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
  Ghomara Berber

The language of the Ghomara people is a Northern Berber language spoken by approximately 10,000 people in Morocco near Tetouan and Chaouen. Ghomara Berber is spoken on the western edge of the Rif in Morocco. 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. 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. It is relatively similar to Senhadja de Srair Berber spoken around Ketama, but is difficult to understand for a speaker of Riffian.

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.


  1. ^ J. el Hannouche, 2008. Ghomara Berber: A Brief Grammatical Survey
  2. ^ Maarten Kossmann, Berber subclassification (preliminary version), Leiden (2011)
  3. ^ Sebastian Nordhoff et al., "Ghomara", in: Glottolog 2.2, Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (2013)