E-TAMAZIGHT

Grammar of Tamazight (based on Tacawit)

Basic Grammar of Tamazight_Tacawit

RE-ADAPTED FROM WICKI(KABYLE GRAMMAR) AND RE-EDITED BY ZEUS Z.

 

 

Tacawit (pronounced [thashawith],[hashawith],[hshawith] or simply [shawith] )  is a variety of  Berber language aka Tamazight spoken by the Shawi people . tacawit belongs to the Zenati group (The C group which pronounces certain /k/ like /c/ [sh])which includes  tacenwit, tamzabit, tanfusit, tarifit, tasnusit,Atlas  tamazight , Sahara taznatit) .

 

In 1995, there were 1,5 speakers of tacawit worldwide, the majority of Shawis are to be found in the Algerian berber province of Aures and its surroundings (known in ancient times as Numidia).

 

ALPHABET

VOWELS:
/a/ Like English /a/ in /hare/

/u/ Like English /oo/  /book/

/i/ Like English /ee/ in /meet/ 

/e/ (short vowel -schwa /e/ like in english  /often/)

CONSONNANTS:

a

at the begining of a word pronounce Like English /a/ in /apple/

|aman (water)


b

pronounce Like English /b/

berra (outside)


c

pronounce Like English /sh/

ulac(there is not)


d

pronounce like english /th/ in/the/

(spirant) or like in /bad/(occlusive)

spirant:adrar(mountain)

occlusive:amendil(scarf)


e

silent vowel at the begining of a word

ecc'(eat)


f

pronounce Like English f

fus (hand)


g

pronounce like English/g/ in /give/ dans (occlusiv) or like English/y/(spirant)

spirant:yega (he did))



8 (gamma,gh)

pronounce Like  parisian r

a8r'um(bread) or aghr'um(bread)


h

pronounce like English /h/ in /he/:

ahyuy (child)


i

at the begining of a word pronounce Like English /ea/in /eat/:

ini (say)


j like french /j/ :

tajerrumt(grammar) 

k

pronounce Like English k (occlusif) or german /ch/  (spirant):

yuker(he stole)


l

pronounce Like English l:

walu (nothing)


m

pronounce Like English m

tamemt (honey)


n

pronounce Like English n

anu (well)




3 (epsilon, a')

like arabic 3ayn

qa3/ga3(all) or qaa'/gaa'(all)


q

pronounce  like arabic qaf

qim (sit)


r

pronounce like English/ r/ in /write/

irar (play)


s

pronounce Like English s

sew (drink)


t

pronounce like English / th/ (spirant)in/ thanks/ or english h or  Like English t(occlusif) :

tazeggwa8t (the red one)


u

at the begining of a word pronounce Like English oo :

ul (heart)


w

pronounce like English/w/ in /we/:

-awal (word)


x

pronounce like Arabic /kha/:

axxam (house)


y

pronounce pronounce like English/ y/ in /yes/:

imma (my mother)


z

pronounce Like English z

|izi (fly)


 EMPHATICS:

the emphatics of  t, d, r, z,s,h are written traditionally with a dot underneath but on the internet with an apostrophe :t', d', r', z' s',h'

In case of double-emphatics we put the apostrophe after the second letter:

tt', ss', zz' etc...


DIPHTONGUES:

The  two shawi diphtongues of cc and  gg are written traditionally with a diatric sign above them but on the internet with an apostrophe after the second letter:

/cc'/:cc'i$(I ate)

/gg'/:gg'i$ ou jj'i$ (I let)


SEMI-OCCLUSIVE DIPHTONGUES:


k' pronounce sh in chawi but k in kabyle

g'  pronounce j in chawi but g in kabyle

kk'  pronounce tch in chawi but kk in kabyle




LABIO-VELARS:

THEY ARE DOUBLE LETTERS FOLLOWED WITH A SUPERSCRIPTED /W/:

kkw,

bbw,

mmw,

ggw.


ggw pronounce oogg ex: /ggwede$/(I am frigtened)

kkw(pronounce ookk) ex:/akkwl/(all)

mmw(pronounce oomm) ex:/yemmwa/(it is ripe. It is cooked)

bbw'(pronounce oobb) ex:/3ebbwa/ (diminutive of the name abdella)

 GRAMMAR
.1 Nouns and adjectives
1.1 Gender
1.2 Pluralization
1.3 Free and annexed state
.2 Verbs
.3 Conjugation
.4 Verb framing
.5 Negation
.6 Verb derivation
.7 Agent noun
.8 Action noun
.9 Predicative particule "d" 
2 Pronoun
2.1 Personal pronouns
2.2 Possessive pronouns
2.3 Pronouns of the verb
2.4 Demonstratives
2.5 Numerotation
2.6 Prepositions
2.7 Conjunctions 
3 Vocabulary 
4 Sample text 
5 Sources used for this article 
 
 


Nouns and adjectives
Gender
 As in all Berber dialects, Tacawit has only two genders, Masculine and Feminine. Like most Berber dialects, masculine nouns and adjectives generally start with a vowel (a-, i-, u-), while the feminine nouns generally start with ta, ti or t (t often pronounced h like in Tacenwit) and end with a -t (there are some exceptions, however). Note that most feminine nouns are in fact feminized versions of masculine nouns.
Examples:

Ahyuy "a boy", tahyuyt "a girl".
Am8ar "an old man", tam8art "an old woman".
Afunas "a bull", Tafunast "a cow". 

 

 

Pluralization
Singular nouns generally start with an a-, and do no have a suffix. Plural nouns generally start with an i- and often have a suffix such as -en. There are three types of plural : external, Internal, mix:

External or "regular": consists in changing the initial vowel of the noun, and adding a suffix -n, :
am8ar "an old man"
im8aren "old men".

argaz irgazen "men"

 

Internal: involves only a change in the vowels within the word:
adrar
idurar "mountain"

 

Mix:

combines a change of vowels (within the word) with the suffix -n:

-fus ifassen "hands"

ul ulawen "hearts"

izi izan "fly"

 

 Free and annexed state
As in all Berber dialects, Tacawit has two types of states or cases of the noun, organized ergatively: one is unmarked, while the other serves as the subject of a transitive verb and the object of a preposition, among other contexts. The former is often called free state, the latter construct state. The construct state of the noun derives from the free state throu8 one of the following rules:

The first involves a vowel alternation, whereby the vowel a become u :

amazi8 umazi8 "Berber"

ameqqran umeqqran "big"

adrar udrar "mountain"

The second involves the loss of the initial vowel in the case of some feminine nouns :

tam8art tm8art "old women"

tamdint tmdint "town"

tamurt tmurt "country"

The third involves the addition of a semi-vowel (w or y) word-initially:

 iles yiles "tongue"

uccen wuccen "jackal"

Finally, some nouns do not change for free state:

tuccent tuccent "female jackal"

Depending on the role of the noun in the sentence, it takes either its free or annexed state:

Free: Yuta ahyuy. "He has beaten a boy". (Verb-Object)
Annexed: Yuta uhyuy. "The boy has been  beaten". (Verb-Subject)
After a preposition (at the exception of "ar" and ""), all nouns take their annexed state:

Free state: Aman (water), n waman ( of water).

 


Verbs
There are three tenses : the Preterite (past), intensive Aorist (present perfect, present continuous, past continuous) and the future (Ad+Aoriste).  the aorist alone is rarely used in Tacawit (In the other languages it is used to express the present).

"Weak verbs" have a preterite form that is the same as their aoriste.

 

Examples of weak verbs that follow are conjugated at the first person of the singular:

 Verb: Krez (to plough)
 Preterite: kerze8 ''i ploughed''
 ad + aorist: ad kerze8 ''i will plough''
 Intensive aorist:kerrze8 '' i am ploughing''
 

Conjugation
As in all Berber dialects, Conjugation in Tacawit is done by adding suffixes (prefixes, postfixes or both). These suffixes are static and identical for all tenses (only the theme changes)(note the neutral vowel /e/ is not taken into account when analyzing verbal themes as it is not a real vowel in Berber:

 
1st
singular: — 8
 plural: n —
 
2nd (m)
singular: t —d
plural: t — m
 
2nd (f)
 singular:t — d
plural: t — mt
 
3rd (m)
 singular:y —
plural: — n
 
3rd (f)
singular: t—
 plural: — nt
 

/t/ in all prefixes above is pronouned [h] in eastern tacawit ..


Example: verb af (to find) with its four themes : uf (preterite), uf (negative preterite), af (aorist), ttaf (intensive aorist).

 


Verb framing
Berber is a satellite-framed based language and  Tacawit verbs use one  particle of location to show the path of motion towards the speaker:

Idd(long form fter verb) or dd(short form before verb) orientates toward the speaker, and could be translated as "here".
Examples:

/yusa-idd ''he came''

/a dd-yas ''he will come''
 

Negation

Tacawit usually expresses negation in two parts: by « ur » before the verb and the particle « c » after the verb:

« irare8 » ("I played") « Ur irare8 c » ("I didn't play") .

 /ur/ is sometimes pronounced [oorr], sometimes [oodh], sometimes [oo], depending on which tribe and region of Numidia.

 

 


 Verb derivation
Verb derivation is done by adding suffixes. There are three types of derivation forms : Causative, reflexive and Passive.

 

Causative:

obtained by prefixing the verb with the instrumental preposition /s/,/ ss/ : 
 irid "to be washed"
ssired "to wash".

 

Reflexive:

 obtained by prefixing the verb with m- :
zer "to see"
mzer "to see each other"

ex:

a nemzer ''we will see each other'' 

 

 

Passive:

it  is obtained by prefixing the verb with ttu- / ttwa-
krez "to plough"
ttwakrez "to be ploughed"

etc "to eat" ttwacc' "to be eaten".

ex:

ttwacc'en '' they were eaten''

 

 

Agent noun
Every verb has a corresponding agent noun. In English it could be translated into verb+er. It is obtained by prefixing the verb with « ma- » or internal doubling:

Examples:
sreh'  "to graze"
aserrah "shepherd"

 ker  "to steal" makar "thief"

 

Action noun
Every verb has a corresponding action noun, which in English it could be translated into verb+ing:

ffer "to hide" tuffra "hiding" (stem VI), 

There are 6 regular stems of forming action nouns, and the 7th is for quality verbs : (C for consonant, V for vowel)


 
I
 cvcv
 acvcv
 
II
 c(c)vc(c)
 ac(c)vc(c)v
 
III
 c(c)cc
 ac(c)cci
 
IV
 (c)cac(c)
 a(c)cac(c)i
 
V
 c1c2c3
 accc
 
VI
 ccc
 tuccca
 
VII
 ic1c2vc3
 tec1c2c3
 

Examples: 

rwel "to flee'', tarewla ''flight''

utlay"to speak" tutlayt  ''speech, language''

 

 

Predicative particule "-d"
As in all Berber dialects, The predicative particule "-d" is an indispensable tool in speaking Tacawit, "-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 (free state).

Examples:

-d tahyuyt, "it's a girl". 
d- necc', "it's me".
Necc' -d argaz, "I'm a man". 
Muh'end -d aqeddac, "Muh'end is a student". 
Muh'end yella d aqeddac, "Muh'end was a student".


The predicative particule "-d" should not be confused with the particle of coordination "d"; indeed, the former is followed by a noun at its annexed state while the first is always followed by a noun at its free state.

 

 

 Pronouns
Personal pronouns

1st (m)
singular: necc' (nekk')
 plural: Necc'ni(nekk'ni)
 
1st (f)
singular:  necc' (nekk')
plural:  necc'nti(nekk'nti)
 
2nd (m)
 singular: cekk
 plural: kenwi
 
2nd (f)
singular:  cem(k'em) 
 plural: kennemti
 
3rd (m)
 singular: netta  
 plural: Netni(pronounced nehni)
 
3rd (f)
 singular: nettat
plural:  Netnti (pronounced nehenti)
 

Le first  t de netni and  netnti is pronunced [ h].

 

 

 Possessive pronouns
1st (m)
 singular:  inu
plural:  nne8
 
1st (f)
singular:  inu
plural:  nne8
 
2nd (m)
singular:  nk
 singular: nwen
 
2nd (f)
singular:  nm
plural:  nkent
 
3rd (m)
  singular: ns
plural:  nsen
 
3rd (f)
singular:  ns
plural: nsent
 

Example : « Axxam nne8. » — "Our house." (House-our)

 

 

 

Object Pronouns

 

Direct object long form
 1st (m)
singular:  iy
 plural:ine8
 
1st (f)
singular:  iy
 plural:ine8
 
2nd (m)
 singular: ic(ik')
plural: iken
 
2nd (f)
 singular: icem(ik'em)
 plural:ikent
 
3rd (m)
singular:  it
plural: iten
 
3rd (f)
singular:  itt
 plural:itent

 

Direct object short form

 1st (m)
singular:  y
plural: 8
 
1st (f)
 singular: y
 plural:8 
 
2nd (m)
 singular: c(k')
plural: ken
 
2nd (f)
singular:  cem(k'em)
plural: kent
 
3rd (m)
 singular: t
plural: ten
 
3rd (f)
 singular: tt
plural: tent
 

T of it , iten and itent is pronounced h.

 

 

Indirect object long form
Person
 
1st (m)
  singular:  ay
 plural:ane8
 
1st (f)
  singular:  ay
 plural:ane8

 
2nd (m)
  singular: ak
 plural:awen

 
2nd (f)
  singular: am
 plural:akent
 
 
3rd (m)
  singular: as
plural: asen
 
 
3rd (f)
  singular: as
 plural:asent
 
 

Indirect object short form

 
1st (m)
   singular: y
 plural:8
 
1st (f)
  singular: y
 plural:8

 
2nd (m)
  singular: k
 plural:wen
 
2nd (f)
  singular: m
 plural:kent
 
3rd (m)
 singular:  s
plural:sen

 
3rd (f)
  singular: s
 plural:sent

 

 

 

the long forms are placed after the verb and the short before the verb :

long form:

direct:

 « Yes8a-it. » — "He bought it." (He.bought-

it)

 

indirect:

 « Yes8a-as. » — "He bought for him." (He.bought-

him)

 

short form:

direct:

 « a t-yse8 — "He will buy it." (He.bought-

it)

 

 indirect:

« a s-yse8 — "He will buy for him."


Complex example (Mixing indirect and direct object) :

long form

 « Yes8-as-it. » — "He bought it for him."

 

long form

 « a s-t-yse8. » — "He will buy it for him."

 

 

Demonstratives
There are three demonstratives, near-deictic ('this, these'), far-deictic ('that, those') and absence. thy can be used as:

-Suffix: Used with a noun, example : « Axxam-ay» — "This house." (House-this). 
- Isolated : Used when we omit the subject we are speaking about : «Way yehla» — "This is nice." (This-is.nice) 
 
 
Near-deictic masculine
 singular:wa/ way/ 
  plural:iyay

 

Far-deictic masculine
 singular:winn 
 plural:iyinn
 

 
Near-deictic feminine
 singular:ta / tay / 
 plural:tiyay /

 

Far-deictic feminine
singular: tinn
plural: tiyinn
 

 

absence masculine
singular: widinni
plural: iyidinni
 

 
absence feminine
 singular:tidinni 
plural: tiyidinni


 Note that t is pronounced [h]
 
Numerotation
Only the first two numbers are Berber; for higher numbers, Arabic is used. They are ijj', ict  "one", sin (f. sint) "two". The noun being counted follows it in the genitive: sin n irgazen "two men".

"First" and "last" are respectively amezwaru and aneggaru (regular adjectives). Other ordinals are formed with the prefix wis (f. tis): wis-sin, tis-sint, wis-3, tis-3 "second (m.)" etc.

 

 

Prepositions
Prepositions precede their objects(they are used before nouns and pronouns): « i yudan » "to the people", « si temdint » "from the town". All words preceded by a preposition (at the exception of « i » , "towards", "to" ) .

Some prepositions have two forms : one is used with pronominal suffixes and the other form is used in all other contexts.

Also some of these prepositions have a corresponding relative pronoun (or interrogative), example:

« i » "for/to" « imwumi » "to whom"

« Tuca aksum i umuc » "she gave meat to the cat" «muc imwumi tuca aksum » "The cat to whom she gave meat" :

 

yid
 'with, in the company of'
 
 
i
'for, to' (dative)


 imwumi
 'to whom' (dative) ,whose'
 
8er 

''at,to' (direction)
  
 
 
 f, 8ef(behind nouns), fell-(behind object  pronouns)
 'on'
  

 
 di
 'in'


 

si 
 'from'

s (behind nouns),yis (behind object pronouns) 
 'with, by means of' (instrumental)


 s matta
 'with what' (instrumental)
 
g'ar
  'between'
 

 


n
'of'
 


 senni
  'on top of'
 

 

seddew
 'beneath, under'
 

aldi
 'until'
 

 

deffir
 'behind'
 

 

zzat
 'in front of'
 

amm
 'like, as'
 
 

Conjunctions

d

'and'

 

di,mi

''when''

 

si

''since''

 

ma

''if''

 

maca

''but''

 

acku

''because''

 

m8ir, melmi
 'when'
 

M-ani
 'where'

 

M-anisi
 'from where'


Conjunctions precede the verb:

di dd-yeusa  "when he arrived",

eqqel ma yusa-idd "see if he came".

 

 

 

Non-Berber Loan words
Tacawit has absorbed quite some Arabic and French vocabulary. According to Salem Chaker, about just about a third of Tacawit vocabulary is of Arabic origin(less than kabyle); the amount 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 Tacawit (free and annexed state).

Examples of berberized Arabic or french words :

arabic waraqa => tawerqit ( leaf, Ar.)

french bidon => abidun (bucket, Fr.)

Many loanwords from Arabic have often a different meaning in Tacawit:

elMal (Money, Ar.) => Lmal (Domestic animals in tacawit .)

All verbs of Arabic and french origin follow a Berber conjugation and verbal derivation:

arabic fhem (to understand) => ssefhem (to explain). 

french engager (to be enlisted in the army)=> amgaji (a professional army soldier()

SAMPLE TEXT: A SONG-PRAYER BY MARKUNDA
Yah ! Awi-iy, Awi-iy 8er ‎takslant
Azemmur, azemmur
Awi-iy 8er awras
Ah ! Tasett'a n izuran
Ah ! Tasett'a n uzemmur
Ah ! Tasett'a n izuran
Ad ge8 azetta
Azett'â n ubernus
F ljal nm
Ah! Tazemmurt
Ad dd-ase8 8er-m
Ad gre8 taneffudt
‎8er tili nm
Yah ! Ah ! Tasett'a n uzemmur





LYRICS:
The olive ‎tree
Take me to Takslant
Olive tree, Olive tree

Tree of roots
sacred olive-Tree
I will make a net
A burnous-net
For you

I will come to you O ‎my olive-tree
I will come, I promise
To breathe my last ‎breath at your ‎shadow


21/02/2008 3 Poster un commentaire

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