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|Region||Kabylie (Provinces of Béjaïa, parts of BBA, Bouira, Boumerdes, Tizi Ouzou, and parts of Jijel)|
|Latin, Tifinagh (symbolic)|
Percentage of Kabyle speakers in northern Algeria
Kabyle // , or Kabylian // (native name: Taqbaylit, [θɐqβæjlɪθ] (
Estimates of the number of Kabyle speakers range from five million to about seven million worldwide, the majority in Algeria, according to INALCO.
Kabyle is one of the Berber languages, a family within Afroasiatic. It is believed to have broken off very early from Proto-Berber, although after the Zenaga language did so.
Kabyle Berber is native to Kabylia. It is present in seven Algerian districts.
Approximately one-third of Algerians are Berber-speakers, clustered mostly near Algiers, in Kabylian and Shawi, but with some communities in the west, east and south of the country.Kabyles are the largest Berber group in Algeria, but may not constitute a majority.
The populations of Béjaïa (Bgayet), Bouïra (Tubirett) and Tizi Ouzou (Tizi Wezzu) provinces are in majority Kabyle-speaking. Kabyle is mainly spoken in the provinces of Boumerdès, and as well as in Bordj Bou Arréridj, Jijel, and in Algiers where it coexists with Algerian Arabic.
Kabyle Berber is also spoken as a native language among the Algerian Kabyle-descended diaspora in European and North American cities (mainly France). It is estimated that half of Kabyles live outside the Kabylian region.[ citation needed ]
After the 2001–02 widespread Kabyle protests known as the Black Spring, the Berber (Amazigh) language (with all its Algerian dialects and varieties) was recognized as a 'national language' in the 2002 Algerian Constitution, but not as an 'official language' until 2016 after a long campaign by activists.The Arabic language is still the only de jure official language of Algeria. French is not recognized in any legal document of Algeria but enjoys a de facto position of an official language as it is used in every Algerian official administration or institution, at all levels of the government, sometimes much more than Arabic.
The Berber (Amazigh) language faces an unfavourable environment, despite a public radio (Channel II, which dates back to the Algerian War), as well as a public TV channel (Channel IV or Tamazight TV). Since private ownership of TV channels is illegal in Algeria, Kabyles have launched a private Kabyle speaking TV channel, called Berbère Television, that broadcasts from Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis in France (93).
In 1994, Kabyle pupils and students boycotted Algerian schools for a year, demanding the officialization of Berber, leading to the symbolic creation of the "Haut Commissariat à l'Amazighité" (HCA) in 1995. Berber was subsequently taught as a non-compulsory language in Berber speaking areas. The course being optional, few people attend.
President Bouteflika has frequently stated that "Amazigh (the Berber language) will never be an official language, and if it has to be a national language, it must be submitted to a referendum".In 2005, President Bouteflika, stated that "there is no country in the world with two official languages" and "this will never be the case of Algeria". Nevertheless, after four decades of pacific struggle, riots, strikes, and social mobilization, including the Berber spring (1980, riots and strikes in the Kabylie region of Tizi Ouzou, Bouira and Bejaïa, as well as Algiers) and the Black Spring in 2001, President Bouteflika and his government stepped back and submitted to the Kabylie pressure by recognising Amazigh (Berber) as a "national language" without a referendum.
Many[ who? ] identify two dialects: Greater Kabylie (west) and Lesser Kabylie (east), but the reality is more complex than that, Kabyle dialects constitute a dialect continuum that can be divided into four main dialects (from west to east):
|Gemination of [w]||geminated [bʷ]||geminated [bʷ]||geminated [gʷ]||geminated [β]||preserved|
|Assimilation of n+w||geminated [bʷ]||geminated [bʷ]||geminated [gʷ]||preserved|
|Assimilation of n+y||geminated [g]||geminated [g]||geminated [g]||geminated [y]||[y]|
|affricates [ts] and [dz]||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Verb-framing with n||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Possessive pronouns |
(ex: 3rd m)
|-nnes||-is, -ines||-is, -ines||-is|
|Aorist preverb ad||ad||ad||ad||ad||di|
At the exception of the far-eastern dialect, much of the vocabulary of Kabyle is common among its dialects, though some lexical differences exist, e.g. the word dream in English (from west to east): bargu, argu, argu, bureg.
The phonemes below reflect the pronunciation of Kabyle.
Kabyle has three phonemic vowels:
⟨e⟩ is used to write the epenthetic schwa vowel [ə] which occurs frequently in Kabyle. Historically, it is thought to be the result of a pan-Berber reduction or merger of three other vowels.
The phonetic realization of the vowels, especially /a/, is influenced by the character of the surrounding consonants; emphatic consonants invite a more open realization of the vowel, e.g. aẓru = [azˤru] 'stone' vs. amud = [æmud] 'seed'. Often /a, i, u/ are realized as [æ, ɪ, ʊ].
|Stop and Affricate||voiceless||(t [t̪])||ṭ [tˤ]||tt [ts]||č [tʃ]||(k [k])||k [kʷ]||q [q]||q [qʷ]|
|voiced||(b [b])||b [bʷ]||(d [d̪])||zz [dz]||ǧ [dʒ]||(g [ɡ])||g [ɡʷ]||(q [ɢ])|
|Fricative||voiceless||f [f]||t [θ]||s [s]||ṣ [sˤ]||c [ʃ]||c [ʃˤ]||k [ç]||k [çᶣ]||x [χ]||x [χʷ]||ḥ [ħ]||h [h]|
|voiced||b [β]||d [ð]||ḍ [ðˤ]||z [z]||ẓ [zˤ]||j [ʒ]||j [ʒˤ]||g [ʝ]||g [ʝᶣ]||ɣ [ʁ]||ɣ [ʁʷ]||ɛ [ʕ]|
|Nasal||m [m]||n [n]|
|Trill||r [r]||ṛ [rˤ]|
|Approximant||l [l]||l [lˤ]||y [j]||w [w]|
In the Kabyle language there are various accents which are the result of assimilations (these accents are generally divided into western and eastern Kabyle). Some of these assimilations are present among all Kabyle "dialects" and some not. These assimilations are not noted in writing, such as:
Gemination affects the quality of certain consonants, turning semivowels and fricatives into stops; in particular, geminated ɣ becomes qq, geminated y becomes gg, and geminated w becomes bb.
Kabyle is mostly composed of fricatives, phonemes which are originally stops in other Berber languages, but in writing there is no difference between fricatives and stops. Below is a list of fricatives vs. stops and when they are pronounced (note that gemination turns fricatives into stops).
|Consonant||B /β/||D /ð/||G /ʝ/||K /ç/||T /θ/|
|Fricative||[ β ](||[ ð ](||[ ʝ ](||[ ç ](||[ θ ](|
|Stop||[ b ](||[d̪]||[ ɡ ](||[ k ](||[t̪]|
|Is a stop after||m||l,n||b,j,r,z,ɛ||f,b,s,l,r,n,ḥ,c,ɛ||l,n|
|Is a stop in the words|
(and their derivatives)
|ngeb, ngeḥ, ngeẓwer, angaẓ, ngedwi, nages, ngedwal|
The most ancient Berber writings were written in the Libyco-Berber script (Tifinagh). Such writings have been found in Kabylie (also known as Kabylia) and continue to be discovered by archeologists.
Tifinagh alphabet disappeared in the seventh century, when Latin became the official and administrative language in North Africa, as in rest of the former Roman empire.
The first French–Kabyle dictionary was compiled by a French ethnologist in the 18th century. It was written in Latin script with an orthography based on that of French.
However, the Kabyle language really became a written language again in the beginning of the 19th century. Under French influence, Kabyle intellectuals began to use the Latin script. "Tamacahutt n wuccen" by Brahim Zellal was one of the first Kabyle books written using this alphabet.
After the independence of Algeria, some Kabyle activists tried to revive the Libyco-Berber script, which is still in use by the Tuareg. Attempts were made to modernize the writing system by modifying the shape of the letters and by adding vowels. This new version of Tifinagh has been called Neo-Tifinagh and has been adopted as the official script for Berber languages in Morocco. However, a majority of Berber activists (both in Morocco and Algeria) prefer the Latin script and see the Tifinagh as a hindrance to literacy in Berber. Kabyle literature continues to be written in Latin script. The use of Tifinagh is limited to logos.
Mouloud Mammeri codified a new orthography for the Kabyle language which avoided using French orthography. His script has been adopted by all Berber linguists,[ citation needed ] the INALCO,[ citation needed ] and the Algerian HCA.[ citation needed ] It uses diacritics and two letters from the extended Latin alphabet: Čč Ḍḍ Ɛɛ Ǧǧ Ɣɣ Ḥḥ Ṣṣ Ṭṭ Ẓẓ.
Kabyle has two genders: masculine and feminine. As in most Berber languages, masculine nouns and adjectives generally start with a vowel (a-, i-, u-), while feminine nouns generally start with t- and end with a -t, e.g. aqcic 'boy' vs. taqcict 'girl'.
Plurals generally are formed by replacing initial a- with i-, and either suffixing -en ("regular/external" plurals), changing vowels within the word ("broken/internal" plurals), or both. Examples:
As in all Berber languages, Kabyle has two types of states or cases of the noun: free state and construct state (or 'annexed state'). The free state is morphologically unmarked. The construct state is derived either by changing initial /a-/ to /u-/, loss of initial vowel in some feminine nouns, addition of a semi-vowel word-initially, or in some cases no change occurs at all:
As in Central Morocco Tamazight, construct state is used for subjects placed after their verbs, after prepositions, in noun complement constructions, and after certain numerals. Kabyle also places nouns in construct state when they head a noun phrase containing a co-referential bound pronoun earlier in the utterance.
After a preposition (with the exception of "ar" and "s"), all nouns take their annexed state:
Verbs are conjugated for three tenses: the preterite (past), intensive aorist (present perfect, present continuous, past continuous) and the future (ad+aorist). Unlike other Berber languages, the aorist alone is rarely used in Kabyle (in the other languages it is used to express the present).
|Verb||Preterite||Ad + aorist||Intensive aorist|
|If (to outdo)||ifeɣ||ad ifeɣ||ttifeɣ|
|Muqel (to observe)||muqleɣ||ad muqleɣ||ttmuquleɣ|
|Krez (to plough)||kerzeɣ||ad kerzeɣ||kerrzeɣ|
|Verb||Preterite||Ad + aorist||Intensive aorist|
|Aru (to write)||uriɣ||ad aruɣ||ttaruɣ|
|2||m||t-... -ḍ||t-... -m|
Verbs are conjugated for person by adding affixes. These suffixes are static and identical for all tenses (only the theme changes). The epenthetic vowel e may be inserted between the affix and the verb. Verbs are always marked for subject and may also inflect for person of direct and indirect object.
Kabyle is a satellite-framed based language, Kabyle verbs use two particles to show the path of motion:
Kabyle usually expresses negation in two parts, with the particle ur attached to the verb, and one or more negative words that modify the verb or one of its arguments. For example, simple verbal negation is expressed by « ur » before the verb and the particle « ara » after the verb:
Other negative words (acemma... etc.) are used in combination with ur to express more complex types of negation. This system developed via Jespersen's cycle.
Verb derivation is performed by adding affixes. There are three types of derivation forms: causative, reflexive and passive.
Two prefixes can cancel each other:
Every verb has a corresponding agent noun. In English it could be translated into verb+er. It is obtained by prefixing the verb with « am- » or with « an- » if the first letter is b / f / m / w (there are exceptions, however).
Verbal nouns are derived differently from different classes of verbal stems (including 'quality verbs'). Often a- or t(u)- is prefixed:
Pronouns may either occur as standalone words or bound to nouns or verbs.
|1st (m)||nekk / nekkini||nekni|
|1st (f)||nekk / nekkini||nekkenti|
|2nd (m)||kečč / kečči / keččini||kunwi / kenwi|
|2nd (f)||kemm / kemmi / kemmini||kunnemti / kennemti|
|3rd (m)||netta / nettan / nettani||nutni / nitni|
|3rd (f)||nettat||nutenti / nitenti|
Example: « Ula d nekk. » – "Me too."
Possessive pronouns are bound to the modified noun.
|1st (m)||(i)w / inu||nneɣ|
|1st (f)||(i)w / inu||nnteɣ|
|2nd (m)||(i)k / inek||nwen|
|2nd (f)||(i)m / inem||nkent|
|3rd (m)||(i)s / ines||nsen|
|3rd (f)||(i)s / ines||nsent|
Example : « Axxam-nneɣ. » – "Our house." (House-our)
There are three demonstratives, near-deictic ('this, these'), far-deictic ('that, those') and absence. They may either be suffixed to nouns, or appear in isolation. Examples: « Axxam-a / Axxam-agi» – "This house.", (House-this), «Wagi yelha» – "This is nice." (This is-nice).
Prepositions precede their objects: « i medden » "to the people", « si taddart » "from the village". All words preceded by a preposition (except « s » and « ar », "towards", "until" ) take the annexed state.
Some prepositions have two forms: one is used with pronominal suffixes and the other form is used in all other contexts, e.g. ger 'between' → gar.
Some prepositions have a corresponding relative pronoun (or interrogative), for example:
Predicative particle 'd'
The predicative particle 'd' is an indispensable tool in speaking Kabyle (or any other Amazigh language). "d" is equivalent to both "it is + adjective" and "to be + adjective", but cannot be replaced by the verb "ili" (to be). It is always followed by a noun in free state.
The predicative particle "d" should not be confused with the particle of coordination "d"; indeed, the latter is followed by a noun at its annexed state while the first is always followed by a noun at its free state.
Kabyle has absorbed some Arabic and Latin vocabulary. According to Salem Chaker, about a third of Kabyle vocabulary is of foreign origin; the number of French loanwords has not been studied yet. These loanwords are sometimes Berberized and sometimes kept in their original form. The Berberized words follow the regular grammar of Kabyle (free and annexed state).
Examples of Berberized Arabic or French words:
Many loanwords from Arabic have often a different meaning in Kabyle:
All verbs of Arabic origin follow a Berber conjugation and verbal derivation:
Only the first two numbers are Berber; for higher numbers, Arabic is used. They are yiwen (f. yiwet) "one", sin (f. snat) "two". The noun being counted follows it in the genitive: sin n yirgazen "two men".
In Moulieras (Auguste), Les fourberies de Si Djeh'a.
|Aqerruy n tixsi||Ewe Head|
|Yiwen wass, Ǧeḥḥa yefka-yas baba-s frank, akken ad d-yaɣ aqerruy n tixsi. Yuɣ-it-id, yečča akk aksum-is. Yeqqim-d uceqlal d ilem, yewwi-yas-t-id i baba-s. Ihi, mi t-iwala yenna-yas: "acu-t wa?" yenna-yas: "d aqerruy n tixsi". |
-A ccmata, anida llan imeẓẓuɣen-is?
-Anida llant wallen-is?
-Anida yella yiles-is?
-I weglim n uqerruy-is, anida yella?
|One day, Jehha's father gave him one cent, to buy an ewe head. He bought it, and ate it all till only an empty carcass was left and brought it to his father. When his father saw that, he said: "what is that?" Jehha said: "a ewe head". |
-You vile (boy), where are its ears (the ewe)?
-Where are its eyes?
-Where is its tongue?
-And the skin of its head, where is it?
|IPA transcription : æqərruj ən θiχsi||Word by word translation : head of ewe|
|jiwən wæss, dʒəħħæ jəfkæ-jæs βæβæ-s frank, ækkən æ d-jæʁ æqərruj ən θiχsi. juʁ-iθ-id, yətʃtʃæ ækʷ æçsum-is. jəqqim-d uʃəqlæl ð iləm, jəwwi-jæs-θ-id i βæβæ-s. ihi, mi θ-iwælæ jənnæ-jæs: "æʃu-θ wæ?" jənnæ-jæs: "ð æqərruj ən θiχsi". |
-æ ʃʃmætæ, ænidæ llæn iməz̴z̴uʁn-is?
-ænidæ llæn wælln-is?
-ænidæ jəllæ jils-is?
-i wəʝlim ən uqərruj-is, ænidæ jəllæ?
|One day, Jehha he.gave-to.him father-his cent, so.that he.buys head of ewe. He.bought-it-here, he.ate all meat-its. Stayed-here carcass it.is empty, he.brought-to.him-it-here to father-his. Then, when it-he.saw he.said-to.him: "what-it that?" he.said-to.him: "head of ewe". |
-Oh vile, where are ears-its?
-Where are eyes-its?
-Where is tongue-its?
-And skin of head-its, where it.is?
Note: the predicative particle d was translated as "it.is", the particle of direction d was translated as "here".
The Berber languages, also known as Berber or the Amazigh languages, are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They comprise a group of closely related languages spoken by the Berbers, who are indigenous to North Africa. The languages were traditionally written with the ancient Libyco-Berber script, which now exists in the form of Tifinagh.
Tifinagh is an abjad script used to write the Berber languages.
Siwi is the easternmost Berber language, spoken in Egypt by an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people in the oases of Siwa and Gara, near the Libyan border.
The Tuareg 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.
Korandje is a Northern Songhay language which is by far the most northerly of the Songhay languages. It is spoken around the Algerian oasis of Tabelbala by about 3,000 people; its name literally means "village's language". While retaining a basically Songhay structure, it is extremely heavily influenced by Berber and Arabic; about 20% of the 100-word Swadesh list of basic vocabulary consists of loans from Arabic or Berber, and the proportion of the lexicon as a whole is considerably higher.
Shilha is a Berber language native to Shilha people. It is spoken by more than eight million people in southwestern Morocco. The endonym is Tašlḥiyt /taʃlʜijt/, and in recent English publications the language is often rendered Tashelhiyt or Tashelhit. In Moroccan Arabic the language is called Šəlḥa, from which the alternative English name Shilha is derived. In French sources the language is called tachelhit, chelha or chleuh.
Shenwa, also spelt Chenoua, is a Zenati Berber language spoken on Mount Chenoua in Algeria, just west of Algiers, and in the provinces of Tipaza and Chlef. The speech of Jebel Chenoua proper is mutually comprehensible with that of the nearby Beni Menacer and Beni Haoua, and the two are thus treated as a single language. There are some 76,000 speakers.
The Zenati languages are a branch of the Northern Berber language family of North Africa. They were named after the medieval Zenata Berber tribal confederation. They were first proposed in the works of French linguist Edmond Destaing (1915) (1920–23). Zenata dialects are distributed across the central Maghreb, from northeastern Morocco to just west of Algiers, and the northern Sahara, from southwestern Algeria around Bechar to Zuwara in Libya. In much of this range, they are limited to discontinuous pockets in a predominantly Arabic-speaking landscape. The most widely spoken Zenati languages are Riffian in northeastern Morocco and Shawiya in eastern Algeria, each of which have over 2 million speakers.
The Ghomara language is a Northern Berber language spoken in Morocco. It is the mother tongue of the Ghomara Berbers, who total around 10,000 people. Ghomara Berber is spoken on the western edge of the Rif, among the Beni Bu Zra and Beni Mansur tribes of the Ghomara confederacy. Despite being listed as endangered, it is still being passed on to children in these areas.
Algerian Arabic is a dialect derived from the form of Arabic spoken in northern Algeria. It belongs to the Maghrebi Arabic language continuum and is partially mutually intelligible with Tunisian and Moroccan.
The Berber Spring was a period of political protest and civil activism in 1980 claiming recognition of the Berber identity and language in Algeria with events mainly taking place in Kabylie and Algiers.
The Kabyle people are a Berber ethnic group indigenous to Kabylia in the north of Algeria, spread across the Atlas Mountains, one hundred miles east of Algiers. They represent the largest Berber-speaking population of Algeria and the second largest in North Africa.
Mouloud Mammeri was an Algerian writer, anthropologist and linguist.
The Berber Latin alphabet is the version of the Latin alphabet used to write the Berber languages. It was adopted in the 19th century, using varieties of letters.
Central Atlas Tamazight or Atlasic is a Berber language of the Afroasiatic language family spoken by almost 5 million people in the Atlas Mountains of Central Morocco as well as by smaller emigrant communities in France and elsewhere.
The Berber Academy is a cultural association founded in 1966 by Mohand Arav Bessaoud and a group of young Kabyles, including Ramdane Haifi. This group consisted of intellectuals, artists and journalists, all eager to put the Tifinagh in use. Fearing misuse of the term "academy", they renamed the association Agraw Imaziɣen in 1967. This was dissolved in 1978.
Central Atlas Tamazight belongs to the Northern Berber branch of the Berber languages.
Kabyle grammar is the grammar of the Kabyle language.
Berber orthography is the writing system(s) used to transcribe the Berber languages. In antiquity, the Libyco-Berber script (Tifinagh) was utilized to write Berber. Early uses of the script have been found on rock art and in various sepulchres. Following the spread of Islam, some Berber scholars also utilized the Arabic script. There are now three writing systems in use for Berber languages: Tifinagh (Libyco-Berber), the Arabic script, and the Berber Latin alphabet. Different groups in North Africa have different preferences of writing system, often motivated by ideology and politics.
This article describes the grammar of the Old Irish language. The grammar of the language has been described with exhaustive detail by various authors, including Thurneysen, Binchy and Bergin, McCone, O'Connell, Stifter, among many others.
la graphie Tifinagh pour le Targui, Latine pour la Kabylie et Arabe pour le M’Zab et les Aurès
|Kabyle edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|