|Native to||Comoros and Mayotte|
|Region||Throughout Comoros and Mayotte; also in Madagascar and Réunion|
Official language in
zdj – Ngazidja dialect
wni – Ndzwani (Anjouani) dialect
swb – Maore Comorian
wlc – Mwali dialect
Comorian (Shikomori or Shimasiwa, the "language of islands") is the most widely used language on the Comoros (independent islands in the Indian Ocean, off Mozambique and Madagascar) and Mayotte. It is a set of Sabaki dialects but with more Arabic influence than standard Swahili. Each island has a different dialect and the four are conventionally divided into two groups: the eastern group is composed of Shindzuani (spoken on Ndzuwani) and Shimaore (Mayotte), while the western group is composed of Shimwali (Mwali) and Shingazija (Ngazidja). No official alphabet existed in 1992, but historically the language was written in the Arabic script. The colonial administration introduced the Latin script, of which a modified version is now being promoted in the country; the Arabic script remains widely used and literacy in the Arabic script is higher than in the Latin script.
It is the language of Udzima wa ya Masiwa, the national anthem.
- Ngazidja dialect at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Ndzwani (Anjouani) dialect at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
Maore Comorian at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Comorian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
- Ahmed-Chamanga, Mohamed. (1992) Lexique Comorien (shindzuani) – Français. Paris: L'Harmattan.
- Ahmed-Chamanga, Mohamed. (1997) Dictionnaire français-comorien (dialecte Shindzuani). Paris: L'Harmattan.
- Ahmed-Chamanga, Mohamed. (2010) Introduction à la grammaire structurale du comorien. Moroni: Komedit. 2 vols.
- Johansen, Aimee. A History of Comorian Linguistics. in John M. Mugane (ed.), Linguistic Typology and Representation of African Languages. Africa World Press. Trenton, New Jersey.
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