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Jebli Arabic

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Title: Jebli Arabic  
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Subject: Varieties of Arabic, Jijel Arabic, Saharan Arabic, Hasaitic dialect, Judeo-Iraqi Arabic
Collection: Languages of Morocco, Maghrebi Arabic
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Jebli Arabic

Jebli
Jebelia
Native to Morocco
Ethnicity Jbalas, Ghomaras, Sanhajas de Srayr
Native speakers
(this article does not contain any information regarding the number of speakers)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 (included in ary)
Glottolog jebl1238[1]
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Ethnolinguistic map of northern Morocco: purple represents Jebli-speaking areas, blue represents other pre-Hilalian Arabic-speaking areas (old Urban, Zerhoun and Sefrou area)

Jebli (Jebelia) is a pre-Hilalian Arabic dialect spoken in the mountains of the north of Morocco.

The word jebli means "of/from the mountain". It is mainly spoken in the western and southern Rif by tribes of Berber descent that were Arabicized from the 9th to the 15th centuries:

  • Jbalas: all the forty-four tribes speak Jebli Arabic ;
  • Ghomaras: out of nine tribes, seven are fully Jebli-speaking, the two remaining are partially Jebli-speaking with a significant Ghomara Berber-speaking community ;
  • Sanhajas de Srayr: one Jebli-speaking tribe –Ketama– out of ten tribes, the remaining (nine) speak Sanhaja Berber ;
  • Riffians: out of twenty tribes, six are fully or partially Arabophone; among them, five speak Mountain Arabic −Targuist, Aït Itteftf, Aït Boufrah, Mestasa and Metioua− while the last one –Settout– speak Hilalian Arabic ;
  • Ghiatas, Maghraouas and Meknassas: the three tribes –that aren't part of any larger confederacy– are fully Jebli-speaking ;
  • Tribes of Zerhoun (Zerahnas) and the neighborhood of Sefrou (Kechtala, Behalil and Yazgha): although not belonging to the same ethno-linguistic group than Jebalas, their pre-Hilalian dialects are sometimes classified as belonging to the same macro-family
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