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.


bulbul said...

Nice to hear from you again!
Great news about the new blog. Do I detect a hint of the classical tradition in the title? :)

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

Of course - I've always had a soft spot for those rhyming titles... I hope you'll comment on the new blog occasionally as well!

PhoeniX said...

Could you perhaps, put the powerpoint presentation up that you used for the talk on Libyco-Berber. The quality of the video is nowhere near good enough for that, which is a shame.

languagehat said...

Welcome back, and I second the request for the slides.

Lameen Souag الأمين سواق said...

The slides are there, actually - under "qui" in "Il pdf del Powerpoint del seminario puo' essere scaricato qui."

David Marjanović said...

شطة šaṭṭa "Cayenne pepper" from Hausa cìttā

Interesting. Why was the tt interpreted as emphatic?

bulbul said...

Hey David, long time no see :)
This happens a lot with stops and sibilants in borrowings into Arabic:
castrum > qaṣr
batteria > baṭarīya
Washington > wšnṭn
The classical explanation for that is the saliency of the emphatics - to make them Arabic, Arabs make them as Arabic as possible.