Mauritania

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Arabic, Standard
[arb] Widespread. Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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French
[fra] 5,500 in Mauritania (2013 J. Leclerc). L2 users: 700,000 in Mauritania (2013). Status: 3 (Wider communication). De facto national working language. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Oïl, French. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Hassaniyya
[mey] Widespread. 3,140,000 in Mauritania (2013 J. Leclerc), increasing. Total users in all countries: 3,760,000. Status: 3 (Wider communication). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Hasanya, Hasanya Arabic, Hassani, Hassania, Hassaniya, Hassaniyya Arabic, Klem El Bithan, Maure, Moor. 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. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Comments: White Maure are called Bithan, also used for Maures in general. Black Maures are called Haratine. Muslim.

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Pulaar
[fuc] Brakna, Gorgol, and Trarza regions, near Senegal. 233,000 in Mauritania (2013 J. Leclerc). Status: 5 (Developing). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Peul. Dialects: Toucouleur (Haalpulaar, Pulaar, Tukulor). Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Fula-Wolof, Fula, Western. Comments: Fuuta Tooro (Fouta Toro) was a major Toucouleur geopolitical state, with center in northern Senegal. Muslim.

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Soninke
[snk] Guidimaka, Gorgol, and Dakhlet Nouadhibou regions: Selibaby and Kaedi towns. 45 villages. 180,000 in Mauritania (2011 P. Jorgensen), increasing. Status: 5 (Developing). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Aswanek, Aswanik, Azer, Gangara, Genger, Maraka, Marka, Sarakole, Sarakolle, Sarakule, Sarakulle, Serahule, Soninkanxanne. Dialects: Azer (Adjer, Aser), Kinxenna, Kinbakka. Classification: Niger-Congo, Mande, Western, Northwestern, Soninke-Bobo, Soninke-Boso, Soninke. Comments: Muslim.

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Wolof
[wol] Trarza and Brakna regions. 15,600 in Mauritania (2013 J. Leclerc), increasing. Status: 5 (Dispersed). Statutory language of national identity (1991, Constitution, Article 6). Alternate Names: Ouolof, Volof, Walaf, Yallof. Dialects: Baol, Cayor, Dyolof (Djolof, Jolof), Lebou, Ndyanger. Classification: Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Atlantic, Northern, Senegambian, Fula-Wolof, Wolof. Comments: Muslim.

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Zenaga
[zen] Trarza region: Mederdra to Atlantic coast. 200 in Mauritania (2013 J. Leclerc), decreasing. Total users in all countries: 2,700. Status: 8a (Moribund). Dialects: None known. Related to other Berber languages in basic structure though specific features are quite different. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Berber, Zenaga. Comments: Bedouins, reported to travel mainly in caravans. Racially, both white and black; the latter are descendants of slaves captured centuries ago. Muslim.

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