Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tunisian Berber

Amazing things turn up at the University of Western Sydney: a complete thesis online offering An outline of the Shilha (Berber) vernacular of Douiret (Southern Tunisia). Check it out; the rather endangered Berber varieties of Tunisia are quite ill-documented.

7 comments:

Dave said...

Thanks. Always exciting and good to find more info on a lesser-known language! I recently ordered and received a grammar dissertation on Yuchi.

I like Berber's single-sound prepositions reminiscent of Slavic.

KNL said...

I had no idea there were still that many Berbers in Tunisia to begin with!


Great link.

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Nancy said...

I have a question for you. Do you know where among Arabic dialects the "g" of English "get" is found? I know it's in Egyptian, but anywhere else? Thanks.

Lameen Souag said...

Offhand:

jiim pronounced as "g" is found in parts of Yemen as well as lower Egypt, I think. It actually corresponds to the older Semitic pronunciation.

qaaf pronounced as "g" is found almost everywhere: throughout most of Arabia, in most of Iraq, in a lot of North Africa, in parts of Syria and Palestine, basically any place that Bedouins emigrated to after the Abbasid period or thereabouts. As an incidental result, Algerians and Tunisians write the sound "g" using a qaaf with three dots, rather than a kaaf with a line on top as sometimes happens in the Middle East.

g coming from foreign loanwords is pretty common even in areas where neither of these sound changes happened - Maltese, for example.

Nancy said...

Thanks a lot for the information. I'd seen that three-dot qaaf and wondered what it was.

Lameen Souag said...

Confusingly, faa with three dots, in much of the Middle East, is read "v" (following Kurdish practice, I believe.)