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Description of a Non-western Language II: Berber


Admission requirements

General basic knowledge of linguistics.
This course is part of the track Descriptive Linguistics in the BA Program in Linguistics.


Berbers (Imazighen) constitute about one third of the population in Morocco and a quarter of the opulation of Algeria.

In this course, the grammatical structure of one specific Berber language will be studied, Tarifiyt (Riffian Berber) as spoken in the city of Nador in Morocco. Tarifiyt is the heritage language of most people with a Moroccan migration background in the Netherlands.

In the course the main grammatical structures of the language will be studied, and will involve reading (transcripts of a spoken) texts. This is not a language acquisition course and neither speaking nor listening will be practised.

In addition to the linguistic structures of the language there will also be due attention to its cultural context: sociolinguistics of Northern Africa, language and identity; literature, writing traditions etc.

Course objectives

Knowledge and insight about Tarifiyt Berber and about its linguistic and cultural context. Insight in the linguistic structure and gaining deeper insight into linguistic structures in general on the basis of one specific language. Critical insight into matters that involve Berber, such as questions of language and identity.


Linguistics (BA)

Mode of instruction

Seminar. Presence at the seminar is compulsory.

Course Load

Total course load 5 x 28 hours= 140 hours

  • Lectures: 2x13 = 26 hours

  • Preparation of the lectures and the exam: 112 hours

  • Exam(s): 2 hours

Assessment method

  • Written examination with short open questions and involving translation of a fully glossed tekst (100%)

inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • communication and making course materials available.

Reading list

The syllabus will be provided through Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website


For questions about the content of the course, please contact the teacher:


Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies