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Tuareg languages
The Tuareg (English: /
ˈtwɑːrɛɡ
/) languages constitute a group of closely related Berber languages and dialects. They are spoken by the Tuareg Berbers in large parts of Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso, with a few speakers, the Kinnin, in Chad.[1]
Tuareg
EthnicityTuareg
Geographic
distribution
Sahara and Sahel
Linguistic classificationAfro-Asiatic
Tuareg
Subdivisions
ISO 639-2 / 5tmh
ISO 639-3tmh
Glottologtuar1240
Description
Tuareg dialects belong to the South Berber group and are sometimes regarded as a single language (as for instance by Karl-Gottfried Prasse). They are distinguished mainly by a few sound shifts (notably affecting the pronunciation of original z and h). The Tuareg varieties are unusually conservative in some respects; they retain two short vowels where Northern-Berber languages have one or none, and have a much lower proportion of Arabic loanwords than most Berber languages.
The Tuareg languages are traditionally written in the indigenous Tifinagh alphabet. However, the Arabic script is commonly used in some areas (and has been since medieval times), while the Latin script is official in Mali and Niger.
Subclassification
Blench (ms, 2006) lists the following as separate languages, with dialects in parentheses:[3]
Speakers of Tin Sert (Tetserret) identify as Tuareg, but the language is Western Berber.
Orthography
The Tuareg languages may be written using the ancient Tifinagh (Libyco-Berber) script, the Latin script or the Arabic script. The Malian national literacy program DNAFLA has established a standard for the Latin alphabet, which is used with modifications in Prasse's Lexique and the government literacy program in Burkina, while in Niger a different system was used. There is also some variation in Tifinagh and in the Arabic script.[4]
Early uses of the Tifinagh script have been found on rock art and in various sepulchres. Among these are the 1,500 year old monumental tomb of the Tuareg matriarch Tin Hinan, where vestiges of a Tifinagh inscription have been found on one of its walls.[5]
Tifinagh usage is now restricted mainly to writing magical formulae, writing on palms when silence is required, and in letter-writing.[6] The Arabic script is mostly in use by tribes more involved in Islamic learning, and little is known about its conventions.[7]
Traditional Tifinagh, including various ligatures of t and n. Gemination is not indicated. Most of the letters have more than one common form. When the letters l and n are adjacent to themselves or to each other, the second one is inclined: ⵍ ("l"), ⵏⵏ ("nn"), ⵍⵏ ("ln"), ⵏⵍ ("nl"), ⵍⵍ ("ll"), ⵏⵏⵏ ("nnn").
Representative alphabets for Tuareg[8][9][10][11]
DNAFLA
(Mali)[12]
Niger[13]TifinaghTifinagh (Unicode text)Perso-Arabic
aa
â
ăă
ǝǝ
bb
ب
(ḅ)
c
dd
د
ض
ee
ê
ff
ف
gg
گ ݣ
ii
î
jj
چ
ǰ
ɣɣ
غ
hh
ه
kk
ک
ll
ل
mm
م
nn
ن
ŋŋ
oo
ô
qq
ⵆ, ⵈق
rr
ر
ss
س
ص
š (ʃ)š
ش
tt
ت
ط
uu
û
ww
و
xx
خ
yy
ⵢ, ⵉي
zz
ⵌ, ⵣز
ظ
ž (ʒ)ǧ
ج
ح
(ʕ)
ع
The DNAFLA system is a somewhat morphophonemic orthography, not indicating initial vowel shortening, always writing the directional particle as < dd⟩, and not indicating all assimilations (e.g. ⟨Tămašăɣt⟩ for [tămašăq]).[14]
In Burkina Faso the emphatics are denoted by "hooked" letters, as in Fula, e.g. ⟨ɗ ƭ⟩.[15]
Phonology
Vowels
The vowel system includes five long vowels, /a, e, i, o, u/ and two short vowels, /ə, ă/ (on this page, /ă/ is used to represent IPA [æ]). Some of the vowels have more open "emphatic" allophones that occur immediately before emphatic consonants, subject to dialectal variation. These allophones include [ɛ] for /e/ and /i/ (although /i/ may be less open), [ɔ] for /o/ and /u/ (although /u/ may be less open), and [ă] for /ə/.[16] Karl Prasse argued that /e/ goes back to Proto-Berber, while /o/ is derived from /u/.[17] Comparative evidence shows that /ə/ derives from a merger of Proto-Berber */ĭ/ and */ŭ/.
Sudlow classes the "semivowels" /w, j/ with the vowels, and notes the following possible diphthongs: /əw/ (> [u]), /ăw/, /aw/, /ew/, /iw/, /ow/, /uw/, /əj/ (> [i]), /ăj/, /aj/, /ej/, /ij/, /oj/, /uj/.[18]
Consonants
Tamasheq consonants[19]
LabialAlveolarPalatalVelarUvularPharyngealGlottal
plainemphatic
Nasalmnŋ
Stopbt dtˤ dˤɟ[20]k ɡq(ʔ)
Fricativefs z(sˤ) zˤʃ ʒx ɣ[21](ħ ʕ)h
Laterall(lˤ)
The consonant inventory largely resembles Arabic: differentiated voicing; uvulars, pharyngeals (traditionally referred to as emphatics) /tˤ/, /lˤ/, /sˤ/, /dˤ/, /zˤ/; requiring the pharynx muscles to contract and influencing the pronunciation of the following vowel (although /lˤ, sˤ/ only occur in Arabic loans and /ɫ/ only in the name of Allah).[22]
/ŋ/ is rare, /ʒ/ is rare in Tadraq, and /ħ, ʕ/ are only used in Arabic words in the Tanəsləmt dialect (most Tamasheq replace them with /x, ɣ/ respectively).[19]
The glottal stop is non-phonemic. It occurs at the beginning of vowel-initial words to fill the place of the initial consonant in the syllable structure (see below), although if the words is preceded by a word ending in a consonant, it makes a liaison instead. Phrase-final /a/ is also followed by a phonetic glottal stop.[23]
Gemination is contrastive.[24] Normally /ɣɣ/ becomes [qː], /ww/ becomes [ɡː], and /dˤdˤ/ becomes [tˤː].[24] /q/ and /tˤ/ are predominantly geminate. In addition, in Tadraq /ɡ/ is usually geminate, but in Tudalt singleton /ɡ/ may occur.[24]
Voicing assimilation occurs, with the first consonant taking the voicing of the second (e.g. /edˤkăr/ > [etˤkăr]).[25]
Cluster reduction turns word/morpheme-final /-ɣt, -ɣk/ into [-qː] and /-kt, -ɟt, -ɡt/ into [-kː] (e.g. /tămaʃăɣt/ > [tămaʃăq] 'Tamasheq'[26]).[27]
Phonotactics
Syllable structure is CV(C)(C), including glottal stops (see above).[23]
Suprasegmentals
Contrastive stress may occur in the stative aspect of verbs.[16]
Dialectal differences
Different dialects have slightly different consonant inventories. Some of these differences can be diachronically accounted for. For example, Proto-Berber *h is mostly lost in Ayer Tuareg, while it is maintained in almost every position in Mali Tuareg. The Iwellemmeden and Ahaggar Tuareg dialects are midway between these positions.[28] The Proto-Berber consonant *z comes out differently in different dialects, a development that is to some degree reflected in the dialect names. It is realized as h in Tamahaq (Tahaggart), as š in Tamasheq and as simple z in the Tamajaq dialects Tawallammat and Tayart. In the latter two, *z is realised as ž before palatal vowels, explaining the form Tamajaq. In Tawallammat and especially Tayart, this kind of palatalization actually does not confine itself to z. In these dialects, dentals in general are palatalized before /i/ and /j/. For example, tidət is pronounced [tidʲət] in Tayart.[29]
Other differences can easily be traced back to borrowing. For example, the Arabic pharyngeals ħ and ʻ have been borrowed along with Arabic loanwords by dialects specialized in Islamic (Maraboutic) learning. Other dialects substitute ħ and ʻ respectively with x and ɣ.
Grammar
The basic word order in Tuareg is verb–subject–object. Verbs can be grouped into 19 morphological classes; some of these classes can be defined semantically. Verbs carry information on the subject of the sentence in the form of pronominal marking. No simple adjectives exist in the Tuareg languages; adjectival concepts are expressed using a relative verb form traditionally called 'participle'. The Tuareg languages have very heavily influenced Northern Songhay languages such as Sawaq, whose speakers are culturally Tuareg but speak Songhay; this influence includes points of phonology and sometimes grammar as well as extensive loanwords.
Syntax
Tamasheq prefers VSO order; however it contains topic–comment structure (like in American Sign Language, Modern Hebrew, Japanese and Russian), allowing the emphasized concept to be placed first, be it the subject or object, the latter giving an effect somewhat like the English passive.[30] Sudlow uses the following examples, all expressing the concept “Men don’t cook porridge” (e denotes Sudlow's schwa):
meddăn wăr sekediwăn ăsinkSVO
wăr sekediwăn meddăn ăsinkVSO
ăsinkwăr ti-sekediwăn meddăn‘Porridge, men don’t cook it.’
wădde meddăn a isakădawăn ăsink‘It isn’t men who cook porridge.’
meddăn a wăren isekediw ăsink‘Men are not those who cook porridge.’
Again like Japanese, the “pronoun/particle ‘a’ is used with a following relative clause to bring a noun in a phrase to the beginning for emphasis,” a structure which can be used to emphasize even objects of prepositions.[31] Sudlow’s example (s denotes voiceless palato-alveolar fricative):
essensăɣ enăle‘I bought millet.’
enăle a essensăɣ‘It was millet that I bought.’
The indirect object marker takes the form i/y in Tudalt and e/y in Tadraq.[32]
Morphology
As a root-and-pattern, or templatic language, triliteral roots (three-consonant bases) are the most common in Tamasheq. Niels and Regula Christiansen use the root k-t-b (to write) to demonstrate past completed aspect conjugation:
Tamasheq subject affixes[33]
Person
s1...-ăɣ
2t-...-ăd
3my-...
ft-...
part.[34]my-...-ăn
ft-...-ăt
pl1n-...
2mt-...-ăm
ft-...-măt
3m...-ăn
f...-năt
part.[34]...-nen
Conjugation of k-t-b 'write'[35]
PersonSingularPlural
1stektabaɣ ‘I wrote’nektab ‘We wrote’
2nd(m)tektabad ‘You (2s) wrote’tektabam ‘You (2p/m) wrote’
(f)tektabmat ‘You (2p/f) wrote’
3rd(m)iktab ‘He wrote’ektaban ‘They (3p/m) wrote’
(f)tektab ‘She wrote’ektabnat ‘They (3/p/f) wrote’
The verbal correspondence with the use of aspect; Tamasheq uses four, as delineated by Sudlow:
  1. Perfective: complete actions
  2. Stative: "lasting states as the ongoing results of a completed action."
  3. Imperfective: future or possible actions, "often used following a verb expressing emotion, decision or thought," it can be marked with "'ad'" (shortened to "'a-'" with prepositions).
  4. Cursive: ongoing actions, often habitual ones.
aspects
VerbPerfective/simple perfectStative/intensive perfectImperfective/simple perfectCursive/intensive imperfect
z-g-rizgărizgăr
'He went out''He has gone out'
b-d-dibdădibdăd
'He stood up''He stood up (and so he is standing up)'
ekkeɣ hebuekkêɣ hebu
'I went to market''I am going to market'
l-m-dad elmedăɣ Tămasăqlammădăɣ Tămasăq
'I will learn Tamasheq''I am learning Tamasheq'
a-dd-as asekka
'He will arrive (here) tomorrow'
iwan tattănăt alemmoZ
'Cows eat straw'
ăru tasăɣalăɣ siha
'I used to work over there'
Commands are expressed in the imperative mood, which tends to be a form of the imperfective aspect, unless the action is to be repeated or continued, in which case the cursive aspect is preferred.[36]
Further reading
Bibliographies
Dictionaries
Page 247 of the 1951 Dictionnaire Touareg–Français, showcasing De Foucauld's meticulous handwriting accompanied by detailed illustrations of tasdest 'tent-pole' and other tent-building terms of the Kel Ahaggar.
Grammars
Texts
Linguistic topics
References
  1. ^ Monique Jay, “Quelques éléments sur les Kinnin d’Abbéché (Tchad)". Études et Documents Berbères 14 (1996), 199-212 (ISSN 0295-5245 ISBN 2-85744-972-0).
  2. ^ "Ethnologue report for language code: thz". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  3. ^ AA list, Blench, ms, 2006
  4. ^ Sudlow (2001:33–36)
  5. ^ Briggs, L. Cabot (February 1957). "A Review of the Physical Anthropology of the Sahara and Its Prehistoric Implications". Man. 56: 20–23. JSTOR 2793877.
  6. ^ Penchoen, Thomas G. (1973). Tamazight of the Ayt Ndhir. Los Angeles: Undena Publications. p. 3.
  7. ^ Project: Orthography in a plurigraphic society: the case of Tuareg in Niger
  8. ^ Sudlow (2001:28,35–36)
  9. ^ Ridouane Ziri, Rachid. "Les différents systèmes d'écriture amazighe" (in French). Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  10. ^ Bizari, Brahim. "Ecriture amazigh" (in French). Archived from the original on April 5, 2001. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  11. ^ Fukui, Yusuf Yoshinori; Walett Mahmoud, Khadijatou. "Alphabets of Tamashek in Mali: Alphabetization and Tifinagh". Archived from the original on February 1, 2004. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  12. ^ Osborn, Don (2002). "Base extended-Latin characters and combinations for languages of Mali". Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  13. ^ Enguehard, Chantal (2007). "alphabet tamajaq (arrété 214-99 de la République du Niger)" (in French). Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  14. ^ Sudlow (2001:34)
  15. ^ Sudlow (2001:33)
  16. ^ a b Sudlow (2001:25)
  17. ^ K.-G. Prasse (1990), New Light on the Origin of the Tuareg Vowels E and O, in: H. G. Mukarovsky (ed), Proceedings of the Fifth International Hamito-Semitic Congress, Vienna, I 163-170.
  18. ^ Sudlow (2001:25–26)
  19. ^ a b Sudlow (2001:26–28)
  20. ^ Sudlow (2001:26) does not make it clear whether this is a true palatal stop or something else, possibly a front velar stop or some sort of affricate.
  21. ^ Sudlow (2001:26) doesn't specify whether these are velar or uvular.
  22. ^ Sudlow (2001:26–7)
  23. ^ a b Sudlow (2001:27)
  24. ^ a b c Sudlow (2001:28)
  25. ^ Sudlow (2001:28–29)
  26. ^ Note that the geminate is dropped if not followed by a vowel.
  27. ^ Sudlow (2001:29)
  28. ^ Prasse 1969, Kossmann 1999
  29. ^ Prasse e.a. 2003:xiv
  30. ^ Sudlow, (2001:46)
  31. ^ Sudlow (2001:48)
  32. ^ Sudlow & 2001, 1.1.
  33. ^ Sudlow (2001:118)
  34. ^ a b Participle form, i.e. "who ..."
  35. ^ Christiansen 2002, p. 5.
  36. ^ Sudlow (2001:57)
Bibliography
External links
Souag, L.: Writing Berber Languages
Last edited on 30 April 2021, at 13:39
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