Aujila is a Berber language (hopefully still) spoken in Libya. It is quite different from other Berber languages because it retains the Proto-Berber *β in most cases much like Ghadamès. The only extensive material published on this language is quite old and all by the same author. The small Italian-Aujila lexicon (yes, in that direction) by Paradisi (1960a) and the small collection of Aujila texts with translation from Paradisi (1960b). I am quite sure that there is still a lot to be discovered about this strongly underappreciated language, thus I have started personal study on this language to find out more about it.
I've started creating a small scale Aujila-English dictionary in order of root structure, while providing etymological parallel's with these words. Hopefully, some day, I'll have a chance to publish this small work.
For now I am focussing on textual translations from Paradisi (1960b). I hope to make a small series out of this, where I gloss, translate and transliterate some texts from above source. Paradisi's transliteration is phonetically very exact, but leaves much to be desired in terms of phonemic analysis. I attempt to give a more phonemic transcription, but in this early stage, it will involve a lot of guess work. I have a 'feeling' (great scientific term) that Aujila retains the short vowel contrast between ă and ǝ. Sadly, Paradisi does not seem to distinguish between short ă and long a. Sometimes I'll simply assume the short ă is meant on basis of etymological comparisons.
With that said, let's move on to the translation of Paradisi's first text.
márra gan amídǝn amoqqǝrán u qǝríb ayǝmmút
There once was a man who was about to die.
- márra (< ar. marrä) "Once"
- gan [Lameen Souag:] existential "there is"
- amǝ́dǝn/amídǝn "Person" An unusual singular formation of the common berber midden/medden "people" Since forms both with i and ǝ are found in the plural formation, it is difficult to determine what the original vowel is in Aujila. Paradisi wrote: amẹ́dẹn
- amoqqǝrán "large, old" masculine defininite adjective. Adjectival derivation of common berber verb *MɣR 'to be big'
- u "and" Probably from arabic wa-
- qǝríb "near" (< ar. qarīb). Paradisi transcribes qårîb but å seems motivated by the back consonants surrounding it. I do not think that Libyan dialectal Arabic retains a distinction between the short vowels.
- ayǝmmút Aorist 3sg. of "to die" notice the prefixed a- that is cognate to the common particle ad.
w- iwín n išf illúm amǝẓẓín-nǝs w- ifkí-sin ǝlḥǝ́zmǝt n tǝġarīwī́n w- yni-sín: "yaxát ǝrẓát-tǝt"
"and one day he gathered his sons and he gave them a bundle of sticks and said to them: 'take and break it."
- w- unvocalised variant of u
- iwín "one"
- n genitive particle
- išf "day"
- illúm pf.3sg.m. "to gather" Could not find this in the dictionary. Paradisi filtered out all Arabic from his word list, so perhaps from ar. lamma "to gather"?
- amǝẓẓín "sons" suppletive plural of íwi "son".
- -nǝs genitive particle with 3sg. pronominal suffix. "his".
- ifkí pf.3sg.m. "to give"
- -sin 3pl.m. Direct Object pronominal suffix.
- ǝlḥǝ́zmǝt "bundle" (al-ḥazmä)
- tǝġarīwī́n pl. of tăġarít 'stick'
- yni pf.3sg. "to say"
- yaxát imper.2sg. "to take"
- ǝrẓát imper.2sg. "to break"
- -tǝt 3sg.f. Direct Object pronominal suffix.
u yuġí-tǝt kull iwinán s-ġarsîn iġǝ́lli a-irẓí-tǝt, yǝzmǝr-ká
"and each one of them took it and wanted to break it, and couldn't."
- yuġí pf.3sg. "to take"
- kull "each, all" (< ar. kull)
- iwinán "one"
- s-ġar-sín [Lameen Souag:] s-ġar-sín (in Ar. mən ʕand-hum) "from among them"
- iġǝ́lli pf.3sg.m. "to want"
- a-irẓí aor.3sg.m. "to break"
- yǝzmǝr pf.3sg.m. "to be able"
- -ka negative particle cognate to Riffian/Middle Atlas Berber ša and Kabyle ara ultimately a reduction from kra/kara 'thing' from the original twofold negative formation ur/l ... kra "not ... a thing" similar to the french ne ... pas construction. Aujila has ur "not", but is one of the few languages that allows negative formations to be formed with only the secondary negative particle -ka, this is similar to Zuara Berber and different from other Northern Berber languages like Tarifiyt and Middle Atlast Berber where ur/ul is require and -ka is optional. In Tuareg, the second element is completely absent.
baεadén yuġí-tǝt ššárǝf u yuffukkí-tet u yǝfká kull iwîn taġarít.
"Then, the old man took it, and untied it and gave each one a stick."
- baεadén from Arabic baεda an "after, then". The a in the transcription is probably a colored schwa due to the Ayin. Maybe a better phonemic interpretation is bǝεǝ dǝ́n or bǝε dǝ́n . [Lameen Souag:] more likely a typo for baʕdēn "afterwards" [Phoenix:] Not necessarily a typo, Paradisi wrote this as é, which usually seems to be an accented schwa, but definitely does not seem outside of the realm of possibility that it could also mean an accented [e].
- ššárǝf "old man" (< ar. šārif "old (camel mare)")
- yuffukkí pf.3sg.m. "to untie", [Bulbul suggestion] From Arabic fakka "to seperate, disjoin", this works. The ff instead of f is a bit surprising.
- yefká pf.3sg.m. "to give" the final a changes to i when followed by a direct object suffix. Suprisingly 3sg.m. prefix y- is not vocalised like it was earlier.
- taġarít "stick".
baεadén kull iwín yuġá tăġarít u yǝrẓí-tǝt físa
"Then, each one took the stick and broke it with ease."
- yuġá pf.3sg.m. "to take". The reason for the difference in vocalism of the final vowel as compared to earlier, is because this form is not followed by a direct object suffix.
- yǝrẓí pf.3sg.m. "to break"
- físa adv. "instantly" [Lameen Souag:] dialectal Ar. fissaʕ "quickly" < fī s-sāʕ-ah "in the hour" (also in Siwi, SW Algerian Arabic.)
baεadén yni-sín: "akká, kǝmmím am t(ǝ)ġariwin-íyǝk"
"Afterwards he said to them: 'there, you are like these sticks"
- akká "here" in the sense of "see!" reminiscent of French voici .
- kǝmmím 2pl.m. pronoun
- am "like"
- t(ǝ)ġariwin pl. of "stick", this time transcribed without a schwa.
- -íyǝk suffixal demonstrative plural pronoune "these".
ǝ́ndu tǝllumắm imann-ǝkím maεá baεáḍkum attǝqqímăm am tǝġariwin-íyäk,
"If, you don't gather yourselves with each other , you will remain (unharmed) like these sticks"
- ǝ́ndu "if"
- tǝllumắm int.2pl.m. Intensive seems indistinguishable from the perfect llum "to gather".
- imann-ǝkím imann "person, oneself" + -ǝkím post-prepositional 2pl.m. pronoun suffix. thus: "yourselves"
- maεá "with"(< ar. maεa)
- baεáḍkum [Comment by Bulbul gives insight:] "baεáḍkum is more likely a reciprocal pronoun, here as an object of a preposition, i.e. "with each other". This mirrors the usage in Libyan Arabic where baεd only occurs with plural suffixes." [Lameen Souag:] ḍ is original (I imagine also in Libyan, but certainly in Classical), and the use of maʕa here is clearly fixed.
- a-ttǝqqímăm aor.2pl.m. "to stay, remain". In Paradisi's transcription, the 2pl.m. circumfix t-...ăm seems to have a long a (even written with a macron) every time. I've written it down with a short ă for etymological reasons. This may be/is probably wrong. The original of the full a is obscure. For this verb we expect aor. a+qqim pf. qquma/i int. ttǝqqim. But the a/i may have transfered to the aorist. As I can't find llum in any other language, I don't know if the same story would go for this.
- -íyäk a typical Paradisi variant, one sentence the word is written with e the other time with ä (= ă?). No reason to prefer one over the other right now, so I kept both variants.
ǝ́ndu tǝllumắm-ka imann-ǝkím a-tǝqqímăm am iwatán n taġarít izmíra kull-iwín a-yǝrẓí-tǝt bišwáš
"If you don't gather yourselves you will be (litt. remain) like a single stick, anyone was able to break it easily."
- iwatán f.sg. adjective of "one"
- izmíra pf.3sg.m. "to be able". It's surprising that we find a perfect here to me. I would expect an intensive. Perfect aspect or past tense doesn't feel right here. This might be a non-native sense for imperfect/perfect distinction playing a role. Maybe it should be read like this: "you will be like a single stick, (as you saw) anyone was able to break it easily."
- bišwáš this should mean "easily" [Lameen Souag] Probably Egyptian Ar. bi-šwēš < redup. of šweyy "a little", ie "with a little (effort.)"
u ini-sín: "llummát imann-ǝkím a-issaεad-kím ṛắbbi"
"and he said to them: 'stick together and God will help you!"
- llummát 2pl.imper. "to stick together"
- a-issaεad aor.3sg.m. "to help" (< ar. sāεada )
- ṛắbbi "God"
Does this format work for you guys? Any questions and suggestions? As I have pointed out several times, I have sometimes taken liberties in transcription, I'm working on a hypothesis, and I'm looking where it'll take me. Maybe it turns out my phonemic interpretation is all wrong, and I can start over, but for now, bear with me, and find the copy if you want the original transcription.