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Been waiting for this!

ǝlgǝdǝr: another word for us to add to the g-dialect which influenced Awjili, cf. ELA gidr 'large cooking pot'.

sǝnnáṭnǝt: ELA ṣǝnnǝṭ ‘to listen’ (also Algiers Jewish ṣọ̌nnọ̌ṭ 'écouter'), probably metathesis of Classical naṣṣata.

aḥáš: wonder what the relationship is between this and Egy. waḥš 'bad', ELA weḥš 'monster', etc. ?

Proto-Berber *alǝġǝm/aġǝlǝm : any relation with Ar. ġǝnǝm 'flock, etc.' ?


"aḥáš: wonder what the relationship is between this and Egy. waḥš 'bad', ELA weḥš 'monster', etc. ?"

Probably be related. Considering that is a non-Berber sound, it must be from Arabic somehow.

"Proto-Berber *alǝġǝm/aġǝlǝm : any relation with Ar. ġǝnǝm 'flock, etc.' ?"

How would you account for the l~n?

The word for camel is a problem. It can be reconstructed solidly for Proto-Berber, and therefore is Pre-Arabic. But, the camel isn't native to North-Africa, and the word therefore would be expected to be a loanword. Since all the consonants to form camel (which is ultimately a semitic loanword) are there, you'd expect it to be either loaned from Latin or from Punic. But there simply isn't a way to account for the erratic metathesis (and in the case of latin, the absence of a -u/-us ending that we do find in afullus 'rooster' < pullus 'young animal' but in vulgar latin 'chicken, rooster'

So if it isn't a loanword, why does Proto-Berber have a word for an animal not native to North-Africa?

Well, when they were introduced to North-Africa, maybe the Proto-Berber speakers had some sort of animal that they considered similar, and decided to use a native word to denote camels, then the original animal either went extinct, or took on a new name of some other origin.

I can't find of a good example of this in a more familiar language right now. I'll be sure to pos tit up once I do.


Well, I think that Classical Ar. has ġǝnǝm, but quite a few dialects have ġǝlǝm instead, and besides n~l metatheses and dis/assimilations are quite common in a several North African dialects, including ELA.

Your scenario makes sense, as one option. I would also add that even though the word can be reconstructed for Proto-Berber, it isn't required that Proto-Berber speakers have actually had that word. We can reconstruct the Old Iranian word for 'trap, snare', for example, but have no way of knowing if Old Iranian actually had such a word.

But I guess if nearly all the disparate Berber languages have a reflex for it, then it must be either your scenario, or a loanword in Proto-Berber. But from whom? So I think the case for your scenario might be stronger; given that it is Semitic as well, maybe we're looking at a very Proto word for groups of four-legged animals?

Lameen, ideas?

Glen Gordon

I noticed a typo: "and the ogre came, and they gave him the **mead** that they prepared". That must be the Celtic version, hehe.

Phoenix: "How would you account for the l~n?"

I don't want to encourage loose theories (you know me, I abhor unelaborate ideas) but the confusion of /l/ with /n/ is terribly common cross-linguistically and especially in loans. Even sporadic, irregular changes within a language can happen very easily though. A modern example is between Mandarin ni 'you' (你) and Cantonese lei 'you'. In fact the Cantonese dialects may also say it as nei depending on region, dialect, level of formality, etc. (http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?1,56835). An ancient example of a loan with this alternation: Hattic ḫanfašuit becomes Hittite ḫalmašuiz.


tmúrt-i : remarkable dropping of the a - looks parallel to what Mitchell describes for nouns like "hand" in Zuara, where the prefix ə- appears in citation form but is dropped when a suffix is added.

ǝlmǝġġárǝt 'cave': wonder why the gemination?

ṣbaḥ-ǝ́nnǝs: rather "its morning/tomorrow", ie the next day

I rather like Adam's idea of relating alɣəm to ɣanam - the n to l change is certainly well-attested in this word. But the semantics and the transposition makes it rather speculative (aɣlam isn't nearly as widely attested, and isn't necessarily from the same origin anyway.) If so, it would certainly not be a loan from Punic - Punic changes *ɣ to ʕ. Kossmann makes it pretty clear that it's not a loan from Latin either, as convenient as that would be.


Yeah as much as anyone would want to somehow explain the word for camel as a loan, it's pretty difficult to uphold.

If anyone wants to read more on this, the work Lameen is referring to is Maarten Kossmann 2005 Berber Loanwords in Hausa. This book has quite a significant chapter dedicated to the word for camel.

"ǝlmǝġġárǝt 'cave': wonder why the gemination?"

No idea, but the next part of the text that I'll put up shortly also has the form without gemination.

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