most of the authors who have translated Melhoun’s texts have accompanied their translations with lexicographical notes which constitute for us the first investigations in the field. These notes are sometimes grouped together in a separate glossary as in Sonneck's "Arab Songs of the Maghreb". These glossaries have the disadvantage of the limits imposed by their corpus which is not limited only to the language of poets. It is much later that specialized lexicons in the language of Melhoun appear with the inevitable "معجم لغة الملحون" of Mohamed El-Fasi and "منجد الملحون" which is not a work of specialists. These two works only deal mainly with the corpus of Moroccan poetry and in a limited way with regard to the lexicon.

Our project consists of a dictionary that takes into account the entire corpus of algerian poetry and incidentally Maghreb poets (Morocco, Tunisia).

          For a detailed bibliography about the subject due to its important and huge volume which makes it impossible to be integrated to the project’s framework we refer to our « Guide bibliographique du melhoun »(L’Harmattan, 1996), and to the first volume of our « Poètes du melhoun du maghreb » (awaiting publication) dedicated to the general bibliography updated until 2017.

Research Units

- UCCLLA  : Cité Bahi Amar, Bloc A, N°1 Es-Sénia BP 1955 -El M'naouer 31000 Oran, Algerie. Tél / Fax : +213 (0) / E-mail : ucclla @ crasc.dz

- URTT : Cité Bahi Amar, Bloc A, N°1 Es-Sénia BP 1955 -El M'naouer 31000 Oran, Algerie. Tél / Fax : +213 (0) / E-mail : urtt @ crasc.dz

- RASYD : Université de Blida 2, El Afroun, Algerie / E-mail : rasyd @ crasc.dz

- TES : Faculté des Arts et de la culture, Université de constatine 3 constantine, Algerie. E-mail : tes @ crasc.dz

Contact Details

+213 41 62 06 95
+213 41 62 07 03
     +213 41 62 07 05
     +213 41 62 07 11

 +213 41 62 06 98

contact @ crasc.dz

C.R.A.S.C. B.P. 1955 El-M'Naouer Technopôle de l'USTO Bir El Djir 31000 Oran