Siwi: addressee agreement and addressing Aljazeera

After all these Eastern Berber texts, you’re probably thinking it would be nice to hear what the languages actually sound like.  Well, Aljazeera did a report on Siwa last year, available on YouTube – The Egyptian Oasis of Siwa – and, between 0:45 and 1:18, you can hear a brief speech by Shaykh Umar Rajih in Siwi:

níš yəħlayíyya kóm, ánni əlməláff qanát-əjjazíra yusída i šál n isíwan. ítta, ínni geyssə́knas i lʕáləm ənnúba ínni máṣṛa ɣúṛəs šaliwə́n amsérwən, ɣúəs šaliwə́n nṭifə́n, yəftkína i itádəm nnúba, ṣəfħə́t təftíka i nnúba, geyẓrə́ntət əlʕáləm – qáčči itádəm isáwalən fə́llas af-ə́nni yə́xsən, ulá; térwən isíwan, térwən- wérwən šál aqdím d amra dawérwən wérwən əlwəđʕə́nnəs, ixə́ss itádəm nnúba, iṛə́ħħəb s itádəm ənnúba.

Translation: “It pleases me very much that Aljazeera Channel’s “The File” has come to the town of Siwa. Why? So that it can show the whole world that Egypt has towns like this, has clean towns, open to the whole world, a page open to all, for the world to see. Not people talking about it however they like, no. This is Siwa, this is an old town, and right now this is its situation: it loves all people, it welcomes all people.”

To understand the “not people talking about it however they like”, you should be aware that a previous episode of the same program had featured an Egyptian guest academic who made bizarre and unfounded claims that Israelis were visiting a traditional Siwi religious festival in busloads as part of a plan to Judaise the Siwis – an allegation which the Siwis got very annoyed about.

However, I’m not posting this to illustrate local politics, but rather to illustrate the importance of a corpus with a wide range of genres.  Speeches to large audiences are hardly the commonest genre recorded in language documentation.  But as it happens, Siwi has a three-term demonstrative system – near speaker wa etc., near hearer wok etc., and far wih etc. – and the middle term, which as it happens is also the commonest, varies its form according to the gender and number of the addressee, as well as of the referent.  (For details, see the appropriate chapter of my thesis Grammatical Contact in the Sahara.)  If Shaykh Umar had been speaking to one man, he’d have used amsok (like this), tok (this f.), wok (this m.), dawok (this m. as modifier) instead of amserwən, terwən, werwən, dawerwən; if to one woman, amsom, tom, wom, dawom.  A corpus consisting only of short stories told to a single listener – which is all we have for most Eastern Berber varieties – would most likely contain no examples of this form at all, almost irrespective of length. This is unfortunate, since the -k suffixes found on some demonstratives in Awjila and Sokna look very much like they could exemplify the same – typologically very unusual – system of addressee agreement.

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El-Fogaha Text II

Yusə́d žḥa n-əlġə́rb yə-žḥá n-əššə́rəq

‘Juha of the west came to Juha of the east.’

  • Yusə́d ‘to come’ pf.3sg.m.
  • žḥa Personal name. But here it seems to rather refer to a type of story-persona, rather than the historical Juha as in the previous story.
  • n- ‘of’
  • əlġə́rb ‘the west’ cf. Ar. ġarb ‘id.’
  • yə- Indirect object and directional marker
  • žḥa Personal name.
  • n- ‘of’
  • əššə́rəq ‘the east’ cf. Ar. šarq ‘id.’

Tláqu.

‘They met with each other’

  • Tláqu Code switch to Arabic. pf.3pl.m. of lāqa ‘to meet’ with reciprocal t-

Yənn-ás: yə́lla a-núkər

‘The one (of the west) said to him (of the east): Let’s go steal!

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • yə́lla ‘let’s go!’ cf. dial. Ar. yə́lla ‘id.’
  • a-núkər ‘to steal’ fut.1pl.

Yənn-ás: ə́sk əlmətʕat-ə́nnak arə́n.

‘The one (of the east) said to him (of the west): Put flour among your things

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • ə́sk ‘to put’ imp.sg. A verb that takes a double accusative, apparently the second accusative gets put in the noun phrase of the first accusative.
  • əlmətʕat- ‘things’ cf. Ar. matāʕ pl. amtiʕa ‘id.’
  • -ə́nnak 2sg.m. possessive pronoun
  • arə́n ‘flour’

Wa n-əlġə́rb yəská arə́n d yəská ss-addáyy-ə́nnas tnifə́st.

‘The one of the west put the flour (away) and put it underneath ashes.’

  • Wa m.sg. deictic pronoun
  • n- ‘of’
  • əlġə́rb ‘the west’
  • yəská ‘to put’ pf.3sg.m.
  • arə́n ‘flour’
  • d ‘and’
  • yəská ‘to put’ pf.3sg.m.
  • ss-addáyy- ‘below, underneath’
  • -ə́nnas 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • tnifə́st ‘ash’

Wa n-əššə́rəq yəská téni d yəská s-addáyy-ə́nnas tískin.

‘The one of the east put the dates (away) and put it underneath excrement.’

  • Wa m.sg. deictic pronoun
  • n- ‘of’
  • əššə́rəq ‘the east’
  • yəská ‘to put’ pf.3sg.m.
  • téni ‘dates (coll.)’
  • d ‘and’
  • yəská ‘to put’ pf.3sg.m.
  • s-addáyy- ‘below, underneath’
  • -ə́nnas 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • tískin ‘excrement’

D uġárən, yusə́d əlwə́qt ən-mə́nsi.

‘And they went, The time of dinner arrived.’

  • d ‘and’
  • uġárən ‘to go’ pf.3pl.m.
  • yusə́d ‘to come’ pf.3sg.m.
  • əlwə́qt ‘time’, this word is masculine in Arabic, but in many Berber languages it is reinterpreted as a feminine noun due to the final -t. This is not the case in El-Fogaha.
  • ən- ‘of’
  • mə́nsi ‘dinner’

Wa n-əlġə́rb yənná yə-žḥá n-əššə́rq: áš-id əlmətʕát-ənnak, a-nəmə́nsu.

‘The one from the west said to Juha of the east: Give me your stuff, let’s have dinner!

  • Wa m.sg. deictic pronoun
  • n- ‘of’
  • əlġə́rb ‘the west’
  • yənná ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • yə- Indirect object and directional marker
  • žḥa Personal name.
  • n- ‘of’
  • əššə́rəq ‘the east’
  • áš- ‘to give’ imp.sg.
  • -id 1sg. indirect object pronoun
  • əlmətʕát- ‘things’
  • -ə́nnak 2sg.m. possessive pronoun
  • a-nəmə́nsu ‘to have dinner’ fut.1pl.

Wa n-əššə́rq yənn-ás ḥə́tta nə́tta: ášid əlmətʕat-ə́nnak.

‘The one of the east said to him (the one of the west) too: Give me your things.

  • Wa m.sg. deictic pronoun
  • n- ‘of’
  • əššə́rq ‘the east’
  • yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m
  • -ás 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • ḥə́tta ‘also’
  • nə́tta ‘he’
  • áš- ‘to give’ imp.sg.
  • -id 1sg. indirect object pronoun
  • əlmətʕát- ‘things’
  • -ə́nnak 2sg.m. possessive pronoun

Yuš-ás-tət, yəssə́kma afus-ə́nnas ġəs a-yə́kkʸ.

‘He gave it to him, He thrust his hand in order to eat.’

  • Yuš- ‘to give’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • -tət 3sg.f. direct object pronoun
  • yəssə́kma pf.3sg.m. ‘to insert, to thrust in’
  • afus- ‘hand’
  • -ə́nnas 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • ġəs ‘to want to’, used as an Auxiliary verb, this verb generally does not take PNG (Person Number Gender) marking, as is the case here. While Paradisi does not list another meaning than ‘to want to’ for this Auxiliary, in translation this verb is more comfortably translated as ‘in order to’ or ‘because he wanted to’.
  • a-yə́kkʸ ‘to eat’ fut.3sg.m.

Tusə́d afus-ə́nnas dag tnífəst;

‘His hand arrived in the ash’

  • Tusə́d ‘to come’ pf.3sg.f., for some reason the word afus-, which morphologically looks like a masculine noun, takes feminine subject agreement. Must be a calque on Arabic yad ‘hand’ which is also feminine, despite having no morphological indication that it is feminine. (p.c. Souag)
  • afus- ‘hand’
  • -ə́nnas 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • dag ‘in’
  • tnifə́st ‘ash’

d n-əlġə́rb yəssə́kma afus-ə́nnas ġəs ayə́kkʸ,

‘And (the one) of the west thrust his hand in order to eat’

  • d ‘and’
  • n- ‘of’
  • əlġə́rb ‘the west’
  • afus- ‘hand’
  • -ə́nnas 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • ġəs ‘to want to’ auxiliary pf.3sg.m.
  • a-yə́kkʸ ‘to eat’ fut.3sg.m.

tusə́d dag tískin.

‘His hand arrived in the excrement.’

  • Tusə́d ‘to come’ pf.3sg.f.
  • dag ‘in’
  • tískin ‘excrement’

Bə́ʕəd əkkán uġárən d ukárən agmár n-əṣṣəlṭán.

‘After they ate, they went and stole the horse of the Sultan’

  • Bə́ʕəd ‘after’ cf. Ar. baʕda  ‘id.’
  • əkkán ‘to eat’ pf.3pl.m.
  • uġárən ‘to go’ pf.3pl.m.
  • d ‘and’
  • ukárən ‘to steal’ pf.3pl.m.
  • agmár ‘horse’
  • n- ‘of’
  • əṣṣəlṭán ‘Sultan’

Wáyyən-t d ġrəsə́n-t.

‘They took it and they slaughtered it’

  • Wáyyən- ‘to take along’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • d ‘and’
  • ġrəsə́n- ‘to slaughter’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun

Man ġrə́sən-t izínan-t s-zgə́n.

‘When they slaughtered it, they divided it in half’

  • Man ‘when; where’
  • ġrə́sən- ‘to slaughter’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • izínan- ‘to divide’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • s-zgə́n litt. ‘with half’

ə́lli wa yuġá əlḥəqq-ánnəs d yuġə́r y-imeddə́n-nas.

‘Each one took his share and went to his people’

  • ə́lli Usually the relative pronoun, but in this case the ə́lli wa construction seems to translate as ‘each one’
  • wa m.sg. deictic pronoun
  • yuġá ‘to take’ pf.3sg.m.
  • əlḥəqq- ‘one’s due, share’ cf. Ar. ḥaqq ‘truth; one’s due’
  • -ánnəs 3sg. possessive pronoun. Odd vocalism, should perhaps be read as -ə́nnəs with a colored ə́ under influence of the final q, this would imply that the form that we usually find -ə́nnas written by Paradisi as -énnas should be interpreted as phonemic /-ə́nnəs/, which, etymologically is preferable.
  • d ‘and’
  • yuġə́r ‘to go’ pf.3sg.m.
  • y- ‘to’
  • imeddə́n ‘people’
  • -nas 3sg. possessive pronoun

Yəská úmmi isúggar dag žžurrat-ə́nsən lə́l yufá man ġrə́sən-t.

‘(The Sultan) made someone search their tracks until he found where they slaughtered it.’

  • Yəská ‘to make, put’ pf.3sg.m. Seems to be used to create a periphrastic causative, maybe not grammaticalised. One could read it as ‘The sultan put/set someone to search…’
  • úmmi ‘who’ to be read as ‘someone’.
  • isúggar ‘to search’ impf.3sg.m.
  • dag ‘in’, marker of direct object of an imperfect verb.
  • žžurrat- ‘tracks’ cf. Ar. žurrāt ‘tracks’
  • -ə́nsən 3pl.m. possessive pronoun
  • lél ‘until’
  • yufá ‘to find’ pf.3sg.m.
  • man ‘when; where’
  • ġrə́sən- ‘to slaughter’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun

Yuġə́r dag žžurrat-ə́nsən, iwə́ṭ-ṭən (< iwə́ḍ-tən) d yəṭṭə́f-tən d yəḥbə́s-tən.

‘He went in their tracks, he caught up with them and he seized them and imprisoned them’

  • Yuġə́r ‘to go’ pf.3sg.m.
  • dag ‘in’
  • žžurrat- ‘tracks’ cf. Ar. žurrāt ‘tracks’
  • -ə́nsən 3pl.m. possessive pronoun
  • iwə́ḍ ‘to join’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -tən 3pl.m. direct object pronoun
  • d ‘and’
  • yəṭṭə́f- ‘to seize’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -tən 3pl.m. direct object pronoun
  • d ‘and’
  • yəḥbə́s- ‘to imprison’ pf.3sg.m. cf. Ar. ḥabasa ‘to shut off, confine’
  • -tən 3pl.m. direct object pronoun

Kull íggən iwáyyəd agmár y-əṣṣəlṭán d yəllə́f-tən.

‘Each one took a horse to the sultan and he let them go.’

  • Kull ‘Each, all, every’ cf. Ar. kull ‘id.’
  • íggən ‘one’
  • iwáyyəd ‘to take’ pf.3sg.m.
  • agmár ‘horse’
  • y- ‘to’
  • əṣṣəlṭán ‘Sultan’
  • d ‘and’
  • yəllə́f- ‘to set free’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -tən 3pl.m. direct object pronoun

M. van Putten

The Languages of the Fezzan in the 19th Century

[The following is a short article by Maarten Kossmann of Leiden University]

The Fezzan is the name of a large region occupying the whole south-eastern quarter of present-day Libya. It consists of several groups of oases. The first group lies along the Wadi Shati, most to the north. Its best known centre is Brak. The second group lies along the Wadi al-Ajal, more or less parallel south to the Wadi Shati and includes the large Sebha oasis. The third group of oases lies along a number of valleys parallel south to the Wadi al-Ajal. This includes important towns such as the old slave market Murzuq, the former residence of the Kanem governor in the Fezzan, Traghen, and the old trading town Zawila. Still further south, in a north-south direction there are a few small oases, normally subsumed under the name of the main centre, Gatrun. In the extreme north-east of the Fezzan lies the isolated oasis El-Fogaha.

With the exception of the Arabs, the sedentary inhabitants of these oases are called Fazazna (i.e. inhabitants of the Fezzan), which does not imply a linguistic affiliation. Nowadays the sedentary population of the Fezzan consists exclusively of speakers of a nomadic variant of dialectal Arabic.[1]

1. Berber in the Fezzan

While few people would doubt the importance of the Berber language in the linguistic history of the Fezzan, Berber speaking populations are only scarcely mentioned in 19th and 20th century records. One may resume these mentions as follows.

a. El-Fogaha

The use of Berber in this small oasis of about 300 inhabitants was first remarked by Heinrich Barth,[2] and rediscovered by Francesco Beguinot in the 1930s.[3] In 1960, the Italian Berberologist Umberto Paradisi visited the oasis and found two or three persons who still spoke Berber. These people provided him with some texts and a word list, which consist the only available information on any Fezzani Berber dialect.[4]

b. Tmassa

According to Nachtigal Berber was spoken in this easternmost village of the chain of oases to which Murzuq and Zawila belong.[5] There is no information on this from other sources and the language had almost certainly died out by the 20th century.

c. Other oases

Emilio Scarin, who wrote a very detailed geographical and anthropometrical study of the Fezzan remarks that in the early 1930s, some old people in Brak, Sebha and Murzuq remembered that, when they were young, part of the population of these oases spoke Berber.[6] One notes with some wonder that the oases in question are among the most important centres of the Fezzan; possibly these recollections refer to immigrant communities, but on the other hand this geographical distribution may be inherent to the nature of a reconnaissance study: Scarin may have had more access to the recollections of old people in those places where he stayed longest, which probably the larger centres. In the case of Murzuq, it is remarkable, however, that none of the 19th century travelers, most of whom spent considerable time in the town, mentions Berber among the languages spoken there.

By 1944-45, nobody in the Fezzan (except El-Fogaha) could remember that people had spoken Berber formerly.[7]

On the whole, one may assume that with the extinction of Berber in El-Fogaha, no indigenous Berber variant has survived in the Fezzan. All other mentions of Berbers in the Fezzan refer to recent immigrants.[8]

2. Kanuri in the Fezzan

a. Kanuri as the main vehicular and native language of the region

Kanuri must have played an important role during the Kanem/Bornu occupation of the Fezzan. Duveyrier was told in Murzuq that “in the times of the Ulad Muhammad [i.e. until 1811, MK], everything was in the manner of the negro country. The sultan had a ganga, a black guard:[9] the language was almost kanôri, and all names given to places or objects came from this language”.[10] This is exemplified by the testimony of Fr. Hornemann, dating from the last decade of the 18th century, who mentions a kind of singer-prostitutes, called kadenka, who sing their songs mostly in “Sudanic”.[11]

There is considerable dissention among 19th century authors who visited Fezzan about the status of Kanuri. Thus Gerhard Rohlfs, who visited the Fezzan in 1865, remarks that “in the Fezzan, indigenous languages are especially Kanuri (Bornu language), which is even spoken by young children before they learn Arabic, then Arabic, and moreover many people understand Tuareg, Teda or Hausa. If, with such a mixed population, one can speak of a national language, this must be applied to the language of Bornu, as this is understood and spoken most generally.”[12] This impression was doubtlessly based on Rohlfs’ experiences in Murzuq, where he spent considerable time. They stand in considerable contrast to the statement by Duveyrier, who visited Murzuq four years earlier: “The language nowadays spoken in Murzuq and even in the largest part of the Fezzan is Arabic.”[13] As mentioned above, he cites the use of Kanuri in Murzuq as a thing of the past. Similarly, Heinrich Barth, who travelled through the region in 1849, does not mention the use of Kanuri in the Fezzan. In fact, in spite of his great interest in linguistic matters, he does not provide any information on the language spoken in Murzuq, where he stayed a while. This is most easily understood if its language was the “default”, i.e. Arabic. His only comment on the linguistic make-up of the region is the following: “Mohammed told me that in Fezzan every region has its own specific dialect, and stated that, while the inhabitants of the Wadi al-Shati have a good Arabic, very much resembling that of Mizdah [in Tripolitania, MK], the inhabitants of the “Big Wadi” (Wadi al-Gharbi) would have a highly corrupted idiom”.[14]

The most elaborate description of the linguistic situation in the Fezzan was given by Gustav Nachtigal, who stayed in Murzuq during the year 1869, and, as a medical doctor, had the occasion to visit many different homes in that town.[15] In the first place he stresses the importance of Sudanic languages: “More generally in use [than Arabic MK] is the language of Bornu, which is given preference over Hausa, though that too is widely known, and which has spread more or less throughout the whole of Fezzan.” In his view the preponderance of Kanuri among children was due to the linguistic influence of slave girls functioning as nannies: “All of them, however, whoever their mother may be, are in the earlier years of their life for the most part left in the care of slave women.” According to Nachtigal, the dominance of Kanuri is a feature typical for young children: “As they grow up, Arabic more and more gets the upper hand and by and large it is undoubtedly the language most widely in use.” On the other hand, he observed that in many households Kanuri or Hausa were the main language. Nachtigal’s remarks are confirmed by the testimony of G.F. Lyons, dating from about 40 years earlier: “The language here [= in the Fezzan, MK] is Arabic (…). From the constant communication with Bornou and Soudan, the languages of both these countries are generally spoken, and many of their words are introduced into Arabic. The family slaves, and their children by their masters, constantly speak the language of the country whence they originally come.”

From these different, partly contradictory, observations one may try to build up a more or less consistent picture. It is improbable that Rohlfs and Nachtigal give a complete idea of the linguistic situation in the Fezzan. In fact, Nachtigal’s mention of slave women as the main mediators of Kanuri can only have been relevant to those social classes which possessed slaves. Moreover, one may assume that what is presented as a general picture of the Fezzan is more specifically a description of the situation in the trading town Murzuq, which had for long time been host to an important slave market. Both Rohlfs and Nachtigal spent considerable time in Murzuq, much longer than in the rest of the Fezzan. Thus our discussion is focussed on the linguistic situation among the urban population of Murzuq, that of the rest of the Fezzan remaining unclear.

It seems that in the mid-19th century Kanuri played a double role in the Fezzan. In the first place it had been a favourite language during the times of the independent kingdom, and thus probably remained a cherished language among the elite of Murzuq (and elsewhere?). In the second place it was the native language of many imported slaves,[16] and transmitted to their children born in the Fezzan. As slave-girls played an important role in the upbringing of young children, and as the parents felt no objection to the use of Kanuri, many (elite) children were first brought up in Kanuri, only to learn Arabic at a later age. There is no indication that the rural part of the sedentary population of the Fezzan also spoke Kanuri. Nachtigal gathered many terms for plants and crops of the Fezzan, part of which he says are specific to the Arabic dialect of the country. This suggests that dialectal Arabic was used in the countryside, although one has to take into account that Nachtigal spoke Arabic, but at the time had only rudimentary (if any) knowledge of Kanuri, so that his interlocutors may automatically have turned to Arabic. It is remarkable that neither Rohlfs, nor Nachtigal mention explicitly the use of Kanuri as the main language in any specific oasis of Fezzan, with the notable exception of the southernmost oases of Gatrun and Tegerhi (see below). Possibly their impression that Kanuri was the preponderant language of the country was for the major part based on observation of the language behaviour of the Murzuq market. Here the importance of first generation slaves and young children (as buyers) may have played a role.

In any case, it is certain that the prominent role of Kanuri in the Fezzan was over by the first half of the 20th century. Neither Scapin (1934), nor Despois (1946) mention its use. This is doubtlessly due to the great changes the Fezzan underwent in the seventy years between the reports by Rohlfs and Nachtigal and these scholars. The abolition of the slave trade stopped the continuing influx of new slaves from Bornu, while the political troubles of the early 20th century may have given a death-blow to the elite use of and predilection for Kanuri.

b. Kanuri in Traghen

Traghen was the ancient capital of the Kanem rulers in the Fezzan. It is reported to have housed many immigrants from the south. Nachtigal notes that “numerous gardens, squares and wells still today bear names in Kanuri” and gives a number of striking examples.[17] His remarks do not necessarily imply that Traghen was a Kanuri-speaking town at the time, although they clearly show that it had been so before.[18]

c. Kanuri in Gatrun and Tegerhi

The only explicit mentions of Kanuri as a vernacular language in the Fezzan refer to the southernmost group of oases in the Fezzan, which lie on the caravan road from Kawar and Tibesti to Murzuq. According to Lyons, in 1819 Kanuri was used in Gatrun and in Tegerhi.[19]

Rohlfs remarks that “the population of Gatrun [i.e. the oasis, not the region MK] is mostly black, although in no way Tubu. They speak Tubu and Bornu equally well, and Arabic is understood.”[20] Rohlfs’ remark is supported by Lyon’s observation, but is not unproblematic. One remarks that Mohammed, the guide of Barth, Rohlfs, and Nachtigal, was originary from Gatrun. He is the person who informed Barth about the linguistic situation in the Fezzan, and although Barth asked explicitly about the use of Sudanic languages in the area, Mohammed did not mention Kanuri. On the other hand, Barth’s main source for his Teda vocabularies,[21] another Mohammad el-Qatruni, is described as “a native of Ghatrōn of almost pure Teda blood, and very little versed in good Arabic, while he was tolerably well acquainted with the Kanuri language”. This may however be due to personal circumstances, and not be representative for the Gatrun oasis as a whole. Nachtigal, who was a keen observer and spent some time in Gatrun while preparing for his journey to the Tibesti, does not mention the use of Kanuri at all. So either Barth and Nachtigal somehow failed to notice the use of Kanuri in the oasis, or Rohlfs and Lyons were mis-informed.

Nachtigal explicitly states that “corrupted” Kanuri was spoken in the southernmost oasis, Tegerhi.[22] As he passed some time in this oasis, and as Nachtigal is in general a reliable source of information, this is doubtlessly correct.

Different from the general statements by Nachtigal and Rohlfs on the use of Kanuri in the Fezzan, these remarks point to the vernacular use of Kanuri by the indigenous population. Nachtigal’s comment that the Kanuri of Tegerhi was “corrupted” suggests that we have to do with a variant dialect of Kanuri, and not with “Standard” Kanuri as used by first generation immigrants. Note that Nachtigal does not mention Arabic or Tubu as languages of Tegerhi, so it is not very probable that “corrupted Kanuri” refers to corruption because of second language use.

3. Hausa in the Fezzan

From the passage from Nachtigal quoted above, one may conclude that Hausa was also spoken in the Fezzan at that time. It was probably confined to first and second generation slaves.

-M.G. Kossmann

Notes:

[1] See on Fezzani Arabic: Philippe Marçais, Parlers arabes du Fezzân, textes, traductions et éléments de morphologie rassemblés et présentés par Dominique Caubet, Aubert Martin et Laurence Denooz, Librairie Droz, Genève (2001).

[2] Heinrich Barth: Reisen und Entdeckungen in Nord- und Central-Afrika in den Jahren 1849 bis 1855. V. Band Gotha: Justus Perthes (1857) p. 447.

[3] Among others: Francesco Beguinot, ‘Relazione preliminare sui lavori della 6a Missione della Società Geografica Italiana per l’esplorazione scientifica del Fezzan. Studi linguistico-epigrafici’ Bolletino Geografico del Governo della Tripolitania e Cirenaica, 1933-34, nn. 5-6 (not consulted, see Paradisi 1961:293).

[4] Umberto Paradisi, ‘El-Fóg4ha, oasi berberofona del Fezzân’ Rivista degli Studi Orientali, 36, p. 293-302 (1961); id. ‘Il linguaggio berbero di El-Fógăha (Fezzân). Testo e materiale lessicale’ Annali dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, N.S. 13, p. 93-126 (1963).

[5] Gustav Nachtigal, Sahara and Sudan, I Fezzan and Tibesti. Translated from the original German with and Introduction and Notes, by Allan G.B. Fisher and Humphrey J. Fisher. London, C. Hurst & Company (1974), p. 178. Original title Sahara und Sudan I, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung (1879), p. 195.

[6] Emilio Scarin, Le Oasi del Fezzàn. Ricerche ed osservazioni di geografia umana I, Bologna: Nicola Zanichelli (1934), p. 170.

[7] J. Despois, Mission Scientifique du Fezzân, III, Géographie humaine, Alger/Paris: Institut de Recherches Sahariennes de l’Université d’Alger (1946), p. 46.

[8] E.g. Emilio Scarin, Le Oasi del Fezzàn. Ricerche ed osservazioni di geografia umana I, Bologna: Nicola Zanichelli (1934), p. 123; Jamâl ad-dîn al-DanâZûrî: Jughrafiyya Fazzân. Dirâsah fî al-jughrâfiyyah al-manhajiyyah wa al-’iqlîmiyyah. Banghâzî: Dâr Lîbiyâ (n.d. about 1967), p. 174-175.

[9] If this is the right translation of “un garde-noire”.

[10] Henri Duveyrier, Les Touareg du Nord, Paris: Challamel (1864), p. 280).

[11] Fr. Hornemanns Tagebuch seiner Reise von Cairo nach Murzuck der Hauptstadt des Königreichs Fessan in Afrika in den Jahren 1797 und 1798. Aus der Teutschen Handschrift desselben herausgegeben von Carl König. Weimar, im Verlage des Landes-Industrie-Comptoirs (1802), p. 88.

[12] Gerhard Rohlfs, Gerhard Rohlfs’ Reise durch Nord-Afrika vom mittelländischen Meere bis zum Busen von Guinea, 1865 bis 1867. 1. Hälfte: Von Tripolo nach Kuka (Fesan, Sahara, Bornu). Ergänzungsheft No 25 zu Petermann’s „geographischen Mittheilungen“; Gotha: Justus Perthes (1868), p. 9 (translation MK).

[13] Henri Duveyrier, Les Touareg du Nord, Paris: Challamel (1864), p. 282.

[14] Heinrich Barth: Reisen und Entdeckungen in Nord- und Central-Afrika in den Jahren 1849 bis 1855. I. Band Gotha: Justus Perthes (1857) p. 158. Translation MK.

[15] Gustav Nachtigal, Sahara and Sudan, I Fezzan and Tibesti. Translated from the original German with and Introduction and Notes, by Allan G.B. Fisher and Humphrey J. Fisher. London, C. Hurst & Company (1974), p. 178. Original title Sahara und Sudan I, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung (1879), p. 195-196.

[16] According to the figures collected by Gianbattista Gagliuffi, the English consul in Murzuq in the middle of the 19th century, during eight years in the period 1843-1854 there were among 14743 slaves which passed Murzuq, 9447 (64 %) persons from Bornu, 560 (4%) from Wadai, while 3545 (24%) came from Sudanic countries to the west of Bornu. 1191 persons had been transported to Murzuq via Ghat; their origin lied probably also to the west of Bornu. See; John Wright (1998): Murzuk and the Saharan slave trade in the 19th century. Libyan Studies, 29, p. 89-96, p. 92.

[17] Gustav Nachtigal, Sahara and Sudan, I Fezzan and Tibesti. Translated from the original German with and Introduction and Notes, by Allan G.B. Fisher and Humphrey J. Fisher. London, C. Hurst & Company (1974), p. 150. Original title Sahara und Sudan I, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung (1879), p. 165.

[18] It is not entirely clear whether Nachtigal actually visited Traghen, or whether he received his information from Traghen visitors to Murzuq. Vikør (1999:181) states that Traghen had “a Kanuri population at least down to the nineteenth century”, but does not mention his source.

[19] G.F. Lyon, A Narrative of Travels in Northern Africa in the years 1818, 19, and 20, London: John Murray (1821) [reprint Frank Cass & Co. 1966], p. 224 (on Gatrun), “the language of Bornou is more generally spoken than the Aranic” and p. 239 (on Tegerhi), “The language spoken is Bornou”.

[20] Gerhard Rohlfs, Gerhard Rohlfs’ Reise durch Nord-Afrika vom mittelländischen Meere bis zum Busen von Guinea, 1865 bis 1867. 1. Hälfte: Von Tripolo nach Kuka (Fesan, Sahara, Bornu). Ergänzungsheft No 25 zu Petermann’s „geographischen Mittheilungen“; Gotha: Justus Perthes (1868), p. 13.

[21] Heinrich Barth, Sammlung und Bearbeitung Central-Afrikanischer Vokabularien (1862-4) xxxx, I, ix, lxxi. Cited in Gustav Nachtigal, Sahara and Sudan, I Fezzan and Tibesti. Translated from the original German with and Introduction and Notes, by Allan G.B. Fisher and Humphrey J. Fisher. London, C. Hurst & Company (1974), p. 381, note 2.

[22] Gustav Nachtigal, Sahara and Sudan, I Fezzan and Tibesti. Translated from the original German with and Introduction and Notes, by Allan G.B. Fisher and Humphrey J. Fisher. London, C. Hurst & Company (1974), p. 214. Original title Sahara und Sudan I, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung (1879), p. 225-6.

Awjila Text II

Gan iwínan n-amə́dən ašál n-awílən.

‘There was a man (in) the village of Aujila.’

  • Gan ‘there is, there are’, perhaps the ptc. of g ‘to do, to put’, functions the same as french il y a.
  • iwínan ‘one’
  • n- ‘of’
  •  amə́dən ‘man’
  • ašál ‘village’. It is fascinating how this sentence is clearly a locative phrase, but no preposition is needed. Gan is enough to provide that the second noun phrase signifies the place where the subject is.
  • n- ‘of’
  • awílən ‘Aujilans’, Plural of awíl ‘Aujilan, person from Aujila’

Márra yuġáya ksúm u yušá-d yəxṭíma af ammúd n sídi Ḥáməd əz-Zarrúq.

‘One day he bought meat and he came and visited the mosque of Sidi Ahmed Zarruq.’

  • Márra ‘once’ cf. Ar. marra ‘id.’
  • yuġáya ‘to buy’ res.3sg.m.
  • ksúm ‘meat’
  • u ‘and’
  • yušá-d ‘to come’ pf.3sg.m.
  • yəxṭíma ‘to visit’ res.3sg.m. cf. LA īxaṭṭǝm ʕalā ‘to pick someone up, to drop by someone’. Calqued from Libyan Arabic, this verb marks its object with the preposition af ‘on’
  • af ‘on’
  • ammúd ‘mosque’
  • n ‘of’
  • sídi Ḥáməd əz-Zarrúq Personal Name.

Yufí-tən ʕə́mma mudán lʕə́ṣər;

‘He found them praying the afternoon prayer.’

  • Yufí ‘to find’ pf.3sg.m.pf.
  • -tən 3pl.m. direct object clitic.
  • ʕə́mma particle that expresses the progressive aspect. cf. Ar. ʕaml which has the same function in dialectal Arabic.
  • mudán ‘to pray’ pf./impf.3pl.m.; ʕə́mma usually takes the imperfect. The imperfect of this verb is unattested, and may not exist. Therefore it defaults to pf. or a pf.-impf.
  • lʕə́ṣər ‘afternoon prayer’, cf. Ar. ʕaṣr ‘afternoon (prayer)’

yúna ammúd-i w-ídd-əs ksúm.

‘He entered the mosque and (entered) with his meat.’

  • yúna ‘to enter’ pf.3sg.m.
  • ammúd- ‘mosque’
  • -i locative particle, ‘towards, into’
  • w- ‘and’
  • ídd- ‘with’
  • -əs 3sg. post-prepositional suffix
  • ksúm ‘meat’

Iggí-t dít-a w-alimám sídi Ḥáməd əz-Zarrúq.

‘And he put it (the meat) in front of him, and the Imam was Sidi Ahmed Zarruq’

  • Iggí– ‘to do, place’ 3sg.m.pf.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object clitic
  • dít- ‘in front of’
  • -a 3sg.m. post-prepositional suffix, surprisingly of Arabic origin, while the preposition itself is Berber.
  • w- ‘and’
  • alimám [1] ‘imam’

u bəʕə́d ikkə́mməl yəʕə́dd irrə́wwəḥ u šummán ksúm wa yərfíʕa;

‘And after he finished he went home and they cooked the meat that he had brought’

  • u ‘and’
  • bəʕə́d ‘after’ cf. Ar. baʕda ‘after’
  • ikkə́mməl ‘to finish’ pf.3sg.m. cf. Ar. kammala ‘id.’
  • yəʕə́dd ‘to go’ pf.3sg.m. cf. ELA ʕadd ‘to go’
  • irrə́wwəḥ ‘to return home’ pf.3sg.m. cf. ELA īrowwǝḥ ‘to return (home)’
  • u ‘and’
  • šummán ‘to cook’ pf.3pl.m., curious change of subject referring to the family.
  • ksúm ‘meat’
  • wa m.sg. relative pronoun
  • yərfíʕa res.3sg.m.

ʕəla-má fəkkan-ís afíw yəlġə́m a-yə́mm.

‘as much fire they would give it, it refused to cook.’

  • ʕəla-má ‘as much as’ cf. Dial. Ar. ʕala-ma ‘id.’
  • fəkkan- ‘to give’ impf.3sg.m.
  • -ís 3sg. Indirect Object pronoun
  • afíw ‘fire’
  • yəlġə́m ‘to refuse’ pf.3sg.m.
  • a-yə́mm ‘to cook (intr.)’ fut.3sg.m.

Bəʕədén yəʕə́dd yə́nšəd ərrəfəqá-nnəs wi ižinána nəttín id-sín ksúm.

‘Afterwards he went and asked his companions who, he and them, had shared the meat.’

  • Bəʕədén ‘afterwards’ cf. Ar. baʕda an ‘after’
  • yəʕə́dd ‘to go’ pf.3sg.m.
  • yə́nšəd ‘to ask’ pf.3sg.m. cf. ELA yinšed ‘to ask’
  • ərrəfəqá- ‘companions’ [2] cf. Ar. rafīq pl. rufaqāʔ ‘id.’
  • -nnəs 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • wi pl.m. relative pronoun
  • ižinána ‘to divide’ res.3pl.m.
  • nəttín ‘he’, independent pronoun.
  • id- ‘with’
  • -sín Prepositional 3pl.m. pronoun.
  • ksúm ‘meat’

Nan-ís: “nəkkəní nəšummi-tíy-a u nči-tíy-a.”

‘They said to him: “We cooked it, and we’ve eaten it.”

  • Nan ‘to say’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • nəkkəní ‘we’
  • nəšummi-…-a ‘to cook (trans.)’ res.1pl.
  • -tíy- 3sg.m. direct object pronoun (Simply t- when not followed by the resultative suffix -a)
  • u ‘and’
  • nči-…-a ‘to eat’ res.1pl.
  • -tíy- 3sg.m. direct object pronoun

In-isín: “nək ʕəla-má fə́kká-s afíw yəlġə́m a-yə́mm.”

‘He said to them: “As much as I would give fire to it, it refused to cook.”

  • In- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -isín 3pl.m. indirect object pronoun.
  • nək ‘I’ independent pronoun
  • ʕəla-má ‘as much as’
  • fə́kká- ‘to give’ impf.1sg.
  • -(i)s 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • afíw ‘fire’
  • yəlġə́m ‘to refuse’ pf.3sg.m.
  • a-yə́mm ‘to cook (intr.)’ fut.3sg.m.

Nan-ís: “ddíwa dgíta?”

‘They said to him: “What did you do?”

  • Nan ‘to say’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • ddíwa ‘what’
  • dgíta ‘to do’ res.2sg.

Ini-sín: “bəʕə́d ušíġ-d uníx ammúd-i, ufíx-tən ʕə́mma mudán, gíx dít-i ksúm u qqəimíx mudíx, wén-ma kəmmə́lx ʕəddíx; wa d-əlá ṣarána.”

‘He said to them: “After I came and entered the mosque, I found them praying, I put the meat in front of me and started praying, when I finished I went; that is what happened.”

  • In- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -isín 3pl.m. indirect object pronoun.
  • bəʕə́d ‘after’
  • ušíġ-d ‘to come’ pf.1sg.
  • uníx ‘to enter’ pf.1sg.
  • ammúd- ‘mosque’
  • -i locative suffix
  • ufíx- ‘to find’ pf.1sg.
  • -tən 3pl.m. direct object pronoun
  • ʕə́mma particle of progressive aspect
  • mudán ‘to pray’ pf.3pl.m.
  • gíx ‘to do, put’ pf.1sg.
  • dít- ‘in front of’
  • -i 1sg. prepositional pronoun
  • ksúm ‘meat’
  • u ‘and’
  • qqəimíx ‘to stay’ pf.1sg., expresses the inchoative ‘to start to’, usually followed by a verb in the imperfect.
  • mudíx ‘to pray’ pf.1sg. surprisingly, we find a verb in the perfect rather than the imperfect. Perhaps this verb has no separate imperfect form.
  • wén-ma ‘as soon as’ cf. Dial Ar. wēn ‘where’ < Ar. wa-ʔayna ‘and where’
  • kəmmə́lx ‘to finish’ pf.1sg.
  • ʕəddíx ‘to go’ pf.1sg.
  • wa m.sg. deictic pronoun
  • d-əlá A construction that introduces a cleft sentence.
  • ṣarána ‘to happen’ res.ptc. cf.Ar. ṣāra ‘to become; to occur, happen’

Nan-ís ərrəfəqá-nnəs: “ʕə́dd an-ís-t i-sídi Ḥə́məd əz-Zarruq.”

‘His companions said to him: “Go  tell it to Sidi Ahmed Zarruq”

  • Nan ‘to say’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • ərrəfəqá- ‘companions’
  • -nnəs 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • ʕə́dd ‘to go’ imp.sg.
  • an- ‘to say’ imp.sg.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • i- indirect object particle
  • sídi Ḥə́məd əz-Zarruq Personal name

Yəʕə́dd in-ís-t am-alá nan-ís-a.

‘He went and he told him like they had told him’

  • Yəʕə́dd ‘to go’ pf.3sg.m.
  • in- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • am-alá ‘like’
  • nan-…-a ‘to say’ res.3pl.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun

Wén-ma in-ís-t i-sídi Ḥə́məd əz-Zarrúq, in-ís: “nək lukán wa (or: wása) a-mmudán də́ffər-i a-iččí-t afíw, məʕə́dč a-mmudə́x s-ḥíddan.”

‘as soon as he said it to Ahmed Zarruq, he said to him: “As for me, if one who prays behind me is eaten by fire (litt. fire will eat him), I will no longer pray with anyone”

  • wén-ma ‘as soon as’ cf. Dial. Ar. weyn-ma ‘id.’
  • in- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • i- indirect object particle
  • sídi Ḥə́məd əz-Zarruq Personal name
  • in- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • nək ‘I’, placed in this sentence for extra emphasis.
  • lukán ‘if’ cf. Dellys Ar. lukan ‘if (hypothetical)’
  • wa, wása m.sg. relative pronoun. The extended form wása is only attested in this text. wása may be a relative pronoun with undetermined number and gender similar to Ghadamès was (Lanfry 1973: 394).
  • a-mmudán ‘pray’ fut.ptc.
  • də́ffər- ‘behind’
  • -i 1sg. prepositional pronoun
  • a-iččí- ‘to eat’ fut.3sg.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • afíw ‘fire’
  • məʕə́dč ‘no longer’ cf. dial. Ar. mā-ʕād-š ‘no more, no longer’
  • a-mmudə́x ‘to pray’ fut.1sg.
  • s- ‘with’
  • ḥíddan ‘anyone’ cf. Ar. ʔaad-an ‘id.’

In-ís: “ksum-áya ġár-ək ʕə́dd kəffə́n-t, u ʕə́dd mtí-t žəbbánət;”

‘He said to him: “This meat you have go and wrap it, and go burry it (in) the cemetery;”

  • in- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • ksum- ‘meat’
  • -áya ‘this’
  • ġár ‘at’
  • -ək 2sg.m. pronoun prepositional suffix
  • ʕə́dd ‘to go’ imp.sg.
  • kəffə́n- ‘to wrap’ imp.sg. cf. Ar. kaffana ‘to wrap s.th., to cover s.th.’
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • u ‘and’
  • ʕə́dd ‘to go’ imp.sg.
  • mtí- ‘to bury’ imp.sg.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • žəbbánət ‘cemetery’ cf. Ar. žabbāna(t) ‘cemetery’

yəʕə́dd yəmtí-t u yəqqím ixəbbár míddən.

‘He went and buried it and he started to tell the people.’

  • yəʕə́dd ‘to go’ pf.3sg.m.
  • yəmtí- ‘to bury’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • u ‘and’
  • yəqqím ‘to stay’ pf.3sg.m. used inchoatively.
  • ixəbbár  ‘to tell’ impf.3sg.m. cf. Ar. xabbara ‘to tell’
  • míddən ‘people’

Wén-ma slán-t míddən n ašál kúll, ušán-d ġəllíyən a-mmúdán kull də́ffər-a w-ammúd məššə́k iġəlli-ká a-yúġ míddən n ašál.

‘When all the people of the village heard it, they came and all wanted to pray behind him (Sidi Ahmed Zarruq) but (litt. and) the small mosque was too small for the people of the village (litt. did not want to take the people of the village)’

  • wén-ma ‘as soon as’
  • slán- ‘to hear’  pf.3pl.m.
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun
  • míddən ‘people’
  • n ‘of’
  • ašál ‘village’
  • kúll ‘all’
  • ušán-d ‘to come’ pf.3pl.m.
  • ġəllíyən ‘to want’ pf.3pl.m.
  • a-mmúdán ‘to pray’  fut.3pl.m.
  • kull ‘all’
  • də́ffər- ‘behind’
  • -a 3sg.m. prepositional pronoun, notice how this preposition takes the Arabic pronoun, and not the Berber pronoun -s, despite beind a preposition of Berber origin.
  • w- ‘and’
  • ammúd ‘mosque’
  • məššə́k ‘small’
  • iġəlli- ‘to want’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ká negative particle
  • a-yúġ ‘to take’ fut.3sg.m.
  • míddən ‘people’
  • n ‘of’
  • ašál ‘village’

Yəxəmmə́m əlfəkr-ə́nnəs sídi Ḥáməd, illúff dbaš-ə́nnəs w-in-isín: “ġəllíx a-ʕəddáx fḥáli.”

‘Sidi Ahmed thought his thoughts, he gathered his stuff and he said to them: “I want to go by myself”

  • Yəxəmmə́m ‘to think’ pf.3sg.m.
  • əlfəkr- ‘thought’
  • -ə́nnəs 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • sídi Ḥáməd Personal name
  • illúff ‘to wrap up’ pf.3sg.m. cf. Ar. laffa ‘to wrap up’
  • dbaš- ‘stuff’ cf. Ar. dabaš pl. adbāš ‘junk, rubbish, trash’
  • -ə́nnəs 3sg. possessive pronoun
  • w- ‘and’
  • in- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -isín 3pl.m. indirect object pronoun
  • ġəllíx ‘to want’ pf.1sg.
  • a-ʕəddáx ‘to go’ fut.1sg.
  • fḥáli ‘by myself’ cf. Ar. fī ḥāl-ī ‘by myself’

Nan-ís ləhə́l n ašál: “a-nnəʕə́dd kull-ídd-ək.”

‘The people of the village said to him: “we will all go with you.”

  • Nan- ‘to say’ pf.3pl.m.
  • -ís 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • ləhə́l ‘people’ cf. Ar. ʔahl ‘relatives, folks, family; kin; people, members, followers etc.’
  • n ‘of’
  • ašál ‘village’
  • a-nnəʕə́dd ‘to go’ fut.1pl.
  • kull- ‘all’
  • ídd- ‘with’
  • -ək 2sg.m. prepositional pronoun

U škíyən ídd-əs ir a-hlə́bən ašál u bəʕədén in-isín: “ṣbərát a-nna-kím nək d-awíl tláta marrát íla yom əlqiyáma:”

‘And they left with him until they would leave the village and then he said to them: “Wait, I will tell you that I will be an Aujilan three times until the day of resurrection.”

  • u ‘and’
  • škíyən ‘to leave’ pf.3pl.m.
  • ídd- ‘with’
  • -əs 3sg. prepositional pronoun
  • ir ‘until’
  • a-hlə́bən ‘to reach the end’ fut.3pl.m.
  • ašál ‘village’
  • u ‘and’
  • bəʕədén ‘then’
  • in- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -isín 3pl.m. indirect object pronoun
  • ṣbərát ‘to wait’  imp.pl.m. cf. Ar. ṣabara ‘to bind, to be patient’
  • a-nna- ‘to say’ fut.1sg.
  • -(i)kím 2pl.m. indirect object pronoun
  • nək ‘I’
  • d- copula
  • awíl ‘Aujila, person from Aujila’
  • tláta ‘three’ cf. Ar. ṯalāṯa(t) ‘three’
  • marrát ‘time’ cf. Ar. marrāt ‘times, turns’
  • íla ‘until’ cf. Ar. ʔilā ‘until’
  • yom əlqiyáma ‘The day of resurrection’ cf. Ar. yawm al-qiyāma(t) ‘The day of resurrection’; The whole phrase tláta … əlqiyáma is a code-switch to Classical Arabic.

“wása a-nzurrán s-ġar-kím a-ʕəyyáṭən-dík təláta marrát; a-ušáz-d w-a-ffukkáx-t.”

“Those of you who are suffering , they will call me three times; I will come and I will resolve it.”

  • wása Relative pronoun undetermined for number and gender(?).
  • a-nzurrán ‘to suffer’ fut.ptc.
  • s-ġar- ‘from’
  • -kím 2pl.m. prepositional pronoun
  • a-ʕəyyáṭən- ‘to call’ fut.3pl.m.
  • -dík 1sg. indirect object pronoun
  • təláta ‘three’
  • marrát ‘time’
  • a-ušá-…-d ‘to come’ fut.1sg.
  • -(i)z- 3sg. indirect object pronoun
  • w- ‘and’
  • a-ffukkáx- ‘to untie; to solve’ cf. Ar. fakka ‘to separate, disjoin, disconnect, sever, sunder’
  • -t 3sg.m. direct object pronoun

“Undú ušiġ-d-ká, a-nmḥásəb nək ídd-əs yom əlqiyáma.”

“If I did not come, we will be held accountable, me and him, (at) the day of resurrection.”

  • Undú [3] ‘if’
  • ušiġ-d- ‘to come’ pf.1sg.
  • -ká negative particle
  • a-nmḥásəb ‘to be held accountable’ fut.1pl. derived from Ar. ḥāsaba ‘to hold responsible’. This might be the one example of a passive formation with the Berber mm- reciprocal/passive prefix
  • nək ‘I’
  • ídd- ‘with, and’
  • -əs 3sg. prepositional pronoun
  • yom əlqiyáma ‘The day of resurrection’, Arabic construction.

Nək wa d-əlá slíxa s-ar míddən lə́wwəl kəddímən, ḥəkkán-dík af sídi Ḥáməd əz-Zarrúq.

‘This is what I have heard once from old people, they would tell me about sidi Ahmed Zarruq.’

  • Nək ‘I’
  • wa m.sg. deictic pronoun
  • d-əlá A construction that introduces a cleft sentence.
  • slíxa ‘to hear’ res.1sg.
  • s-ar ‘from’
  • míddən ‘people’
  • lə́wwəl ‘first??’
  • kəddímən ‘old’ m.pl.adj. cf. Ar. qadīm ‘old’ . It is very unusual to find k for Arabic q.
  • ḥəkkán- ‘to tell’ impf.3pl.m.
  • -dík 1sg. indirect object pronoun
  • af ‘at’, should be read as ‘about’, perhaps this is the fixed preposition for the meaning ‘to tell about s.th./s.o.’
  • sídi Ḥáməd əz-Zarrúq personal name

M. van Putten

Notes

[1] I would expect the word to be phonemically əlimám, but the spelling of Paradisi suggests alimám

[2] The spelling used by Paradisi, ărrafåqä́-, ĕrrafåqä́- rather points to a phonemic shape /ərrafəqə/ or /ərrafəqa/, but considering the Arabic word, it probably has to be interpreted as /ərrəfəqa/.

[3]Perhaps ə́ndu

A look into the history of Awjila

During the work on my upcoming Aujila vocabulary, I have made use of two main sources, first Paradisi (1960a), a well-written word list with a lot of information, and even some etymological notes. The second source is the word list by Müller (1827).  As is obvious from the dates of these publication, the time difference between the collection of these word lists is enormous. This gives us a fascinating insight in the development of several Aujila words over a period of over 130 years.

The data in Müller, despite being an enormous word list, is very difficult to analyze. At the time of writing,  there was no accurate way to transcribe Berber, nor was Müller a very good fieldworker. This is not something Müller can be held accountable for, as fieldwork was not a developed branch of linguistics at the time. As a matter of fact, linguistics itself was hardly a developed scientific branch at the time. It is fairly obvious that he misunderstood words, made up conjugations of words, and sometimes based his french-like transcription on Aujila written in Arabic script, rather than basing it on what he had actually heard.

Despite the difficulties, there are a few interesting examples to be found of lexical items that have changed in pronunciation or meaning in between the time of Müller’s work and Paradisi’s work.

físa

In Text I, we encountered the word físa ‘quickly’, this is not found in Paradisi’s word list as Paradisi decided to not include any Arabic loanwords. But it is found in his published texts (1960b).

físa comes from dialectal Ar. fissaʕ ‘quickly’ which ultimately derives from the phrase fī (a)s-sāʕa(t) ‘in the hour’. It is instantly striking, that, Aujila is lacking the Ar. ʕ, this is remarkable, since Aujila usually retains this sound, and Paradisi writes it very consistently, with great accuracy. We must conclude that it was lost.

Müller has included this word in his wordlist as: fisaâ فيسعہ <fysʕh>‘swiftly, promptly (fr. promptement)’. In Müller’s time apparently Aujila had not yet lost the ʕ in this word.

Because Müller’s material is so difficult to analyze, we cannot draw this conclusion with absolute certainty. It happened more than once that Müller added ʕ in words where we are sure it did not exist. For example, arrav  ‘writing’ is written by him as arrab عرّب <ʕrrb>, with the root written as though it was derived from the root for ‘Arab’ in it. This root for ‘to write’ can be solidly reconstructed for Proto-Berber and thus predates Arab presence in North-Africa.

Taking this into consideration, it may still be possible that Müller in fact did hear físa just like Paradisi, but ‘corrected’ it by including the ʕ. Adam Benkato pointed out that in ELA [1], this word is often pronounced simply as fīsa, in fast speech, but with the original final ʕ in place when emphasized. Perhaps, this split pronunciation lies at the origin of these two different forms, rather than a historical loss of ʕ.

uġǝr

The verb uġǝr ‘to get lost looks identical to the El-Foqaha Berber word uġǝr ‘to go’, but I was reluctant to assume a historical connection between these two words, as the meanings are quite different. Müller resolves the problem. We find youghera يوغرہ <ywġrh> ‘he went  (fr. aller)’. So, about 130 years before Paradisi did his fieldwork on Aujila, the verb uġǝr ‘to get lost still had the meaning ‘to go’ and we can therefore confidently connect it with the El-Foqaha verb with the same meaning.

aniš

Another word that I want to discuss is aniš ‘nickel’, this word has an unusual meaning, as this word usually means ‘copper’, cf. Sokna nās ‘copper’, MA anas ‘copper’, Tashl. anas ‘copper’, Ntifa anas ‘copper’. The only logical conclusion must be that the word shifted in meaning from copper, to nickel. Müller gives us proof that this change of meaning has taken place. Müller gives anich انيش <ʔnyš> ‘copper (fr. cuivre)’. It is the same word, but with its original Berber meaning.

tkǝnzírt

The word for ‘nose’ in Aujila is tkǝnzírt. If we compare this word to other Berber languages we find that they lack the root initial k found in Aujila. cf. Fog. tinzę́rt ‘nose’ Kb. tinzərt ‘nose’; Nef. tinzért ‘nose’; Mali To. tinšărt ‘nose’; Siwa tanzärt ‘nose’; Sok. tunzä*rt ‘nose’; Zng. tīnẕ̌ärt ‘nose’. Müller has tenzert تنزرت <tnzrt> for the same word, as you can see, the consonant k was not present at the time. It is unclear what caused this extra consonant to be added, but we can be sure that it happened in between Müller’s and Paradisi’s fieldwork.

Through the careful study of the lexical items we get a unique look into the history of a language that has received very little academic attention. Due to the great gap in time between the two works, we are actually given a unique opportunity to study the language in a way not usually possible in Berber studies.

-M. van Putten

Notes

[1] Eastern Libyan Arabic.

References

Müller, Frédéric. 1827. “Vocabulaire du langage des habitants d’Audjelah.” In: Pacho (1827) pp. 319-352.

Pacho, Jean-Raymond 1827. Relation d’un voyage dans la Marmarique, la Cyrénaïque, et les Oasis d’Audjelah et de Maradèh, accompagnée de Cartes géographiques et topographiques, et de Planches, représentant les Monuments de ces contrées. Didot. Paris.

Paradisi, Umberto. 1960a. “Il Berbero Di Augila. Materiale Lessicale.” Rivista Degli Studi Orientali 35: 157–177.

Paradisi, Umberto. 1960b. “Testi Berberi Di Augila (Cirenaica)” Annali. Nuova Serie 10: 43–91.

El-Fogaha Text I

This series of translations are based of the texts published in Paradisi (1963), they have been retranslated in english and retranscribed in a transcription that is intended to represent the phonemic system more clearly and accurately than the highly phonetic transcription of Paradisi.

The El-Fogaha language was spoken in the Oasis of El-Fogaha. At the time that Paradisi recorded these texts, there were only a few speakers left, so it is fairly safe to assume that the language is extinct. It is fairly similar to the Sokna language, although, clearly, not identical as shown quite convincinly in Paradisi’s overview and comparison of El-Fogaha with other eastern Berber languages (Paradisi 1961). We hope to gain a better understanding of the underlying relation between the Sokna and el-Fogaha languages, in order to form a view of the development of eastern Berber languages as whole.

Paradisi has written up five stories, which, seem to make up all recorded data on this language.

Žḥa, tənn-ás əmm-ís: asġ-íd tasíli.

Juha’s mother said to him: “buy me a pair of sandals!”

  • Žḥa Personal name, a legendary satirical figure, interesting topicalization of the indirect object,  to introduce Juha as the main character of the story.
  • tənn- ‘to say’ pf. 3sg.f.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • əmmí- ‘mother’
  • -s kinship possessive 3sg. suffix.
  • asġ- ‘to buy’ imp.sg.
  • -íd Indirect Object  1sg.
  • tasíli ‘sandal’, technically singular, but the singular refers to  ‘one pair of sandals’

Yənn-ás: “nk-ġúr-i iməllálən.”

‘He said to her “I don’t have money.”

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • nk- negative prefix, radically different from most other Berber languages where the negative form generally looks like ur, ul, wər etc.
  • ġúr- ‘at’, this preposition technically means ‘at’, but is used to express possesion, and thus translates as the verb ‘to have’
  • -i 1sg. prepositional pronoun
  • iməllálən ‘money’, literally ‘the white ones’, pl.m. of məllál ‘white’.

Yədwə́l d yəṣḥə́ṣṣəl iməllálən.

‘He started to obtain money’

  • Yədwə́l ‘to return, to happen’ pf.3sg.m.; Paradisi mentions that this verb can have an ‘empty’ or inchoative meaning, both translations would work.
  • d The meaning of this element is unclear. Possibly it is ‘and’, but this unlikely, as Yədwə́l seems to be used as an auxiliary of yəṣḥə́ṣṣəl. Perhaps this particle is the d ‘hither’ ventive particle, common in Berber. There is little evidence that this particle is productive in El-Fogaha.
  • yəṣḥə́ṣṣəl ‘to obtain’ pf.3sg.m., this looks like a causative derivation of Ar. ḥaṣṣala ‘to obtain’, which is surprising, as the translation already implies a causative meaning.
  • iməllálən ‘money’

əmmí-s ma-bát a-tənn-ás márrat tayə́ḍ.

‘But his mother did no want to tell him (to get sandals) again’

  • əmmí- ‘mother’
  • -s kinship possessive 3sg. suffix.
  • ma-bát purely Arabic. Negative ma + 3sg.f.pf. of ba ‘to want’, thus, ‘she did not want’
  • a-tənn ‘to say’ aor.3sg.f.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • márrat ‘time’ < Ar. marra(t) ‘time’
  • tayə́ḍ ‘other, another’, adj. f.sg.

Yái-s yəẓrá fəll-ás amár, tiškán-nas ínniž.

‘Her son saw a man on her, her feet were (pointed) upwards’ (Quite graphically implying that the mother is having sex)

  • Yái- ‘son’
  • -s kinship possessive 3sg. suffix.
  • yəẓrá ‘to see’ pf.3sg.m.
  • fəll- ‘on’
  • -ás 3sg. prepositional pronoun
  • amár ‘man’, a similar word for  ‘man’ is attested in Sokni, but the Sokni form lacks the initial a, see Sokni Text I.
  • tiškán- ‘feet’, pl. of tiškánt
  • -nas 3sg. possessive suffix, I would expected -nəs, but would not expect Paradisi to write a /ə/ as <a> in a non-emphatic environment.
  • ínniž ‘above, up, upward’

Yənn-ás:  “már-am nk-tənnət-id asġ-íd tasíli márrat tayə́ḍ?”

He said to her:  “Why did you not tell me to buy you a sandal again?”

  • Yənn– ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • már- ‘why’, followed by a suffixed pronoun, that expresses the subject of the sentence
  • -am 2sg.f. suffixed pronoun
  • nk- negative prefix
  • tənnət ‘to say’ pf.2sg.
  • -íd Indirect Object  1sg.
  • asġ ‘to buy’ imp.sg.
  • -íd Indirect Object  1sg.
  • tasíli ‘sandal’
  • márrat ‘time’ , cf. Ar. marra(t) ‘time’
  • tayə́ḍ ‘other, another’, adj. f.sg.

Tənn-ás: “ásġ-id tasíli.”

‘She said to him: “buy me a pair of sandals.”

  • Tənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.f.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • ásġ- ‘to buy’  imp.sg.
  • -id Indirect Object  1sg.
  • tasíli ‘sandal’

Yuġə́r y-ə́lli isákər dag tsiláw.

‘He went to the one who is making sandals’

  • Yuġə́r ‘to go’ pf.3sg.m.
  • y- dative and directional particle. Usually, in Berber languages, this particle is only used as an Indirect Object marker, but similar to Sokni, El-Fogaha Berber uses this particle in the maning  ‘to, towards’. This is a similar broad use of the indirect object marker as is found in Arabic li-.
  • ə́lli relative pronoun ‘who’, cf. LA illī.
  • isákər ‘to make’ impf.3sg.m.
  • dag ‘in’ In Tunisian Berber and Arabic the direct object is marked with a locative construction in the imperfect. (p.c. Maarten Kossmann).
  • tsiláw ‘sandals’, with the typical El-fogaha plural suffix –aw.

Yənn-ás: “əsk-íd tasíli s-ġúr əlqáġəṭ.”

‘He said to him: “make for me a sandal out of paper.”

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • əsk- ‘to make’ imp.sg.
  • -íd Indirect Object  1sg.
  • tasíli ‘sandal’
  • s-ġúr ‘from’
  • əlqáġəṭ ‘paper’, cf. Ar.  kāġad, the final ṭ is surprising, and might indicate that this word entered the El-Fogaha and regional Arabic language through Turkish.

Yənn-ás:  “ənk-a-tús-əd.”

‘He said:  “ (a paper sandal) doesn’t work (litt. doesn’t come).”

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • ənk- neg pref.
  • a-tús ‘to come’ aor.3sg.f.
  • -əd directional suffix. Probably petrified in this verb, similar to how it has in Aujila, as the directional suffix does not seem to be productive anymore.

Yənn-ás:  “əskí-ttət, d a-túġət iməllálən.”

‘He said:  “make it, and you will take (receive) money”

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • əskí- ‘to do, make’ imp.sg.
  • -ttət direct object 3sg.f.
  • d ‘and, with’
  • a-túġət ‘to take’ aor.2sg.

Yəsk-ás tasíli s-ġúr əlqáġəṭ.

‘He made a sandal of paper for him’

  • Yəsk- ‘to do, make’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • tasíli ‘sandal’
  • s-ġúr ‘from’
  • əlqáġəṭ ‘paper’

Iwə́y-tət y-əmmí-s.

‘and he took it to his mother’

  • Iwə́y- ‘to take’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -tət direct object 3sg.f.
  • y- direct object particle
  • əmmí- ‘mother’
  • -s kinship possessive 3sg. suffix.

Yənn-ás: “əls-ét.”

‘He said to her: “put it on.”

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • əls- ‘to wear’ imp.sg.
  • -ét direct object 3sg.f. Allomorph of -tət when it directly follows the verb stem. El-Fogaha shares this allomorph with Siwi.

Tənn-ás: “ta əlqáġəṭ, nk-tasíli.”

‘She said to him: “This is paper, not a sandal!”

  • Tənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.f.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • ta ‘this’, f.sg. deictic pronoun
  • əlqáġəṭ ‘paper’
  • nk- negative particle
  • tasíli ‘sandal’

Yənn-ás: “kan tiklínnəm am ayə́ḍ, əlqáġəṭ a-yəṭṭə́f-šəm lél atəmmútət.”

‘He said to her: “If your walking is like (your action during the) night, the paper will hold until you die.”

  • Yənn- ‘to say’ pf.3sg.m.
  • -ás Indirect Object 3sg.
  • kan ‘if’, from dial. Ar. kan ‘if’
  • tiklí- verbal noun ‘walking’
  • -nnəm possesive suffix 2sg.f.
  • am ‘like’
  • ayə́ḍ ‘night’
  • əlqáġəṭ ‘paper’
  • a-yəṭṭə́f- ‘to hold’ aor.3sg.m.
  • -šəm direct object 2sg.f.
  • lél ‘until’
  • a-təmmútət ‘to die’ aor.2sg.

– M. van Putten

References

Paradisi, U. 1961. “El-Fógǎha, Oasi Berberofona del Fezzân.” Rivista degli Studi Orientali 36: 293-302.

Paradisi, U. 1963. “Li linguaggio berbero di El-Fóğăha (Fezzân).” Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli. Annali. Nuova Serie 13: 93-126.

Richardson’s Sokna phrases 2: Purism gone mad?

Last time, we looked at a sentence about Richardson himself.  A rather more difficult but also more interesting second sentence, less directly reflecting Richardson’s circumstances, is given on the next page of the manuscript, also in Yusuf’s messy handwriting rather than Ali’s neat hand:

English: The Consul in this city sold twenty bornouses and five barracans.
Sokni: مقرن نن نصارى يزنزالتمورت اتمروين انبراس ادفوس انجرايديه
Arabic: القنصل في هذه المدينه باع عشرين برنوص وخمسة حول

This may be rendered as: məqqrən n ənnṣara yəzzənza t tamurt timərwin ən branəs əd fus ən jraydiyya “the chief of the Christians sold in this country twenty burnouses and five barracans”.

  • məqqrən : big one, ie chief. The vocalisation is just a guess, but the word is obviously based on the widespread Berber form for “big”, recorded by Sarnelli as (retranscribed) məqqar.  Note the purism: the speaker was obviously familiar with Consuls, but chose to paraphrase the foreign concept rather than use a loanword.
  • n: of (pan-Berber)
  • ənnṣara: the Christians (Arabic)
  • yə- 3MSg; -zzənza sell (perfective form).  Given by Sarnelli.
  • ttamurt = d tamurt: I’m assuming that  ‘l- here was intended to mark initial gemination (obligatory for the Arabic definite article ‘l- before a coronal), representing the assimilation of d “in” to the initial t.  According to Sarnelli, tamurt is “(inhabited) country”, whereas “city” is rather tamədint – is this another case of purism?
  • timərwin: The vowel i in the first syllable is just a guess based on morphology; it could be simply tmərwin.  Even by Yusuf’s standards this word is not easy to read – at first I mistook it for gṣərwin.  It also takes us even further into extreme purism.  Formally, this is a feminine plural of widespread Berber mraw “ten” – but Sokni doesn’t even use mraw for “ten”, it uses ifəssən “hands”, according to both Ali and Sarnelli. (Actually, ifəssən was probably an argot term substituted for an Arabic loanword.)  In Tuareg, number+təmǎrwen forms 20-90, but timǎrwen alone would just be “tens”.  However, Arabic ʕašrīn is formed as if it were a plural (using -īn) of “ten” (ʕašar-) , providing a model for the Sokni usage.  In other words, he’s using an Arabic calque, and probably in order to avoid an Arabic loanword.
  • branəs: burnouses (Arabic pl.)  A burnous is a kind of North African cloak.
  • əd: and, with (pan-Berber.)
  • fus: hand / five.  There is direct manuscript-internal evidence that this is a purism rather than being the normal word – see my older post.
  • jraydiyya: barracan, a type of black gown. (Arabic.)

Hitherto unattested words: məqqrən; nnṣara; timərwin; branəs; jraydiyya.

Lameen Souag