Ghomara language

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Native to Morocco
Ethnicity Ghomara
Native speakers
ca. 10,000  (2004)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 gho
Glottolog ghom1257[3]

The language of the Ghomara people is a Northern Berber language spoken by approximately 10,000 people in Morocco near Tetouan and Chaouen.[1] Ghomara Berber is spoken on the western edge of the Rif in Morocco.[4] It is spoken in at least the douar of Amtiqan and its immediate neighborhood, just west of Oued Ouringa, and is still being passed on to children in these areas.[5] However, it is spoken by only a small minority of the Ghomara; even in 1931, only one of their eight tribes, the Beni Bu Zra, continued to speak it.[6] It is relatively similar to Senhadja de Srair Berber spoken around Ketama, but is difficult to understand for a speaker of Riffias.

Some typical features which show the difference with Riffian are the use of the preposition dar instead of Riffian ghar, the feminine plural ending -an instead of -in, and the absence of spirantisation in word-initial position.[6]


  1. ^ a b J. el Hannouche, 2008. Ghomara Berber: A Brief Grammatical Survey
  2. ^ AA list, Blench & Dendo, ms, 2006
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Ghomara". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ G. Camps & J. Vignet-Zunz, « Ghomâra », Encyclopédie berbère, vol.20, 1998, pp. 3110-3119
  5. ^ (Spanish) Peter Behnstedt, "La frontera entre el bereber y el árabe en el Rif", Estudios de dialectología norteafricana y andalusí vol. 6, 2002.
  6. ^ a b (French) Georges Séraphin Colin, "Le parler berbère des Ghomara", Hesperis 9, 1929, pp. 43–58.