Towards a Libyan/Tunisian Berber dialect atlas
5 September 2014 2 Comments
The polls on the previously mentioned Libyan Berber site are a wonderful data source, notwithstanding occasional difficulties caused by inexact transcription. Here are a few more, selected from the minority of posts that include Wazzin:
“Sun“: tufut in white, tfuyt/tfwit in green, təfuṯ in dark green:
“Son“: təṛwa in white, məmmi in green:
“Year“: suggəs/sukkəs in white, asəggas/asəggʷas in green, asəkkʷas in dark green, and (Arabic) əlʕam in yellow.
Note that, each time, the eastern and western extremes of the Berber-speaking area of Nefusa – Wazzin, Yefren, and Al-Qalaa – group outside of the core Nefusi area and with more Zenati-like dialects of the region. One gets the same impression from other posts which sadly exclude Wazzin, eg:
“Donkey” (حاشاكم:) ziṭ/aziṭ in white, aɣyul in green, aɣɣul in dark green:
“Dog“: yudi in white, aydi / ayəddi in green, ayḏi in dark green, aɣərzul in blue:
That’s not to say, of course, that the central Nefusi dialect area is always homogeneous; there seems to be a certain number of isoglosses separating the Jadu area from the Nalut area. Consider, for instance:
“Figs“: iməṭkən in white, iməṭšan/iməṭšən in green, ifərgas in blue. (I’ve ignored a few attestations of the Arabic loan kəṛmus, since they are inconsistent. The form iməṭšən is attested only in the Nalut area, but some speakers from the same areas are writing iməṭšan.)
For all of these varieties, available grammatical descriptions are at best inadequate; practically nothing has been published on the dialects of Yefren, Wazzin, or even the Nalut region.