The language has now almost completely replaced the Berber languages
that were originally spoken in this region. Although clearly a western
dialect, Hassānīya is relatively distant from other Maghrebi
variants of Arabic. Its geographical location exposed it to influence
from Zenaga-Berber and Wolof . There are several dialects of
Hassānīya which differ primarily phonetically. Today, Hassānīya is
* 1 Phonology * 2 Code-switching * 3 Speakers distribution * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links
The phonological system of Hassānīya is both very innovative and
very conservative. All phonemes of
However, there is sometimes a double correspondence of a classical sound and its dialectal counterpart. Thus classical /q/ is represented by /ɡ/ in /ɡbaðˤ/ 'to take' but by /q/ in /mqass/ 'scissors'. Similarly, /dˤ/ becomes /ðˤ/ in /ðˤəħk/ 'laugh (noun)', but /dˤ/ in /mrˤədˤ/ 'to be sick'. Some consonant roots even have a double appearance: /θaqiːl/ 'heavy (mentally)' vs. /θɡiːl/ 'heavy (materially)'. Some of the "classicizing" forms are easily explained as recent loans from the literary language (such as /qaː.nuːn/ 'law') or from sedentary dialects in case of concepts pertaining to the sedentary way of life (such as /mqass/ 'scissors' above). For others, there is no obvious explanation (like /mrˤədˤ/ 'to be sick'). Etymological /ðˤ/ appears constantly as /ðˤ/, never as /dˤ/.
Nevertheless, the phonemic status of /q/ and /dˤ/ as well as /ɡ/
and /ðˤ/ appears very stable, unlike in many other
Hassānīya has innovated many consonants by the spread of the
distinction emphatic/non-emphatic. In addition to the above-mentioned,
/rˤ/ and /lˤ/ have a clear phonemic status and /bˤ fˤ ɡˤ mˤ
nˤ/ more marginally so. One additional emphatic phoneme /zˤ/ is
acquired from the neighbouring Zenaga Berber language along with a
whole palatal series /c ɟ ɲ/ from
On the phonetic level, the classical consonants /f/ and /θ/ are usually realised as voiced (hereafter marked /v/) and . The latter is still, however, pronounced differently from /ð/, the distinction probably being in the amount of air blown out (Cohen 1963: 13–14). In geminated and word-final positions both phonemes are voiceless, for some speakers /θ/ apparently in all positions. The uvular fricative /ʁ/ is likewise realised voiceless in a geminated position, although not fricative but plosive: . In other positions, etymological /ʁ/ seems to be in free variation with /q/ (etymological /q/, however varies only with /ɡ/).
Vowel phonemes come in two series: long and short. The long vowels
are the same as in
As in most Maghrebi Arabic dialects, etymological short vowels are generally dropped in open syllables (except for the feminine noun ending /-a/): */tak.tu.biː/ > /tə.ktbi/ 'you (f. sg.) write', */ka.ta.ba/ > */ka.tab/ > /ktəb/ 'he wrote'. In the remaining closed syllables dialectal /a/ generally corresponds to classical /a/, while classical /i/ and /u/ have merged into /ə/. Remarkably, however, morphological /j/ is represented by and /w/ by in a word-initial pre-consonantal position: /u.ɡəft/ 'I stood up' (root w-g-f; cf. /ktəbt/ 'I wrote', root k-t-b), /i.naɡ.ɡaz/ 'he descends' (subject prefix i-; cf. /jə.ktəb/ 'he writes', subject prefix jə-). In some contexts this initial vowel even gets lengthened, which clearly demonstrates its phonological status of a vowel: /uːɡ.vu/ 'they stood up'. In addition, short vowels /a i/ in open syllables are found in Berber loanwords, such as /a.raː.ɡaːʒ/ 'man', /i.vuː.kaːn/ 'calves of 1 to 2 years of age', and /u/ in passive formation: /u.ɡaː.bəl/ 'he was met' (cf. /ɡaː.bəl/ 'he met').
Many educated Hassaniya
According to Ethnologue, there are approximately three million Hassaniya speakers, distributed as follows:
* Mauritania: 2,770,000 (2006) * Algeria: 150,000 (1985) * Western Sahara: unknown * Mali: 175,800–210,000 (2000) * Morocco: 195,000 (1995) * Libya: 40,000 (1985) * Niger: 10,000 (1998) * Senegal: 7,190 (2006)
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This article includes a list of references , but ITS SOURCES REMAIN UNCLEAR because it has INSUFFICIENT INLINE CITATIONS . Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (June 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message )
* ^ Hassaniyya at
* Cohen, David; el Chennafi, Mohammed (1963). Le dialecte arabe
ḥassānīya de Mauritanie (parler de la Gəbla). Paris: Librairie C.
Klincksieck. ISBN 2-252-00150-X .
* "Hassaniya, the
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* Definitions from Wiktionary * Data from Wikidata