Beni Snous dialect

Beni Snous
Native to Algeria
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

Beni Snous is a Berber variety close to Riffian Berber spoken near Tlemcen in Algeria.[1][2][3]

In the early 20th century[4], Beni Snous Berber was spoken in the villages of Kef, Tghalimet, Bou Hallou, Ait Larbi, Ait Achir, Adziddaz, and Mazzer; all speakers were bilingual in the Arabic language. The Beni Snous had no trouble conversing with their Berber-speaking neighbours among the Beni Bou Said just to the west, and (with some difficulty) could communicate in Berber with people from Figuig, Beni Iznacen, and the Zekkara, across the border in Morocco. However, they found Tashelhiyt (in southern Morocco) and Kabyle (in central Algeria) almost unintelligible.

Today, only a few elderly people in the region still speak Berber. Most of the Beni Snous have shifted to Arabic, retaining only a few words from their ancestral language, such as tabɣa "blackberries" or azduz "pestle".[5]

See also



  1. Souag, Lameen (2009-03-19). "Beni-Snous: Two unrelated phonetic forms for every noun?". Jabal al-Lughat. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  2. Ilahiane, Hsain (2006). Historical dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-8108-5452-9.
  3. "Centre de Recherche Berbère - Beni Snous". (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  4. Destaing, Edmond (1907). Etude sur le dialecte berbère des Beni-Snous. Paris: Ernest Leroux. p. XXVIII.
  5. Souag, Lameen; Kherbache, Fatma (9 June 2014). "Syntactically conditioned code-switching? The syntax of numerals in Beni-Snous Berber". International Journal of Bilingualism. SAGE. 18 (4). doi:10.1177/1367006914536002. ISSN 1756-6878.

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