Tamajaq, Tawallammat


A language of Niger

Alternate Names
Amazigh, Tahoua, Tahoua Tamajeq, Tamachek, Tamashekin, Tamasheq, Tewellemet, Tomacheck, Touareg, Tourage, Tuareg

450,000 in Niger (1998). Population total all countries: 640,000.


Eastern dialect: central Tahoua area from Ingal to Mali border; western dialect: west, north and northwest of Niamey.

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Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Recognized language (1999, Constitution, Article 3).


Tawallammat Tan Ataram, Tawallammat Tan Dannag (Ioullemmeden). A member of macrolanguage Tamashek [tmh].

Language Use

Some children in urban areas no longer speak Tamajaq. Home, market, commerce, some schools. All ages. Positive attitudes. Used as L2 by Tagdal [tda], Tasawaq [twq].

Language Development
Slowly growing interest in literacy. About 16 primary schools use experimental curriculum taught in Tamajaq for the first 3 years. French gradually introduced until it becomes the primary language of instruction. Taught in primary schools. Radio programs. Bible portions: 1979–2006.

Latin script [Latn]. Tifinagh (Berber) script [Tfng], called Shifinagh in Niger.

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