Hassaniyya

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A language of Mauritania

Alternate Names
Hasanya, Hasanya Arabic, Hassani, Hassania, Hassaniya, Hassaniyya Arabic, Klem El Bithan, Maure, Moor
Population

3,140,000 in Mauritania (2013 J. Leclerc), increasing. Total users in all countries: 3,760,000.

Location

Widespread.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6).

Dialects

None known. Not intelligible with other Arabic varieties. The Nemadi (Ikoku) are an ethnic group of 200 (1967) that speak Hassaniyya, but they have special morphemes for dogs, hunting, and houses. Nomadic between Mali and Mauritania.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use French [fra], Standard Arabic [arb]. Used as L2 by Pulaar [fuc], Soninke [snk], Zenaga [zen].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 40% in Arabic [arb], 25% in French [fra]. Literacy in Hassaniyya not encouraged by the government. Radio programs. Dictionary.
Writing

Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab]. Latin script [Latn], in development.

Other Comments

White Maure are called Bithan, also used for Maures in general. Black Maures are called Haratine. Muslim.

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