Ethnologue: Areas: Africa

Libya

5,445,000 (1995); 500,000 resident foreign workers (1986 USA Today). Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. al-Jamahiriyah al-Arabiya al-Libya al-Shabiya al-Ishtirakiya. Literacy rate 22% to 60%. Also includes Egyptian Spoken Arabic 1,000,000 or more (1991), Western Cham, North Africa, Chad, Korea, Pakistan, many laborers from Sudan. Information mainly from J M. Cowan 1973, Applegate 1970, Welmers 1971. Data accuracy estimate: B, C. Also includes Egyptian Spoken Arabic 1,000,000 (1991), Western Cham, many laborers from Sudan, North Africa, Chad, Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Europe. Sunni Muslim, Christian, Buddhist. Deaf institutions: 2. The number of languages listed for Libya is 12.

ARABIC, LIBYAN SPOKEN (LIBYAN VERNACULAR ARABIC, SULAIMITIAN ARABIC) [AYL] 4,200,000 (1995), 96% of population (1991); 300,000 in Egypt (1996). Especially in the northern half of Libya. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Dialects: TRIPOLITANIAN ARABIC, SOUTHERN LIBYAN ARABIC, EASTERN LIBYAN ARABIC, NORTHEAST EGYPTIAN BEDAWI ARABIC. 50% literate. Similar to the bedouin Arabic of southern Tunisia. Agriculturalists: wheat, barley, olives, citrus, dates, livestock. Sunni Muslim. Survey needed.

ARABIC, STANDARD [ABV] Middle East, North Africa. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Preserves ancient grammar. Used for nearly all written materials, formal speeches. Not a mother tongue, but taught in schools. National language. Braille Scripture in progress. Bible 1984-1991. NT 1980-1982. Bible portions 1984.

AWJILAH (AUJILA, AUGILA, AOUDJILA) [AUJ] 2,000 (1993). Cyrenaica, eastern Libya. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Eastern, Awjila-Sokna. Isolated location. Most men are bilingual; women speak only Awjilah. They cultivate small gardens using subsoil water from 6 to 12 meters below the surface. Sunni Muslim. Survey needed.

DOMARI [RMT] 500,000 in all countries (1980 Kenrick). Also Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Uzbekistan, India, Egypt, Afghanistan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Dom. Dialect: HELEBI. A Gypsy language. Muslim. Survey needed.

GHADAMÈS [GHA] 2,000 in Libya; 2,000 in Tunis, Tunisia; 4,000 in all countries (1973 Lanfry). Ghadamès, a small oasis near the Algeria-Tunisia border. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Zenati, East. Dialects: AYT WAZITEN, ELT ULID. Muslim. Survey needed.

JABAL NAFUSAH (NAFUSI, NEFUSI, JEBEL NEFUSA, JABAL NAFUSA, JBEL NAFUSA) [JBN] 40,000 (1993). Tripolitania, western Libya, isolated area around the towns of Nalut and Yafran, Jabal Nafusah region. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Zenati, East. Dialect: JEMMARI. Zuara may be a dialect. Most live apart from Arabized inhabitants of the region. Difficult access to villages. They built dams and terraces for cultivation. Semi-arid. Ibadite Muslim. Survey needed.

LIBYAN SIGN LANGUAGE [LBS] Deaf sign language. Survey needed.

SAWKNAH (SOKNA) [SWN] Tripolitania. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Eastern, Awjila-Sokna. Muslim. Survey needed.

TAMAHAQ, HOGGAR (TAMACHEK, TUAREG, TOUAREG, TAMASHEKIN, TOURAGE, TOMACHEK, HOGGAR) [THV] 17,000 in Libya (1993 Johnstone); 25,000 to 76,000 in all countries, including 20,000 in Hoggar dialect; 5,000 in Ghat dialect (1987 Glover SIM). The Hoggar dialect is in the south Hoggar (Ajjer) Mountain area around Tamanrasset and south into Niger. The Ghat dialect is in southeast Algeria around Ganet and west Libyan oases around Ghat. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Tamasheq, Northern. Dialects: HOGGAR (AHAGGAREN, AJJER, TAHAGGART), GHAT (GANET, DJANET). Tuareg are the people (Targi is the singular); Tamahaq is the language. Volcanic mountains. Inadan: blacksmiths, jewelry craftsmen. Muslim. Bible portions 1948-1965. Survey needed.

TEDA (TODA, TODAGA, TODGA, TUDA, TUDAGA, TUBU, TEBU, TEBOU, TIBBU, TOUBOU) [TUQ] 2,000 in Libya (1954 Lebeuf); 40,000 in Niger (1991); 28,501 in Chad (1993 census); 2,000 or fewer in Nigeria (1990 Blench); 72,500 in all countries. Southwestern border area, Al Katrun and Maknusa. Nilo-Saharan, Saharan, Central. Dialect: AZA. Many separate groups. The majority are bilingual in Arabic. Semi-nomadic. Well diggers; pastoralists: cattle. Muslim. Work in progress.

ZAGHAWA (SOGHAUA, ZEGGAOUA, ZAGAOUA, ZORHAUA, ZAGAWA, ZEGHAWA, BERI) [ZAG] 7,000 in Libya (1993 Johnstone); 102,000 in Sudan; 17,500 in Chad; 35,000 in Niger (1991); 161,500 in all countries. From Sudan and Chad as far east as 'Uweynat. Nilo-Saharan, Saharan, Eastern. The majority are bilingual in Arabic. Muslim.

ZUARA (ZUWARAH, ZWARA, ZURAA) [ZOU] 25,000 (1993 Johnstone). Coastal area around Zuara, west of Tripoli. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Zenati, East. May be a dialect of Jabal Nafusah. Muslim. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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