Sunday, September 09, 2007
I went to Tizi-Ouzou today, where I bought a few Kabyle-related books. The smallest, a tiny little handbook entitled Cahier d'écriture de l'alphabet tifinagh, or Attafttar, from Editions Baghdadi, Algiers (no date of publication or author given), provided a bit of a surprise. I thought I had seen every variation of Neo-Tifinagh there was to see, but I was wrong; this illustrated children's book presents yet another one. It's essentially Chaker's Neo-Neo-Tifinagh, but with one or two forms from the Academie Berbere alphabet (b, s) plus at least one sign, Arabic ع with the curves straightened out into right angles, that I've never seen anywhere else. You know, I'm not enormously in favour of Neo-Tifinagh to begin with, but the proliferation of variant forms that you find is just ridiculous; in a sufficiently Algerian mood, I could easily believe many of them are put together by anonymous opponents of Tifinagh seeking to weaken it by spreading confusion.