Ethnologue: Areas: Africa


29,116,000 (1995). Kingdom of Morocco. al-Mamlaka al-Maghrebia. Literacy rate 30% to 50%. Also includes French 80,000. Information mainly from J M. Cowan 1973, Applegate 1970. Data accuracy estimate: B, C. Sunni Muslim. Blind population 35,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf institutions: 1. The number of languages listed for Morocco is 11, of which 2 are extinct.

ARABIC, HASSANIYA (SAHRAWI, MAURE, MAURI, MOOR, SULAKA, HASANYA, HASSANI) [MEY] 40,000 in Morocco (1995); 2,230,000 in all countries. Southern Morocco, from Laayoune on down. Also in Mauritania, Senegal, Niger, Mali, Algeria. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Not intelligible with other Arabic varieties. Survey needed.

ARABIC, JUDEO-MOROCCAN [AJU] 18,000 in Morocco, including 12,000 in Casablanca (1985 J. Chetrit); 250,000 in Israel (1992 H. Mutzafi); 268,000 in all countries. Casablanca. Also in France, Canada. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Many dialects. May be inherently intelligible with Moroccan Arabic. A large number of borrowings from Spanish, Ladino, and French. The younger generation in Morocco uses French as mother tongue, and their Arabic is closer to Moroccan Arabic than to Judeo-Arabic. Has medium inherent intelligibility with Tunisian Judeo-Arabic, some with Libyan Judeo-Arabic, but none with Iraqi Judeo-Arabic. Several schools taught almost exclusively in Hebrew. Jewish. Survey needed.

ARABIC, MOROCCAN SPOKEN (MAGHREBI ARABIC, MAGHRIBI COLLOQUIAL ARABIC) [ARY] 18,800,000 in Morocco (1995), 65% of the population (1991); perhaps another 20% speak it as a second language; 492,700 in France (1984 Time); 105,000 in Belgium (1984 Time); 100,000 in Netherlands (1984 Time); 44,200 in Germany (1984 Time); 19,542,000 in all countries. Northern Morocco and southern Morocco south of the Atlas Mts., and including the port cities of the Sahara. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Dialects: RABAT-CASABLANCA ARABIC, FEZ. MEKNES, TANGIER ARABIC, OUJDA, JEBLI (JEBELIA, JBALA), SOUTHERN MOROCCO ARABIC, MARRAKECH ARABIC. Not intelligible to speakers of Tunisian Arabic, or to speakers of Arabic varieties from other countries. Sunni Muslim. NT 1932. Bible portions 1902-1952. Survey needed.

ARABIC, STANDARD [ABV] Middle East, North Africa. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Used for education, newspapers, official purposes, communication among Arabic speaking countries. National language. Braille Scripture in progress. Bible 1984-1991. NT 1980-1982. Bible portions 1984.

GHOMARA [GHO] 50,000 (1993 Johnstone). North and west of Tamazight, a small region near Chechaouen, western Rif mountains, Oued Laou Valley. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Zenati, Ghomara. Coon says Ghomara is intelligible with Tarifit. Muslim. Extinct.

MOROCCAN SIGN LANGUAGE [XMS] Used in Tetouan and other cities. Deaf sign language. Used by the USA Peace Corps. Developed from local signs and introduced signs. Less than 50% lexical similarity with American Sign Language. Many deaf women do not leave their homes, or do not sign in the streets, so it is difficult to determine numbers. Association Nanane, a school in the north, had about 30 students, ages 4-21. MSL used in 3 programs for the deaf. Algerian Sign Language has influenced the strong deaf community of 60 to 70 men in the city of Oujda in the north. Communities in Rabat, Tangier, and Casa Blanca also do not use MSL. There is a book of MSL signs by the U.S. Peace Corps. Most deaf people cannot read or write or understand Arabic. Survey needed.

SENHAJA DE SRAIR (SANHAJA OF SRAIR) [SJS] Northern, west of Tarifit. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Zenati, Riff. Coon (1939) says it is a separate language from Tarifit. Muslim. Extinct.

SPANISH [SPN] 20,000 in Morocco (1993 Johnstone); 266,000,000 in all countries. Melilla and scattered across the north coast. Also in Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, USA, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, Gibraltar, France, Philippines, Australia, many other countries. Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. Braille Bible. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1985. Bible portions 1514-1985.

TACHELHIT (TASHILHEET, TACHILHIT, TASHELHIT, TASOUSSIT, SHILHA, SUSIUA, SOUTHERN SHILHA) [SHI] 2,300,000 in Morocco (1991); 3,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Southwestern Morocco, from coast south to Ifni and north to near Agadir, northeast to outskirts of Marrakech, and east to Draa, including the valley of the Sous, and south near the border. Also in Algeria and France. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Atlas. Many men are bilingual in Arabic. Many women do not learn Arabic. 'Tachelhit' is their name for their language. 'Shilha' is the Arabic name for Moroccan Berber dialects in general. Soussi are known as shop owners throughout Morocco. Muslim. Bible portions 1906-1925. Survey needed.

TAMAZIGHT, CENTRAL ATLAS (CENTRAL SHILHA, MIDDLE ATLAS BERBER) [TZM] 1,900,000 in Morocco (1991); 150,000 (5%) in France (1991); 3,000,000 in all countries. Middle Atlas, northern Morocco. 1,200,000 in rural areas between Taza, Khemisset, Azilal, Errachidia; 100,000 outside the language area. Also in Algeria. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Atlas. Dialects: CENTRAL ATLAS, SOUTH ORAN. 'Tamazight' is the name of the language; 'Berber' of the people. 65% live in rural areas, 10% live outside the traditional area. 40% monolingual. Literacy rate: men 25%, women 5%. Typology: VSO (for Berber). Bible portions 1919-1981. Survey needed.

TARIFIT (RIFF, RIF, RIFI, RUAFA, RIFIA, NORTHERN SHILHA, SHILHA) [RIF] 1,500,000 in Morocco (1991); 2,000,000 in all countries (1991). Total Berber speakers in Morocco: 5,700,000. Northern Morocco. The dialects listed are near Al Hoceima. Also along the coast of Algeria, in France, and Netherlands. Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Northern, Zenati, Riff. Dialects: URRIGHEL, BENI IZNASSEN. The chief differences among dialects are phonological. There may be other dialects. Coon (1939) says Senhaja de Srair is a separate language. 'Rifia' is the Arabic name for their language, 'Rifi' or 'Ruafa' are names for the people, 'Rif' or 'Riff' geographical names. Muslim. Bible portions 1887-1890. Survey needed.

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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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