FACTOID # 6: Michigan is ranked 22nd in land area, but since 41.27% of the state is composed of water, it jumps to 11th place in total area.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Nobiin language
Nobiin (Nòbíín)
Spoken in: Egypt, Sudan 
Region: Along the banks of the Nile in southern Egypt and northern Sudan
Total speakers: 495,000 (SIL 2005)
Language family: Nilo-Saharan
 Eastern Sudanic
  Nubian
   Northern
    Nobiin
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: nub
ISO/DIS 639-3: fia 

Nobiin is a Northern Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan phylum. "Nobiin" is a genitive form of Nòòbíí "Nubian" and literally means "(language) of the Nubians". Nubian peoples immigrated into the Nile Valley from the southwest, where other Nubian languages are still spoken, at least 2,500 years ago, and Old Nubian, the language of the Nubian kingdoms, is considered ancestral to Nobiin. Nobiin is a tonal language with contrastive vowel and consonant length. The basic word order is Subject Object Verb (English word order is SVO). For alternative meanings of Nile, see Nile (disambiguation) The Nile (Arabic: النيل an-nÄ«l), in Africa, is one of the two longest rivers on Earth. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... Map showing the distribution of the Nilo-Saharan languages. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Nubian language group, according to the most recent research by Bechhaus-Gerst] comprises the following varieties: Nobiin (previously know by the geographic terms Mahas or Fadicca/Fiadicca). ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2:1998 Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code Twenty-two of the languages have two three-letter codes: a code for bibliographic use (ISO 639-2/B) a code for terminological use (ISO 639-2/T). ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... This is a concise version of the International Phonetic Alphabet for English sounds. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Nubian language group, according to the most recent research by Bechhaus-Gerst] comprises the following varieties: Nobiin (previously know by the geographic terms Mahas or Fadicca/Fiadicca). ... Map showing the distribution of the Nilo-Saharan languages. ... A page from an Old Nubian translation of Liber Institutionis Michaelis Archangelis from the 9th-10th century AD, found at Qasr Ibrim, now at the British Museum. ... Today Nubia is the region in the south of Egypt, along the Nile and in northern Sudan, but in ancient times it was an independent kingdom. ... Tone refers to the use of pitch in language to distinguish words. ... In linguistic typology, Subject Object Verb (SOV) is the type of languages in which the subject, object, and verb of a sentence appear (usually) in that order. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Nobiin is currently spoken along the banks of the Nile river in southern Egypt and northern Sudan by approximately 495,000 Nubians, and present-day Nobiin speakers are almost universally bilingual in local varieties of Arabic (Egyptian and Sudanese Arabic, respectively). Many Nobiin speaking Nubians were forced to relocate in 1963-1964 due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam at Aswan, Egypt, to make room for Lake Nasser. For alternative meanings of Nile, see Nile (disambiguation) The Nile (Arabic: النيل an-nÄ«l), in Africa, is one of the two longest rivers on Earth. ... For the Star Wars planet, see Nubia (Star Wars). ... The term bilingualism (from bi meaning two and lingua meaning language) can refer to rather different phenomena. ... Sudan is the melting pot for African and Arabian cultures. ... Map of Egypt showing the location of Aswan and Lake Nasser. ... Aswan (أسوان Aswān) (24 05 N 32 56 E, population 200,000) is a city in the south of Egypt, the capital of the governorate of the same name. ... View of Lake Nasser from Abu Simbel Map showing the location of Lake Nasser Lake Nasser (Arabic: Buhayrat Nasir) is a vast artificial lake in southern Egypt and northern Sudan. ...

Contents


Geography and demography

Before the construction of the Aswan dam, speakers of Nobiin lived in the Nile valley between the third cataract in the South and Korosko in the North. Nowadays, Nobiin speakers live in the following areas: (1) near Kom Ombo, Egypt, about 40 km north of Aswan, where new housing was provided by the Egyptian government for approximately 50,000 Nubians; (2) in New Halfa in the Kassala state of Sudan, where housing and work was provided by the Sudanian government for Nubians from the inundated areas around Wadi Halfa; (3) in the Northern state of Sudan, northwards from Burgeg to the Egyptian border at Wadi Halfa. Additionally, many Nubians have moved to large cities like Cairo and Khartoum. In recent years, some of the resettled Nubians have returned to their traditional territories around Abu Simbel and Wadi Halfa. Aswan is a city on the first cataract of the Nile in Egypt. ... Kom Ombo (كوم أمبو) is an agricultural town in Egypt famous for its temple. ... Aswan (أسوان Aswān) (24 05 N 32 56 E, population 200,000) is a city in the south of Egypt, the capital of the governorate of the same name. ... The New Halfa Scheme in Sudan is a 164,000 feddan site constructed in 1964 to house 50,000 Nubians displaced from Wadi Halfa, a town situated on the Nile near the border with Egypt, which was drowned when Lake Nasser formed behind the Aswan Dam. ... Kassala is the name of a town and the easternmost province of Sudan, bounded by Egypt to the north and the Red Sea at its eastern verge. ... Northern Northern (Ash Shamaliyah) is one of the 26 wilayat or states of Sudan. ... Wadi Halfa is a town in Northern State, Sudan, on the shores of Lake Nuba (the Sudanese section of Lake Nasser). ... Cairo (Arabic: القاهرة; transliterated: al-Qāhirah) is the capital city of Egypt (and previously the United Arab Republic) and has a metropolitan area population of approximately 15. ... Map of Sudan with Khartoum Khartoum ( الخرطوم al-Ḫará¹­Å«m elephant trunk) is the capital of Sudan, as well as the capital of the state of Khartoum. ...

Before the construction of the Aswan Dam, the Nobiin people lived mainly between the first and the third cataracts along the shores of the Nile. Yellow dots show places where communities of Nobiin speakers are found today.
Before the construction of the Aswan Dam, the Nobiin people lived mainly between the first and the third cataracts along the shores of the Nile. Yellow dots show places where communities of Nobiin speakers are found today.

Practically all speakers of Nobiin are bilingual in Egyptian Arabic or Sudanese Arabic. This was noted as early as 1819 by the traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in his Travels to Nubia. In response to concerns about a possible language shift to Arabic, Werner notes a very positive language attitude[1]. Similarly, the 15th edition of the Ethnologue notes that "[t]he language is the center of Nubian identity"[2]. However, use of Nobiin is confined mainly to the domestic circle, as Arabic is the dominant language in trade, education, and public life. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (450x935, 160 KB)Places where Nobiin is spoken today. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (450x935, 160 KB)Places where Nobiin is spoken today. ... Aswan is a city on the first cataract of the Nile in Egypt. ... For the band with this name, see Cataract (band). ... Egyptian Arabic is a dialect of Arabic spoken in Egypt - and more specifically, the prestige dialect spoken in the northern Nile Delta region and its urban centers Cairo and Alexandria. ... Sudan is the melting pot for African and Arabian cultures. ... Johann Ludwig (aka John Lewis) Burckhardt (November 24, 1784 - October 15, 1817), Swiss traveller and orientalist, was born in Lausanne. ... Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), a Christian linguistic service organization which studies lesser-known languages primarily to provide the speakers with native language biblical texts. ...


Nobiin has been called Mahas, Mahas-Fiadidja, and Fiadicca in the past. Mahas and Fiadidja are geographical terms said to correspond to dialectal variants of Nobiin, but some have argued that there is no evidence for the distinctness of the two. [3] Nobiin should not be confused with the Arabic-based creole Ki-Nubi. The Nubi language (also called Ki-Nubi) is a Sudanese Arabic-based creole language spoken in Uganda around Bombo and Kenya around Kibera by the descendants of Emin Pashas Sudanese soldiers, settled there by the British. ...


History

Nobiin is one of the few African languages having a written history that can be followed over the course of more than a millennium. Old Nubian, preserved in a sizable collection of mainly early Christian manuscripts and documented in detail by Gerald M. Browne (1944-2004), is considered ancestral to Nobiin. Many manuscripts have been unearthed in the Nile Valley, mainly between the first and fifth cataracts, testifying to a firm Nubian presence in the area during the first millennium. A dialect cluster related to Nobiin, Kenzi-Dongolawi, is found in the same area. The Nile-Nubian languages were the languages of the Christian Nubian kingdoms. There are an estimated 1800 languages spoken in Africa. ... A page from an Old Nubian translation of Liber Institutionis Michaelis Archangelis from the 9th-10th century AD, found at Qasr Ibrim, now at the British Museum. ... Today Nubia is the region in the south of Egypt, along the Nile and in northern Sudan, but in ancient times it was an independent kingdom. ...


The other Nubian languages are found hundreds of kilometers to the Southwest, in Darfur and in the Nuba Mountains of Kordofan. For a long time it was assumed that the Nubian peoples dispersed from the Nile Valley to the south, probably at the time of the downfall of the Christian kingdoms. However, comparative lexicostatistic research in the second half of the twentieth century has shown that the spread must have been in the opposite direction. Greenberg (as cited in Thelwall 1982) calculated that a split between Hill Nubian and the two Nile-Nubian languages occurred at least 2,500 years ago. This is corroborated by the fact that the oral tradition of the Shaiqiya tribe of the Jaali group of arabized Nile-Nubians tells of coming from the southwest long ago. The speakers of Nobiin are thought to have come to the area before the speakers of the related Kenzi-Dongolawi languages (see classification below). The Nubian language group, according to the most recent research by Bechhaus-Gerst] comprises the following varieties: Nobiin (previously know by the geographic terms Mahas or Fadicca/Fiadicca). ... Darfur (Arabic دار فور, meaning home of the Fur) is a region of far western Sudan, bordering the Central African Republic, Libya, and Chad. ... The Nuba Mountains are a mountain range in Kordofan, a province in central Sudan, Africa. ... Kordofan is a former province of central Sudan. ... Joseph Harold Greenberg (May 28, 1915–May 7, 2001) was a prominent and controversial linguist, known for his work in both language classification and typology. ...


Since the seventh century Nobiin has been challenged by Arabic. The economic and cultural influence of Egypt over the region was considerable and over the centuries the Egyptian Dialect of Arabic spread south and areas like al-Maris became almost fully Arabized. The conversion of Nubia to Islam after the fall of the Christian kingdoms further enhanced the Arabization process. In what is today Sudan, Sudanese Arabic became the main vernacular of the Kingdom of Sennar, with Nobiin becoming a minority tongue. In Egypt, the Nobiin speakers were also part of a largely Arabic-speaking state, but Egyptian control over the south was limited. With the Ottoman conquest of the region in the sixteenth century, official support for Arabization largely ended as the Turkish and Circassian governments in Cairo sometimes saw Nobiin speakers as a useful ally. However, as Arabic remained a language of high importance in Sudan and especially Egypt, Nobiin continued to be under pressure and its use became largely confined to Nubian homes. Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... Egyptian Arabic is a dialect of Arabic spoken in Egypt - and more specifically, the prestige dialect spoken in the northern Nile Delta region and its urban centers Cairo and Alexandria. ... Al-Maris was an area of southern Egypt/northern Nubia from the tenth to the thirteenth century. ... Islam (Arabic: ; ( (help· info)), submission (to the will of God)) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions, and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Arabization is the gradual transformation of an area into one that speaks Arabic and is part of the Arab culture. ... Sudan is the melting pot for African and Arabian cultures. ... The vernacular is the native language of a country or locality. ... A king of Sennar, 1821 Kingdom of Sennar was a former sultanate in the north of Sudan, which ruled a substantial area of northeast Africa between 1504 and 1821. ... Imperial motto (Ottoman Turkish) Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (the Eternal State) The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power (1683) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital Sogut (1299-1326), Bursa (1326-1365), Edirne (1365-1453), İstanbul (1453-1922) Imperial anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Sovereigns Padishah of the Osmanli Dynasty...


Classification

Nobiin is one of the about eleven Nubian languages. Based on the geographic proximity to Kenzi-Dongolawi (varieties of which were spoken traditionally north and south of the Nobiin area), it was previously thought to comprise a 'Nile-Nubian' branch together with it. However, comparative linguistic research has shown since that Nobiin must have split off from the other Nubian languages earlier than Kenzi-Dongolawi; consequently, Nobiin forms a 'Northern' branch on its own whereas Kenzi-Dongolawi is considered part of Central Nubian, along with Birged (north Darfur) and the Hill Nubian languages (Nuba Mountains, Kordofan province). The Nubian language group, according to the most recent research by Bechhaus-Gerst] comprises the following varieties: Nobiin (previously know by the geographic terms Mahas or Fadicca/Fiadicca). ... The Nuba Mountains are a mountain range in Kordofan, a province in central Sudan, Africa. ... Kordofan is a former province of central Sudan. ...


The Nubian languages are part of the Eastern Sudanic branch of Nilo-Saharan. On the basis of a comparison with seventeen other Eastern Sudanic languages, Thelwall (1982) considers Nubian be most closely related to Tama, a member of the Taman group, with an average lexical similarity of just 22.2 per cent. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Map showing the distribution of the Nilo-Saharan languages. ... Taman languages are a group of languages that are part of the Eastern Sudanic subfamily of the Nilo-Saharan languages family. ...


Sounds

Nobiin has open and closed syllables: ág ‘mouth’, één ‘woman’, gíí ‘uncle’, kám ‘camel’, díís ‘blood’. Every syllable bears a tone. Long consonants are only found in intervocalic position, whereas long vowels can occur in initial, medial and final position. Phonotactically, there might be a weak relationship between the occurrence of consonant and vowel length: forms like dàrrìl 'climb' and dààrìl 'be present' are found, but *dàrìl (short V + short C) and *dààrrìl (long V + long C) do not exist; similarly, féyyìr 'grow' and fééyìr 'lose (a battle)' occur, but not *féyìr and *fééyyìr. This article discusses the unit of speech. ... Phonotactics (in Greek phone = voice and tactic = course) is a branch of phonology that deals with restrictions in a language on the permissible combinations of phonemes. ...


Vowels

Nobiin has a five vowel system. The vowels /e/ and /o/ can be realised close or more open (as [ɛ] and [ɔ], respectively). Vowels can be long or short, e.g. jáákí 'fear' (long /a/), jàkkàr 'fish-hook' (short /a/). However, many nouns are unstable with regard to vowel length; thus, bálé : báléé ‘feast’, ííg : íg ‘fire’, shártí : sháártí ‘spear’. Diphthongs are interpreted as sequences of vowels and the glides /w/ and /j/. In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by an open configuration of the vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure above the glottis. ... A close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. ... The open-mid vowels make a class of vowel sounds used in some spoken languages. ... In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. ... In phonetics, a diphthong (Greek and ending tongue positions. ...

Monophthongs Front Central Back
Close i, i:   u, u:
Close-mid e, e:   o, o:
Open   ɑ, ɑ:  

A monophthong (in Greek μονόφθογγος = single note) is a pure vowel sound, one whose articulation at both beginning and end is relatively fixed, and which does not glide up or down towards a new position of articulation; compare diphthong. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... A central vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... A close vowel is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. ... A close-mid vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. ... An open vowel is a vowel sound of a type used in most spoken languages. ...

Consonants

Consonant length is contrastive in Nobiin, e.g. dáwwí 'path' vs. dáwí 'kitchen'. Like vowel length, consonant length is not very stable; long consonants tend to be shortened in many cases (e.g. the Arabic loan dùkkáán ‘shop’ is often found as dùkáán).

Consonant phonemes
  Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p b     t d     k ɡ    
Nasal   m       n   ɲ   ŋ    
Fricative     f   s z ç       (h)  
Affricate             ɟʝ        
Trill           r            
Approximant           l   j   w    

The phoneme /p/ has a somewhat marginal status as it only occurs as a result of certain morphophonological processes. The voiced plosive /b/ is mainly in contrast with /f/. Originally, [z] only occurred as an allophone of /s/ before voiced consonants; however, through the influx of loanwords from Arabic it has acquired phonemic status: àzáábí 'pain', ázbíró 'aspirine'. The glottal fricative [h] occurs as an allophone of /s, t, k, f, g/ (síddóhíddó 'where?'; tánnátóóntánnáhóón 'of him/her'; ày fàkàbìrày hàkàbìr 'I will eat'; dòllàkúkkàndòllàhúkkàn 'he has loved'. This process is unidirectional (i.e. /h/ will never change into one of the above consonants) and it has been termed 'consonant switching' (Konsonantenwechsel) by Werner (1987:36). Only in very few words, if any, /h/ has independent phonemical status: Werner lists híssí 'voice' and hòòngìr 'braying', but it might be noted that the latter example is less convincing because of its probably onomatopoeic nature. The alveolar liquids /l/ and /r/ are in free variation as in many African languages. The approximant /w/ is a voiced labial-velar. In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. ... In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lips and the upper teeth, or viceversa. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Glottal consonants are consonants articulated with the glottis. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... Affricate consonants begin like stops (most often an alveolar, such as or ), but release as a fricative such as or (or, a couple languages, into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. ... In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... In phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. ... Look up onomatopoeia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Free variation in linguistics is the phenomenon of two (or more) sounds or forms appearing in the same environment without a change in meaning and without being considered incorrect by native speakers. ...


Tone

Nobiin is a tonal language, in which tone is used to mark lexical contrasts. Tone also figures heavily in derivational morphology. Nobiin has two underlying tones, high and low. A falling tone occurs in certain contexts; this tone can in general be analysed arising from a high and a low tone together. Tone refers to the use of pitch in language to distinguish words. ... A lexicon is a list of words together with additional word-specific information, i. ... In linguistics, derivation is the process of creating new lexemes from other lexemes, for example, by adding a derivational affix. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ...

  • árré 'settlement' (high)
  • nùùr 'shadow' (low)

In Nobiin, every utterance ends in a low tone. This is one of the clearest signs of the occurrence of a boundary tone, realized as a low tone on the last syllable of any prepausal word. The examples below show how the surface tone of the high tone verb ókkír- ‘cook’ depends on the position of the verb. In the first sentence, the verb is not final (because the question marker –náà is appended) and thus it is realized as high. In the second sentence, the verb is at the end of the utterance, resulting in a low tone on the last syllable.

  • íttírkà ókkéénáà?   (vegetables:DO cook:she.PRESENT-Q)   'Does she cook the vegetables?'
  • èyyò íttírkà ókkè.   (yes vegetables:DO cook:she.PRESENT)   'Yes, she cooks the vegetables.'

Tone plays an important role in several derivational processes. The most common situation involves the loss of the original tone pattern of the derivational base and the subsequent assignment of low tone, along with the affixation of a morpheme or word bringing its own tonal pattern (see below for examples). In linguistics, derivation is the process of creating new lexemes from other lexemes, for example, by adding a derivational affix. ...


For a long time, the Nile Nubian languages were thought to be non-tonal; instead, early analyses employed term like 'stress' or 'accent' to describe the phenomena now recognized as a tone system [4]. Carl Meinhof reported that only remants of a tone system could be found in the Nubian languages. He based this conclusion not only on his own data, but also on the observation that Old Nubian had been written without tonal marking. Based on accounts like Meinhof’s, Nobiin was considered a toneless language for the first half of the twentieth century.[5] The statements of de facto authorities like Meinhof, Westermann, and Ward heavily affected the next three decades of linguistic theorizing about stress and tone in Nobiin. As late as 1968, Herman Bell was the first scholar to develop an account of tone in Nobiin. Although his analysis was still hampered by the occasional confusion of accent and tone, he is credited by Roland Werner as being the first to recognize that Nobiin is a genuine tonal language, and the first to lay down some elementary tonal rules[6]. In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis given to certain syllables in a word. ... It has been suggested that Tonal language be merged into this article or section. ... Carl Friedrich Michael Meinhof (July 23, 1857_February 11, 1944) was a German linguist. ... Diedrich Hermann Westermann (June 24, 1875–May 31, 1956) was a German missionary, Africanist, and linguist. ... Ida Caroline Ward (1880 - 1949) was a British linguist working mainly on African languages who has done influential work in the domains of phonology and tonology. ...


Grammar

A Nubian wedding near Aswan, Egypt
Enlarge
A Nubian wedding near Aswan, Egypt

Nubian Wedding near Aswan. ... Nubian Wedding near Aswan. ... Today Nubia is the region in the south of Egypt, along the Nile and in northern Sudan, but in ancient times it was an independent kingdom. ... Aswan (أسوان Aswān) (24 05 N 32 56 E, population 200,000) is a city in the south of Egypt, the capital of the governorate of the same name. ...

Pronouns

The basic personal pronouns of Nobiin are: In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a word that usually takes the place of a noun or noun phrase that was previously mentioned (such as she, it) or that refers to something or someone (I, me, you). Pronouns are often one of the basic parts of speech of the...

  • ày-
  • ìr-
  • tàr-
  • ùù-
  • úr-
  • tér-
I
you (singular)
he, she, it
we
you (plural)
they
my àyíín án ànní
your ìríín ín ìnní
his/her tàríín tán tànní
our ùùíín úún ùùní
your úríín únn únní
their téríín ténn ténní

There are three sets of possessive pronouns. One of them is transparently derived from the set of personal pronouns plus a connexive suffix –íín. Another set is less clearly related to the simple personal pronouns; all possessive pronouns of this set bear a High tone. The third set is derived from the second set by appending the nominalizing suffix -ní. A possessive pronoun is a word that attributes ownership to someone or something without using a noun. ...


Nobiin has two demonstrative pronouns: ìn 'this', denoting things nearby, and mán 'that', denoting things farther away. Both can function as the subject or the object in a sentence; in the latter case they take the object marker -gá yielding ìngà and mángá, respectively (for the object marker, see also below). The demonstrative pronoun always precedes the nouns it refers to. A demonstrative pronoun in grammar and syntax is a pronoun that shows the place of something. ...

  • ìn íd dìrbád wèèkà kúnkènò   (this man hen one-OB have:3.sgPRESENT)   'This man has a hen.'
  • mám búrúú nàày lè?   (that girl who be.Q)   'Who is that girl?'

Nouns

Nouns in Nobiin are predominantly disyllabic, although monosyllabic and three- or four-syllabic nouns are also found. Nouns can be derived from adjectives, verbs, or other nouns by appending various suffixes. In plural formation, the tone of a noun becomes Low and one of four plural markers is suffixed. Two of these are Low in tone, while the other two have a High tone. A noun, or noun substantive, is a part of speech (a word or phrase) which can co-occur with (in)definite articles and attributive adjectives, and function as the head of a noun phrase. ... This article discusses the unit of speech. ... Suffix has meanings in linguistics, nomenclature and computer science. ... Look up Plural on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Plural is a grammatical number, typically referring to more than one of the referent in the real world. ...

  • -ìì (L): féntí → fèntìì '(sweet) dates'
  • -ncìì (L): àrréé → àrèèncìì 'falls'
  • -ríí (H): áádèm → ààdèmríí 'men, people'
  • -gúú (H): kúrsí → kùrsìgúú 'chairs'

In most cases it is not predictable which plural suffix a noun will take. Furthermore, many nouns can take different suffixes, e.g. ág 'mouth' → àgìì/àgríí. However, nouns that have final -éé usually take Plural 2 (-ncìì), whereas disyllabic Low-High nouns typically take Plural 1 (-ìì).


Gender is expressed lexically, occasionally by use of a suffix, but more often with a different noun altogether, or, in the case of animals, by use of a separate nominal element óndí ‘masculine’ or kàrréé ‘feminine’: The shield and spear of the Roman god Mars are often used to represent the male sex. ...

  • íd ‘man’ vs. ìdéén ‘woman’
  • tòòd ‘boy’ vs. búrú ‘girl’
  • kàjkàrréé ‘she-ass’ vs. kàjnóndí ‘donkey’

The pair male slave/female slave forms an interesting exception, showing gender marking through different endings of the lexeme: òsshí 'slave (m)' vs. òsshá 'slave (f)'. An Old Nubian equivalent which does not seem to show the gender is oshonaeigou 'slaves'; the plural suffix -gou has a modern equivalent in -gúú (see above). A page from an Old Nubian translation of Liber Institutionis Michaelis Archangelis from the 9th-10th century AD, found at Qasr Ibrim, now at the British Museum. ...


In compound nouns comprised of two nouns, the tone of the first noun becomes Low while the appended noun keeps its own tonal pattern. A compound is a word composed of more than one free morphemes. ...

  • kàdíís 'cat' + mórrí 'wild' → kàdììs-mórrí 'wild cat'
  • ìkìríí 'guest' + nóóg 'house' → ìskìrììn-nóóg 'guest room'
  • tògój 'sling' + kìd 'stone' → tògòj-kìd 'sling stone'

Many compounds are found in two forms, one more lexicalized than the other. Thus, it is common to find both the coordinated noun phrase háhám ámán 'the water of the river' and the compound noun bàhàm-ámán 'river-water', distinguished by their tonal pattern.


Verbs

Verbal morphology in Nobiin is subject to numerous morphophonological processes, including syllable contraction, vowel elision, and assimilation of all sorts and directions. A distinction needs to be made between the verbal base and the morphemes that follow. The majority of verbal bases in Nobiin end in a consonant (e.g. nèèr- ‘sleep’, kàb- ‘eat’, tíg- ‘follow’, fìyyí- ‘lie’); notable exceptions are júú- ‘go’ and níí- ‘drink’. Verbal bases are mono- or disyllabic. The verbal base carries one of three or four tonal patterns. The main verb carries person, number, tense, and aspect information. Morphophonology or Morphonology is a branch of linguistics which studies: The phonological structure of morphemes. ... In music, see elision (music). ... Assimilation is a regular and frequent sound change process by which a phoneme changes to match an adjacent phoneme in a word. ...

  • ày féjírkà sàllìr   (I morning.prayer pray:I.PRESENT)   'I pray the morning prayer.'

Only rarely do verbal bases occur without appended morphemes. One such case is the use of the verb júú- 'go' in a serial verb-like construction. The serial verb construction is a syntactic phenomenon common in many African and Asian languages. ...

  • áríj wèèkà fà júú jáánìr   (meat one:OB FUTURE go buy:IPRESENT)   'I'm going to buy a piece of meat.'

Syntax

The basic word order in a Nobiin sentence is Subject Object Verb. Objects are marked by an object suffix -gá, often assimilating to the final consonant of the word (e.g. kìtááb 'book', kìtááppá 'book-OBJECT' as seen below). In a sentence containing both an indirect and a direct object, the object marker is suffixed to both. In linguistic typology, Subject Object Verb (SOV) is the type of languages in which the subject, object, and verb of a sentence appear (usually) in that order. ...

  • kám íw kàbì   (camel corn-OB eat:he.PRESENT)   'The camel eats corn.'
  • ày ìk ìn kìtááp tèèr   (I you-OB this book-OB give:I.PRESENT)   'I give you this book.'

Questions can be constructed in various ways in Nobiin. Constituent questions ('Type 1', questions about 'who?', 'what?', etc.) are formed by use of a set of verbal suffixes in conjunction with question words. Simple interrogative utterances ('Type 2') are formed by use of another set of verbal suffixes. A question is any of several kinds of linguistic expressions normally used by a questioner to request the presentation of information back to the questioner, in the form of an answer, by the audience. ...

  Type 1 Type 2
I -re/-le -réè
you -i -náà
s/he -i -náà
we -ro/-lo -lóò
you (pl) -ro/-lo -lóò
they -(i)nna -(ì)nnànáà

Some of the suffixes are similar. Possible ambiguities are solved by the context. Some examples:

  • mìn ámán túúl áányì?   (what water in live:PRES.2/3SG.Q1)   'What lives in water?'
  • híddó nííl mìrì?   (where Nile run/flow:PRES.2/3SG.Q1)   'Where does the Nile flow?'
  • ìr sààbúúngà jáánnáà?   (you soap:OB have:2/3SG.PRES.Q2)   'Do you have soap?'
  • sàbúúngà jáánnáà?   (soap:OB have:PRES2/3SG.Q2)   'do you sell soap?' / 'Does he/she sell soap?'
  • úr báléél árágróò?   (you (pl.) party.at dance:PRES1/2PL.Q2)   'Do you (pl.) dance at the party?'

Notes and references

Werner (1987) was the first modern-day grammar of Nobiin.
Werner (1987) was the first modern-day grammar of Nobiin.

Image File history File links Werner_1987_Grammatik_des_Nobiin_cover. ... Image File history File links Werner_1987_Grammatik_des_Nobiin_cover. ...

Notes

  1. ^  Werner 1987:31: "Zwar ist fast jeder nubische Mann zweisprachig, und durch die Schule dringt das Arabische immer weiter vor, doch konnte nie der 'Verlust der Sprachkompetenz' beobachtet werden." [It is true that almost every Nubian man is bilingual, and that Arabic is pervading through education — but a 'loss of competence' was never observed.]
  2. ^  Cf. Ethnologue report on Nobiin.
  3. ^  Cf. Werner p. 18—24, see also Bell (1974).
  4. ^  The Egyptologist Lepsius spoke in 1880 of the Wohlklang of the Nubian language, and related this to the vowel distribution and the balance between long and short consonants.
  5. ^ In 1933 for example, Westermann and Ward wrote in their influential Practical Phonetics that "Swahili and Nuba are good examples of languages which were probably once tone languages and which are said to have lost their tones" (p. 139).
  6. ^  Nowadays, Old Nubian is seen as a tonal language just like its descendant Nobiin. Browne (2002:23) writes that the Nobiin minimal pairs ín 'your (sg.)' vs. ìn 'this' and úr 'your (pl.)' vs. ùr 'head' appear in Old Nubian as en and our respectively. From the fact that the Nubians must have had a way to distinguish these forms even though they were written the same, he draws the conclusion that "[Old Nubian] probably followed the tone system observable in modern Nobiin".

Carl Richard Lepsius (December 23, 1810 - July 10, 1884) was a German professor of Egyptology and linguist. ... Diedrich Hermann Westermann (June 24, 1875–May 31, 1956) was a German missionary, Africanist, and linguist. ... Ida Caroline Ward (1880 - 1949) was a British linguist working mainly on African languages who has done influential work in the domains of phonology and tonology. ... A page from an Old Nubian translation of Liber Institutionis Michaelis Archangelis from the 9th-10th century AD, found at Qasr Ibrim, now at the British Museum. ...

References

  • Adams, W.Y. (1982) "The coming of Nubian speakers to the Nile Valley", in Ehret, C. & Posnansky, M. (eds.) The Archeological and Linguistic Reconstruction of African History. Berkeley/Los Angeles, 11–38.
  • Bell, H. (1974) "Dialect in Nobíin Nubian". In Abd el-Gadir Mohmoud Abdalla (ed.) Studies in Ancient Languages of the Sudan. Khartoum. 109—122.
  • Browne, Gerald M. (2002) A grammar of Old Nubian. Munich: LINCOM. ISBN 3895868930.
  • Burckhardt, Johann Ludwig (or John Lewis) (1819) Travels in Nubia. London.
  • Lepsius, R. (1880) Nubische Grammatik. Mit einer Einleitung über die Völker und Sprachen Afrikas. Berlin.
  • Thelwall, Robin (1978) "Lexicostatistical relations between Nubian, Daju and Dinka", Études nubiennes: colloque de Chantilly, 2-6 juillet 1975, 265—286.
  • Thelwall, Robin (1982) "Linguistic Aspects of Greater Nubian History", in Ehret, C. & Posnansky, M. (eds.) The Archeological and Linguistic Reconstruction of African History. Berkeley/Los Angeles, 39–56. online version with OCR errors
  • Werner, Roland (1987) Grammatik des Nobiin (Nilnubisch) (Nilo-Saharan Studies vol. 1). Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag. ISBN 3-87118-851-4
  • Westermann, Diedrich Hermann & Ward, Ida (1933) Practical Phonetics for Students of African Languages. London [etc.]: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute.

External links

  • Ethnologue report on Nobiin

  Results from FactBites:
 
Grave accent at AllExperts (1321 words)
In some tonal languages such as Vietnamese and Mandarin Chinese, the grave accent is used to indicate a falling tone.
In African languages, the grave accent is often used to indicate a low tone, e.g.
Many of the UNIX shells and the programming language Perl use pairs of this character—known as backquote or backtick—to indicate substitution of the standard output from one command into a line of text defining another command.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m