Ghadames story 1: The kitten and the rat

This text comes from Lanfry, J. (1968.) Ghadamès. Etude Linguistique et Ethnographique. Algérie: Fort-National. The texts have been transcribed by Maarten Kossmann, and all the correctons that Lanfry provided in a later publication have been included by him. For those who would like an idea of what Ghadames looks like:

Ghadames. Image by George Steinmetz, National Geographic.

Instead of a word-by-word gloss, this time we’ve only given the translation. A complete vocabulary can be found after the break.

yo̱t te̱žărt tǝlla takaṭṭuss d oḇǝǧǧan. ǧărrădăn, ǧărrădăn. aḇǝnnǝḇǝn rŏwwăḥăn. ikk asǝf sa.
One time there was a kitten and a rat. They played and played. In the evening they went home. Every day (it went) like that.

yo̱t te̱žărt, tǝnna-yas ma-yis n takaṭṭuss-e i yălle-s: – din twe̱das?
One time, the mother of this kitten said to her daughter: Where did you go?

tǝnna-yas: – gărrădǝɛ năšš d oḇǝǧǧan.
(The kitten) said: I was playing with rat.

tǝnna-yas: – iše wăl t-id-tăbbe̱t?
(The mother) said to her: Why have you not caught her?

tǝnna-yas: – azakka t-id-ăbbăɛ.
(The kitten) said: Tomorrow I will catch him.

oḇǝǧǧan-e tǝnna-yas ma̱-yis: – din twe̱das?
As for that rat, his mother said to him: Where did you go?

inna-ya̱s: – gărrădăɛ năšš ǝt takaṭṭuss.
(The rat) said to her: I was playing with kitten.

tǝnna-yas: – ak tǝkṣe̱dǝt šǝk-tǝšš?
(His mother) said to him: Are you not afraid that she’ll eat you?

inna-ya̱s: – azakka ak tiwiɛas [tiweɛas? JL]
(The rat) said to her: Tomorrow I won’t go to her.

takaṭṭus-e, eḇăḍ ǝnnăs imda ak tănădde̱m… ǝṣṣala, tǝkkăr-d zik, tǝzzăl i daž n oḇǝǧǧan-e, tǝnna-yas-ǝn: – oḇǝǧǧan, oḇǝǧǧan, wiǧǧǝz, ǝn_nǝǧrăd!
The cat, the whole night goes by and (lit. ‘her night ends’) she did not sleep… In the morning, she wakes up early and runs to the house of the rat. There she says to him: Rat, Rat! come down, so that we can play!

inna-yaz-d oḇǝǧǧan-e: – ke am-tăssǝlmăd ma-yim tăssǝlmăd-i-t imma!
And rat said to her: What your mother has taught you, my mother has taught me it!

yăbul-az-d esm-i yărwăl.
He pissed in her ear and fled.

tǝqqa tulless, wăl tǝqqe rrăḥmăt ǝn Răbbi!
The story is over, (but) the compassion of God is not!

Vocabulary

A = Aorist, F = Future, P = Perfective, NP = Negative Perfective, I = Imperfective, NP = Negative Imperfective.

  • yo̱n (m.), yo̱t (f.) ‘one’
  • te̱žărt ‘time’
  • A=F ili P=NP əlla I=NI ttili ‘to be’
  • takaṭṭuss pl. tkuṭṭa̱s ‘kitten’
  • d ‘and, with’
  • oḇǝǧǧan pl. ḇəǧǧa̱năn ‘rat’
  • A ăǧrəd P=F əǧrăd NP əǧred I əǧărrăd NI əǧərrəd ‘to play’
  • aḇǝnnǝḇǝn ‘at night fall’
  • A=F ərəwwəḥ P ărŏwwăḥ NP ărŏwweḥ I=NI əttərəwwəḥ ‘go home’ (ărəwwăḥ-ăn is expected in the text, initial ă- is missing unexpectedly).
  • ikk ‘every’
  • asəf ‘day’
  • sa ‘so’
  • A=F ăn P=NP ənna I=NI əqqar ‘to say’
  • ma ‘mother’ (only for non-1sg. forms for ‘my mother’ yəmma is used)
  • yălle pl. ənd-yălle ‘(my) daughter’
  • din ‘where?’
  • A aw-as P=F=NP w-as I əttaw-as NI əttiw-as ‘to go (away)’, an irregular verb.
  • năšš ‘I’
  • iše ‘why?’
  • wăl ‘not’, this negator is used in relative clauses and question word clauses. Otherwise ak is used.
  • A ăbb P=F əbbo I ttəbbəbb ‘to bring’
  • azakka ‘tomorrow’
  • d Future marker, which disappears completely if clitics follow it (as is the case here), and is only visible by the fact that it fronts the clitics.
  • ak ‘not’, regular negator.
  • A ăkṣəḍ P=F əkṣăḍ NP əkṣeḍ I əkăṣṣăḍ NI əkəṣṣəḍ ‘to fear, be afraid’
  • A ăšš P əššo NP əšše F əšš I əttătt NI əttətt ‘to eat’
  • azakka ‘tomorrow’
  • eḇăḍ ‘night’
  • A=F əmdu P əmda  NP əmde I=NI əməddu ‘to finish’
  • A=F ənəddəm P ănəddăm NP ănəddem (ănăddem in text) I əttənəddăm NI əttənəddəm ‘to sleep’
  • əṣṣala pl. ənd-əṣṣala ‘morning’
  • A ăkkər P=F əkkăr NP əkker I əttăkkăr NI əttəkkər ‘to get up’
  • zik ‘early’
  • A ăzzəl P=F əzzăl NP əzzel I əttăzzăl NI əttəzzəl ‘to run’
  • i ‘to’
  • daž pl. dažiwăn ‘house’
  • n ‘of’
  • A ăǧǧəz P=F əǧǧăz NP əǧǧez I əttăǧǧăz NI əttəǧǧəz ‘to come down’ (besides the regular Aorist, an irregular Imperative wiǧǧəz may also be used, which is the case here).
  • ke ‘what/what?’, introduces a relative clause
  • A=NI əssəlməd P ăssəlmăd NP ăssəlmed I=F əssălmăd ‘to teach’
  • imma = yəmma ‘my mother’
  • A=F əbul P=NP ăbul I=NI əttəbul ‘to urinate’
  • esəm pl. sămmăn ‘ear’
  • A ărwəl P=F ərwăl NP ərwel I ərŏwwăl NI ərŭwwəl ‘to flee, to escape’ (ə is often lowered to ă in front of r, as is the case in the text, ŏ and ŭ are allophones of ă and ə in front of w).
  • A=F ǝqqu  Pəqqa NP əqqe I=NI əttəqqu ‘to be finished’
  • tulless pl. tulleze̱n ‘story’
  • rrăḥmăt ‘compassion’
  • Răbbi ‘god’

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