Sokna Text III: The Good-for-Nothing
22 August 2012 Leave a comment
This third of five texts collected by Sarnelli (1925: 33) concerns someone who is evidently a good-for-nothing–he has no trade (or rather, his trade is that of a good-for-nothing!), and mostly seems to hang around eating and sleeping with other folk, until this habit gets him into trouble.
There are a number of aorist forms in this text, which seem to have the function of expressing hypothetical as well as habitual actions (also as the main verb of a ‘to want’ construction).
zěmân ẹ́llân íǧǧěn n ěṭṭufêǐli
Once there was a good-for-nothing
- zěmân adverbial usage of Arabic zǝmān ‘once, once upon a time’
- ẹ́llân 3pl.m. ‘(there) were’, existential ‘to be’
- íǧǧěn number ‘one’
- n genitive particle ‘of’
- ěṭṭufêǐli n.m. ‘deadbeat’ (Sarnelli: ‘scroccone’), perhaps from the Arabic diminutive eṭ-ṭufeyl of ṭifl ‘child’ (?).
eṣṣana‘āt-énnes mímmi adiyûf sẹn nax sârěṭ nax áktar
His trade (was that) when he would find two or three or more,
- eṣṣana‘āt-énnes n.f. ‘trade, craft’ < Arabic f.pl. aṣ-ṣana‘āt الصنعات with 3sg. possessive suffix
- mímmi ‘when’
- adiyûf aor.3sg.m. of af ‘to find’
- nax ‘or’
- sẹn number m. ‘two’
- sârěṭ number ‘three’ (though probably šârěṭ, as in Sarnelli’s glossary). a Proto-Berber numeral! Sokni joins Fogaha and Siwi Berber with š<k (cf. Ghadames kárǎḍ)
- áktar ‘more’ < Ar. akṯar اكثر with (Western Libyan) dialectal [ṯ] > [t].
adiqqím díd-sẹn lē̱n adiyéčč díd-sen.
He would stay with them until he would eat with them.
- adiqqím aor.3sg.m. ‘to stay’
- díd-sẹn conj. ‘with’ + 3pl.m. object pronoun ‘them’
- lē̱n ‘until’ (probably dialectal Arabic lēn/nēn ‘until’)
- adiyéčč aor.3sg.m. ‘to eat’ (Sarnelli has the aorist as adičč)
marra yuséd yufâ ifá̱ssen n imarrîwen.
Once he came (and) he found ten men.
- marra ‘once, one time’ < Arabic marra ‘one time, a time’
- yuséd pf.3sg.m. ‘to arrive, to come’
- yufâ pf.3sg.m. ‘to find’
- ifá̱ssen number ‘ten’, literally ‘hands’ (sg. fūs = ‘five’, literally ‘hand’)
- imarrîwen n.m.pl. ‘men’
itrék eššuġl-énnes azẹ́l udínak we yěqqím díd-sen.
He left his work that day and remained with them.
- itrék pf.3sg.m. ‘he left’ < Ar. tarak ‘he left’ (probably reflecting a WLA dialect form with initial epenthetic vowel)
- azẹ́l n. ‘day’
- udínak dem.m.sg. ‘that’
- we conj. ‘and’ < Ar. wa ‘and’
- yěqqím pf.3sg.m. ‘he stayed’
- díd-sen ‘with them’
yěnn-âs íǧǧen sě ġúr-sen: mádd i-išuġǎl-é̱nnek!
One of them said to him: “Go to your work!”
- íǧǧen ‘one’
- sě ġúr-sen sě-ġúr ‘from’ (Fogaha s-ġúr ‘from’, see El-Fogaha III), sen is the 3pl.m. indirect object clitic; ‘one of them’, literally ‘one from them’
- mádd impv.2sg. ‘go’
- i- directional particle i ‘to, toward’
- išuġǎl-é̱nnek n. ‘work’ + 2sg.poss. ‘your’ (I assume the initial i to be the Arabic definite article, rather than part of the Sokni directional particle i/iyi).
yěnn-âs: lā līẖ šûġǔl xēr nē wā!
He [the good-for-nothing] said to him: “I have no work better than this!”
- lī-ẖ pf.1sg. ‘to have’
- xēr Arabic comparative adjective خير xēr ‘better’
- nē usually ‘of’, but following comparatives ‘than’ (cf. Ar. xēr min ‘better than’)
- wā pronoun m.sg. ‘this’
yěnn-âs: bâlek anněmmúḥbes!
He [the other guy] said to him: “Maybe we will be imprisoned!”
- bâlek adv. ‘maybe’ < Libyan Arabic bālǝk ‘maybe’ (ultimately from Turkish)
- anněmmúḥbes aor.1pl. (medio-passive -mm-), Berber conjugation of an Arabic root (Libyan Arabic yeḥbes ‘to be in prison’)
yěnn-âs: rětíx! am nīš, am kīníu; wu yeqqím.
He said to him: “Fine with me (lit. I agree)! Like me, like you”; and he remained.
- rěṭíx pf.1sg. ‘to agree’, from Arabic rḍw (with [ḍ] rendered as [ṭ]–this shows the underlying Arabic dialect rendering of [ḍ] rather than ELA [ð̣])
- am ‘like, as’, though in the previous text this had a long vowel: ām
- nīš 1sg. personal pronoun ‘I’
- kīníu 2pl.m. personal pronoun ‘you’
sagín-ten wu ssikmẹ́n-ten d íǧǧit n tâsqâ, wa qqěsẹ́n fellâ-sen.
They led them and made them enter a house, and closed (the door) on them.
- sagín-ten pf.3pl.m. + 3pl.m. direct object suffix ‘they led them’
- ssikmẹ́n-ten pf.3.pl.m. causative + 3pl.m. direct object ‘they made them enter’
- d preposition ‘in’
- íǧǧit n tâsqâ n. ‘a house’, literally ‘one of house’ (íǧǧit is f.)
- wa qqěsẹ́n pf.3pl.m. ‘and they closed/locked’ (Sarnelli: ōqqěs ‘to close/lock from outside’)
- fellâ-sen preposition ‘on’ + 3pl.m. object pronoun ‘them’
yeglíg eṭṭufêili wu yěqqím qârîb i-îmi n tawō*rt.
The good-for-nothing was disturbed, and remained near to the doorway.
- yeglíg impf.3sg.m. Arabic verb ‘to be disturbed’
- qârîb ‘near’ from Arabic qarīb (note the interesting phenomenon of two Arabic loans appearing next to each other, each with a different realization of qaf; the first is no doubt a more recent loan, as no contemporary Libyan Arabic dialects have q.)
- i– directional particle ‘to, toward’
- îmi n. ‘mouth’ (i.e. the opening of the door, or doorway)
- tawōrt n.sg. ‘door’
yuséd ěssâyáf, yurâ tasergilt, yufâ ěṭṭufêǐli nẹ́tta ěddûni.
The executioner came, opened the lock, (and) found the good-for-nothing, he (was) bad(?).
- yuséd pf.3sg.m. ‘he came’
- ěssâyáf n. ‘executioner’ < Arabic السياف es-sayyāf ‘executioner, swordsman’
- yurâ pf.3sg.m. ‘he opened’
- tasergilt n.f. ‘lock’
- yufâ pf.3sg.m. ‘he found’
- nẹ́tta 3sg.m. independent pronoun ‘he’
- ěddûni perhaps meaning something like ‘bad’ (some Arabic dialects have dūnī ‘bad’)
yussufō*ġ-t, ya‘bâ asíḥḥar.
He tossed him out, (and) wanted to kill (him).
- yussufōġ-t pf.3sg.m. causative of yeffọ́ġ ‘to exit, go outside’ + 3sg.m. direct object clitic
- ya‘bâ pf.3sg.m. ‘he wanted’ (takes an aorist verb)
- asíḥḥar aor.3g.m. of the verb aḥḥar ‘to kill’ (originally from Arabic nḥr).
yeqqím itéll wu yěnnâs: nīš ingî sě ġúr-sen!
He began to weep and said to him: “I am not one of them!”
- yeqqím itéll pf.3sg.m. yeqqím functions as inchoative with following impf. itéll 3sg.m. ‘to cry, weep’
- nīš 1sg. personal pronoun ‘I’
- ingî ‘not’ (Fogaha nk-)
- sě ġúr-sen ‘one of them’, literally ‘one from them’ (see above)
yuzén assîyáf išâwar lěḥkûmet.
The executioner sent himself off (and) consulted the authorities.
- yuzén pf.3sg.m. ‘he sent’
- išâwar impf.3sg.m. of Arabic verb يشاور īšāwǝr ‘to consult’
- lěḥkûmet n.f. ‘government’ from WLA l-eḥkūma
ěnnân-ās: ōḍbaḥîm-as anẹddiyûsěd.
They said to him: “Call him (and) we will come.”
- ěnnân-ās pf.3pl.m. ‘they said’ (compare innân- in text II) + 3sg. indir.obj. pronoun
- ōḍbaḥîm-as impv.2pl.m. ‘you call him’. the initial ō is odd, but the Arabic text simply has an alif.
- anẹddiyûsěd aor.1pl. ‘we will come’
yèmmadd-âsen eṭṭufêǐli ii-lěḥkûmet, yěnn-âsen: eṣṣanǎ‘āt-énnu ěl‘amr-é̱nnu kúll ṭufêǐli.
The good-for-nothing went to them, to the authorities, (and) said to them: “My trade, for my whole life (is that of) a good-for-nothing.”
- yèmmadd-âsen pf.2sg.m. ‘he went’ + 3pl. indirect object ‘to them’
- ii-lěḥkûmet directional particle i-/iyi- + n. ‘government, authorities’ (note double marking of indirect object of the verb)
- eṣṣanǎ‘āt-énnu 1sg. possessive ‘my work, trade’
- ěl‘amr-é̱nnu 1sg. possessive ‘my life’ (with ěl‘amr probably reflecting Arabic li-‘amr-ī ‘for my life’, rather than ěl- being the definite article.)
- kúll ‘all, whole’ < Arabic kull ‘all’
yěnn-âs el-ḥâkim: in kān atétrāk eṣṣana‘āt-énnek, aksárrax.
The judge said: “If you leave your trade, I’ll set you free.”
- el-ḥâkim n. ‘judge’ < Arabic el-ḥākim ‘judge’
- in kān atétrāk conditional construction headed by Arabic in kān ‘if’
- eṣṣana‘āt-énnek 2sg.m. possessive ‘your trade’
- aksárrax aor.1sg. (?) Sarnelli’s transcription has aksárrah (with -h not -ẖ), even though the Arabic text has ح [ḥ]; perhaps the dot was just omitted, since we’d expect a 1sg. ending here.
yěnn-âs: térkěẖ eṣṣân‘āt ěddâl ḥáttā kān ‘ázzǎmen fěllâ, āmadíx abādé̱n!
(The good-for-nothing) said to him: “I have (already) abandoned this trade. Even if they invited (me), I would never go!”
- térkěẖ pf.1sg. ‘I left’ of Arabic root taraka ‘to leave’
- ḥáttā kān Arabic conditional ‘even if’, followed by perfect verb
- ‘ázzǎmen pf.3pl.m. of Arabic verb ‘azzam ‘to invite’
- fěllâ This preposition has not yet occurred without an indirect object suffix, so I’m not completely sure what its function is here. Perhaps it is just a peculiar form of the 1sg., with féll– marking the object of the verb (note that in Awjili felli- becomes felliwi in the 1sg.).
- āmadíx aor.1sg. ‘to go’
- abādé̱n adv. ‘never’ from Arabic abadan ‘never’