Sunday, October 27, 2013

CORVAM, Ghomara recording

I was happy to learn of a new, if still rather small, corpus of audio files for North Africa: CORVAM. There is a good deal of Moroccan Arabic and a little Tunisian and Libyan Arabic, but the most exciting recording from my perspective is a short one of Ghomara Berber (a variety spoken in northern Morocco, very interesting both for Berber historical linguistics and for general language contact, previously discussed here: Berber words in Roman times, and Ghomara Berber material). It makes a nice complement to the much older SemArch, for Semitic languages.

Of course, these days you can find a surprising range of recordings just from YouTube. For example, several interviews in the Berber variety of the Blida Atlas south of Algiers; a rap song in Tunisian Berber; an interview in Libyan Berber (Yefren). But those don't come with transcriptions, much less translations...

1 comment:

PhoeniX said...

Very nice. But man, the speaker is difficult to understand.

Lately I've been having weekly reading sessions of Ghomara Berber with Khalid Mourigh.

It's an amazing language. The fact that the language has access to passive participles from Arabic, actually makes a lot of sentences a great deal more... European to me.

The language also really tests my rather limited grasp of Moroccan Arabic.

But most awesome of all, from a historical linguistic perspective is the reflex of Proto-Berber *e as /a/.

It's funny that a language so heavily influenced by Arabic is the one 'Northern Berber' language that can give us info about the Proto-Berber *e (albeit only in comparison with other North Berber languages).