Ghomara language

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

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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[5]


  1. ^ a b J. el Hannouche, 2008. Ghomara Berber: A Brief Grammatical Survey
  2. ^ AA list, Blench & Dendo, ms, 2006
  3. ^ G. Camps & J. Vignet-Zunz, « Ghomâra », Encyclopédie berbère, vol.20, 1998, pp. 3110-3119
  4. ^ (Spanish) Peter Behnstedt, "La frontera entre el bereber y el árabe en el Rif", Estudios de dialectología norteafricana y andalusí vol. 6, 2002.
  5. ^ a b (French) Georges Séraphin Colin, "Le parler berbère des Ghomara", Hesperis 9, 1929, pp. 43–58.