“Meat” and “drink” in Libyan Berber
29 September 2014 2 Comments
The previously mentioned Facebook group has been continuing its activity – particular credit should go to Sami Halasa and Faycel Marir, for asking many dialectologically interesting questions. Two recent ones seem interesting enough to share, and illustrate slightly different isogloss patterns – as usual, the Jebel Nefusa minus Yefren+Al-Qalaa and Wazzin stands out, but this time it shows significant internal divisions too, in a different place each time.
“Meat“: aksum in dark green, aysum in green, usəm in yellowish-green, isan in white.
Aksum/aysum is pretty well universal in Berber along the Mediterranean – showing the usual Nefusi vowel shift in usəm – while isan is more associated with Tuareg. It’s possible that isan is related to aksum/aysum/usəm: in Ghadames, it appears that isan is actually the irregularly formed plural of aksəm. If so, however, I don’t understand the relationship well: was -um a singulative? or perhaps just -w, with -un-w > -um?
Also interesting is “he drinks“: isəss in green, itəssu/isəssu in yellowish green, yəssaw in white:
Of these, isəss, as the most irregular form, is presumably original (cf. Kossmann 2008); the other two have been partially regularised to fit better with more common conjugations. The Nalut form looks exactly like Siwi, but that may be coincidence. Sokna shows a combination of both innovations: itəssaw.