French-speaking readers may also be interested in a post I recently made on my other blog, responding to an unusually error-ridden article about the Berber elements of Darja: Les Algériens qui ont oublié les dictionnaires de leurs ancêtres. My initial response was somewhat irritated, as you see, but on reflection there's something fascinating about it as well: how is it that there are dozens of words in daily use in Algerian Arabic that can easily be found in any sufficiently big Classical dictionary, but that are so rare in the Modern Standard Arabic of Algeria that literate people are capable of assuming they must be from some other language? If Modern Standard and Classical are both Fusha - which is how Algerians tend to think of them - then why are these words so systematically avoided by Algerians when they try to write Fusha?
Friday, February 22, 2013
Explaining Korandjé; Darja etymologies
Some readers may be interested in a paper of mine that should be coming sometime soon in the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics: Explaining Korandjé: Language contact, plantations, and the trans-Saharan trade. It's an attempt to explain how a Songhay language ended up being spoken so far north, in a location so isolated from all its relatives, and when it got there. This is a pre-review version; the one that will actually be published contains a number of improvements. However, your comments are welcome!