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Hassani dialect

Hassani dialect

The Hassani dialect is reputed to be one of the oldest Arabic dialects. It is spoken in the southern Moroccan provinces and over a geographical area extending to the Senegal River in southern Mauritania.

Sahrawi community refer to it as “Klam Al Bidhane” (Arabic for Whites dialect) to distinguish it from sub-Saharan African dialects.

The Hassani dialect is characterized by specific phonetical and morphological features. Despite the large geographical area over which it is spoken, it presents a great unit, and if there exist some differences, it is mainly related to the lexicon.

Like other dialects, Hassaniya has phonetic differences from one region to another. The most important difference is in the pronunciation of the letter "Kaf" "Ghine". Unlike other Bedouin dialects of North Africa, Hassaniya was
able to maintain a very close structure to classical Arabic since a large part of its vocabulary is derived from this language.

Moreover, the specificity of the Hassani dialect appears in the conservation
of a good number of features and characteristics of classical Arabic, both in phonetics and semantics.

This has not prevented it from being enriched over time with new words and of some Amazigh expressions, particularly in the areas of agriculture, medicinal herbs and geographical names.

This is not a coincidence since the regions who speak Hassani dialect were initially Amazighs. Besides, the current speakers of Hassani are a mixture of Amazighs and Arabs.

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