Kabyle

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A language of Algeria

Alternate Names
Amazigh, Kabyl, Kabylia, Tamazight
Autonym
Taqbaylit
Population

L1 users: 5,000,000 (2012). Total users in all countries: 5,586,000.

Location

Bouira, Béjaïa, Tizi Ouzou, Bordj Bou Arréridj, Sétif, M’Sila, Jijel, Boumerdès, Mila, and Médéa provinces; Mediterranean coast east of Algiers; from Thenia to Béjaïa (Grande Kabylie dialect); coast and inland between Tichy and Ziama Mansouria, Aokas and Tizi n Berber (Lesser Kabyle dialect).

Language Status

5 (Developing). Statutory language of national identity (2002, Constitutional Revision, Law No. 02-03).

Dialects

Greater Kabyle, Lesser Kabyle (Tasahlit). Lesser Kabyle (Tasahlit) may be a separate language.

Typology

Gender (masculine/feminine); verb affixes mark person, number, gender of subject; tense and aspect; 47 consonant and 4 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Home, market. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use French [fra], especially by men in trade and correspondence.

Language Development
Bible: 2011.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], primary usage. Tifinagh (Berber) script [Tfng], symbolic use only.

Other Comments

Kabyle reported by some sources to derive from the Arabic word for tribesman. Patrilineal and patrilocal. Muslim, Christian.

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