Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Berber in Libya and Egypt

I am glad to announce a new collaborative blog, in which I will be participating along with Marijn van Putten, Adam Benkato, and possibly others: Oriental Berber, on the Berber languages of Libya and Egypt. Not much there yet, but keep an eye out... The subject seems timely, with Berber having started to be used in Libyan media.

In other news, my Dardja etymology blog now features posts on the origins of zṛudiyya / sfənnariyya / xizzu (carrot), čina (orange), njəm (a kind of grass), jṛana (frog), and ʕətrus (billy-goat.)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some updates: Darja etymologies, sub-Saharan loans, Libyco-Berber

Back again :)

I've often talked about why it's not enough for developing countries to use English or French as a working language for research and leave the majority of their own citizens in the dark. So I'm putting my money where my mouth is (so to speak) and starting a blog in Arabic focused on dialect etymology, a subject rife with popular misconceptions: الأصول التاريخية للدارجة الجزائرية (Historical Origins of the Algerian Dialect). Some of this blog's readers may be interested.

I've written up a finding first posted here - Songhay words in El-Jadida, Morocco - as part of a recently submitted article on sub-Saharan loanwords into North African Arabic. (There aren't many, but more than you might think: one of them, شطة šaṭṭa "Cayenne pepper" from Hausa cìttā, has even made it into Modern Standard Arabic via Egyptian dialect, and another, كابوية kābūya "pumpkin" from Hausa kàbēwā̀, is quite widespread in Algeria.)

MNAMON have posted a video of my talk about Libyco-Berber at Pisa - if you can stand the poor delivery, the content may be interesting. Among other things, I discuss the question of where LB fits into the Berber family tree.