Afro-Asiatic - Berber
The Berber languages are mainly spoken in Morocco and Algeria. A very sparse population extends into the whole Sahara and the northern part of the Sahel. They belong to Afro-Asiatic languages phylum.
Among the Berber languages are Rif-Berber or Riffi (Northern Morocco), Kabyl (Algeria) and Tamazight, spoken by the Imazighen (lit. 'noblemen') from Algeria and Tunisia. Tamazight was an oral language only, until the end of the 20th century, when a written alphabet was construed.
The Berber languages in the Maghreb have officially been subjected to Arab, as part of government policy and was mainly spoken at home and in villages. However, with a growing tribe-awareness and desire for (at least cultural) independence (especially among the Kabyl people), the mother tongue has become more important and efforts are made to make for instance formal education bi-lingual. In this sense, Berber languages have become political tools to support the struggle for (more) independence.
The Berber languages are subdivided inBerber