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1. a member of a Caucasoid Muslim people of N Africa
2. the language of this people, forming a subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages. There are extensive differences between dialects



the language of the Berbers. It is spoken in the United Arab Republic, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, the western Sahara, Mauritania, Upper Volta, Niger, Nigeria, and the Republic of Chad. It is related to the Hamito-Semitic languages. The language is divided into a large number of dialects (about 300), which can be unified in five basic dialectical groups: Tuareg (about 500,000 people in Libya, Algeria, Mali, Upper Volta, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad); Zenete (over 2 million people in Algeria, the Algerian Sahara, and northern Morocco); Tamazight (about 2 million people in Morocco); Tashelhit (about 2 million people in Morocco); and Zenaga (about 10,000 people in Mauritania). There are about 7 million Berber-speaking people. While the Berber language is losing ground to Arabic in the United Arab Republic, Libya, Tunisia, and Mauritania, the Berber-speaking population is increasing yearly in Algeria and Morocco.

The Berber language has three groups of phonemes—consonants, vowels, and sonants. The accent is very weak; a root may consist of one, two, three, and even four consonants. The phonetic, morphological, syntactical, and lexicological unity of Berber dialects is unconditional, and thus one can speak of one language.

In Berber culture, oral popular art is predominant. From ancient times there have been attempts to give the Berber language and its dialects written form with the assistance of different systems of writing: the Berber Tifinaq and the Arabic and Latin alphabets.


Zavadovskii, Iu. N. Berberskii iazyk. Moscow, 1967.
Basset, A. “Les parlers berbères.” In Initiation à la Tunisie. Paris, 1950.
Picard, A. “Les parlers berbères.” In Initiation à l’Algérie. Paris, 1957.
Laoust, E. “Les parlers berbères.” In Initiation au Maroc. Paris, 1959.
References in periodicals archive ?
I was pleased with the local Berbers, the food was superb and the homemade rakiya complemented it all nicely," Todor said.
The King Fahd Complex, which prints the Quran in 100 languages, gave the copies to the Saudi embassy and the ministry took charge of distributing them in regions with Berber majority, particularly the provinces of Tizi Ouzou, 100 kilometers east of the capital, and BE[umlaut]jaE[macron]a, 250 kilometers east of the capital.
In Chapter 3, titled "Gender of Authenticity," the author chronicles the feminization of Tashelhit as illiterate women overburdened with agricultural and daily household labor become cultural and political emblems of the preservation of Tashelhit language and Berber identity.
The famous population movements of Arab tribes Banu Hilal and the Banu Sulaym from the eleventh century changed the ethnic composition, and also led to many Berber tribes slowly modifying their identity and language and reappearing as "Arabs", with SunnT theology as an evident element of this Arabization.
Most days, we were woken by the Berber drum at about 7am and had 30 minutes to pack away our sleeping bags, mats and thermals ready for breakfast.
In this context, the Berbers were not represented: they were forced to deny their own identity through a policy of Algerianization that expected them to efface their own memories, supposedly for a bigger, better and higher Algerian identity.
From left, Andy Jackson, Gareth Hopkins, Colin James and a local Berber guide at the summit of the Jebal Toubkal where they raised the banner marking the Scouting movement's centenary.
The Seven Addictions And Five Professions Of Anita Berber: Weimar Berlin's Priestess Of Depravity is the career story of actor, dancer, poet, and sex culture icon Anita Berber, who scandalized Weimar Berlin by appearing naked in nightclubs and casinos save for a sable wrap.
It's worth coming out to Morocco just to visit this incredible 'hospitality centre' run by the local Berber community.
Berber of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland.
The Northeast, where they prefer Saxonies and velvets, is the most colorful, while the West Coast, where more casual berbers and friezes are preferred, is the least, she said.