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Encyclopedia > Tuareg languages
Tuareg language(s) (Tamasheq, Tamajaq, Tamahaq)
Spoken in: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali, Niger 
Region: Sahara
Total speakers: 1.2 million (Ethnologue)
Language family: Afro-Asiatic
 Berber languages
  Tuareg language(s)
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: tmh
ISO/DIS 639-3: variously:
tmh — Tamashaq (generic)
thv — Tahaggart Tamahaq
taq — Tamasheq
ttq — Tawallammat Tamajaq
thz — Tayart Tamajeq 
Areas where significant numbers of Tuareg live.
Areas where significant numbers of Tuareg live.
 

Tuareg or Tamasheq/Tamajaq/Tamahaq is a Berber language or family of closely related languages spoken by the Tuareg, in parts of Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso (with a few speakers, the Kinnin, even in Chad[1].) They are quite mutually comprehensible, and are commonly regarded as a single language (as for instance by Karl Prasse); they are distinguished mainly by a few sound shifts (notably affecting the pronunciation of original z and h.) They are unusually conservative in some respects; they retain two short vowels where northern Berber languages have one or none, and have a much lower proportion of Arabic loanwords than most Berber languages. They are traditionally written in the indigenous Tifinagh alphabet; however, the Arabic alphabet is commonly used in some areas (and has been since medieval times), while the Latin alphabet is official in Mali and Niger. 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. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... Map showing the distribution of Afro-Asiatic languages The Afro-Asiatic languages are a language family of about 240 languages and 285 million people widespread throughout North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia. ... The Berber languages (or Tamazight) are a group of closely related languages mainly spoken in Morocco and Algeria. ... 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. ... Tuareg or Tamasheq/Tamajaq/Tamahaq is a Berber language or family of closely related languages spoken by the Tuareg, in parts of Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso (with a few speakers, the Kinnin, even in Chad[1].) They are quite mutually comprehensible, and are commonly regarded as a... Tayart is a dialect of the Tuareg language Tamasheq spoken in the Agadez area of Niger. ... Areas where significant numbers of Tuaregs live. ... Areas where significant numbers of Tuaregs live. ... 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 Berber languages (or Tamazight) are a group of closely related languages mainly spoken in Morocco and Algeria. ... For other uses, see Tuareg (disambiguation). ... The Arabic language (Arabic: ‎ translit: ), or simply Arabic (Arabic: ‎ translit: ), is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... A loanword is a word directly taken into by one language from another with little or no translation. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing in the Arabic language. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ...


The basic word order in Tuareg is Verb Subject Object. Verbs can be grouped into 19 morphological classes; some of these classes can be defined semantically. Verbs carry information on the subject of the sentence in the form of pronominal marking. No simple adjectives exist in the Tuareg languages; adjectival concepts are expressed using a relative verb form traditionally called 'participle'. The Tuareg languages have very heavily influenced Northern Songhay languages such as Tasawaq, whose speakers are culturally Tuareg but speak Songhay varieties; this influence includes points of phonology and sometimes grammar as well as extensive loanwords. Verb Subject Object—commonly used in its abbreviated form VSO—is a term in linguistic typology. ... The Songhay languages are a group of closely related languages/dialects centered on the Niger river, widely used as a lingua franca, particularly thanks to the medieval Songhay Empire. ...


Subclassification

  • Tuareg languages
    • Northern
      • Tamahaq - Language of the Kel Ahaggar, spoken in Algeria and in the north of Niger by approximately 57 000 people. Also known as Tahaggart.
    • Southern
      • Tamasheq - Language of the Kel Adrar (also known as Adagh or Ifoghas), spoken in Mali by approximately 270 000 people.
      • Tayart Tamajaq language - Language of the Kel Ayer (sometimes spelled Aïr), spoken in Niger by approximately 250 000 people.
      • Tawallammat Tamajaq language - Language of the Iwellemmeden, spoken in Mali and Niger by approximately 670 000 people. The term Iwellemmeden (the name of the people) is sometimes used to denote the language.

Tamahaq is the only known Northern Tamasheq language, spoken in southern Algeria, western Libya, and northern Niger. ... The Southern Tamasheq languages include 3 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken in Africa and western Asia; this language group is a part of the Tamasheq language family. ... Tayart is a dialect of the Tuareg language Tamasheq spoken in the Agadez area of Niger. ...

Phonology

The vowel system includes 5 long vowels, a e i o u, and two short, ə and ă. Karl Prasse argues that e and o generally derive from i and u, while comparative evidence proves that ə derives from a merger of proto-Berber *ĭ and *ŭ.


In the consonant system, pharyngealized consonants are widespread, particularly among the dentals. Gemination affects the quality of certain consonants, turning fricatives into stops; in particular, geminated γ becomes qq. Pharyngealisation is a secondary feature of phonemes in a language. ... Dentals are consonants articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-07-20, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... The word stop has several possible meanings in the English language. ...


Dialectal differences

Different dialects have slightly different consonant inventories. Some of these differences can be diachronically accounted for. For example, Proto-Berber *h is mostly lost in Ayer Tuareg, while it is maintained in almost every position in Mali Tuareg. The Iwellemmeden and Ahaggar Tuareg dialects are midway between these positions (Prasse 1969, Kossmann 1999). The Proto-Berber consonant *z comes out differently in different dialects, a development that is to some degree reflected in the dialect names. It is realized as h in Tamahaq (Tahaggart), as in Tamasheq and as simple z in the Tamajaq dialects Tawallammat and Tayart. In the latter two, *z is realised as before palatal vowels, explaining the form Tamajaq. In Tawallammat and especially Tayart, this kind of palatalization actually does not confine itself to z. In these dialects, dentals in general are palatalized before i and y (palatal vowel and approximant, respectively). For example, tidət is pronounced tidʲət in Tayart. (Prasse e.a. 2003:xiv) Other differences can easily be traced back to borrowing. For example, the Arabic pharyngeals ħ and ʕ have been borrowed along with Arabic loanwords by dialects specialized in Islamic (Maraboutic) learning. Other dialects substitute ħ and ʕ respectively with x and ɣ. Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time, by means of examining languages which are recognizably related through similarities such as vocabulary, word formation, and syntax, as well as the surviving records of ancient languages. ... A marabout is a personal spiritual leader in the Islam as practiced in West Africa, and still to a limited extent the Maghreb. ...


References

Bibliographies

  • Bougchiche, Lamara. (1997) Langues et litteratures berberes des origines a nos jours. Bibliographie internationale et sytematique. Paris: Ibis Press.
  • Chaker, Salem, ed. (1988) Etudes touaregues. Bilan des recherches en sciences sociales. Travaux et Documents de i.R.E.M.A.M. no. 5. Aix-en-Provence: IREMAM / LAPMO.
  • Leupen, A.H.A. (1978) Bibliographie des populations touaregues: Sahara et Soudan centraux. Leiden: Afrika Studiecentrum.

Dictionaries

Enlarge
An arbitrary page (247) of the 1951 Dictionnaire Touareg-Français, showcasing De Foucauld's meticulous handwriting accompanied by detailed illustrations of tasdest 'tent-pole' and other tent-building terms of the Kel Ahaggar.
  • Motylinski, A. (1908). Grammaire, dialogues et dictionnaire touaregs. Alger: P. Fontana.
  • Charles de Foucauld (1951-1952) Dictionnaire touareg-francais. 4 vol. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale de France.
  • Prasse, Karl G. & Alojaly, Ghoubeid & Mohamed, Ghabdouane (2003) Dictionnaire touareg-francais (Niger). 2 vol. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (896x1344, 530 KB) Summary Page 247 of Charles de Foucauld, Dictionnaire Touareg-Français, vol. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (896x1344, 530 KB) Summary Page 247 of Charles de Foucauld, Dictionnaire Touareg-Français, vol. ... Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916). ...

Grammars

  • Hanoteau, A. (1896) Essai de grammaire de la langue tamachek' : renfermant les principes du langage parlé par les Imouchar' ou Touareg. Alger: A. Jourdan.
  • Galand, Lionel. (1974) 'Introduction grammaticale'. In: Petites Soeurs de Jesus, Contes touaregs de l'Air (Paris: SELAF), pp. 15-41.
  • Prasse, Karl G. (1973) Manuel de grammaire touaregue (tahaggart). 4 vol. Copenhagen.
  • Sudlow, David. (2001). The Tamasheq of North-East Burkina Faso. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.

Texts

  • Ag Erless, Mohamed (1999) "Il ný a qu'un soleil sur terre". Contes, proverbes et devinettes des Touaregs Kel-Adagh. Aix-en-Provence: IREMAM.
  • Ahgali-Zakara, Mohamed & Jeannine Drouin (1979) Traditions touarègues nigériennes. Paris: L'Harmattan.
  • Alojaly, Ghoubeïd (1975) Ǎttarikh ən-Kəl-Dənnəg - Histoire des Kel-Denneg. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
  • Chaker, Salem & Jélène Claudot & Marceau Gast, eds. (1984) Textes touaregs en prose de Charles de Foucaould et. A. de Calassanto-Motylinski. Aix-en-Provence: Édisud.
  • Foucauld, Charles de (1925) Poésies touarègues. Dialecte de l'Ahaggar. Paris: Leroux.
  • Louali-Raynal, Naïma & Nadine Decourt & Ramada Elghamis (1997) Littérature orale touarègue. Contes et proverbes. Paris: L'Harmattan.
  • Mohamed, Ghabdouane & Karl-G. Prasse (1989) Poèmes touaréges de l'Ayr. 2 vol. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
  • Mohamed, Ghabdouane & Karl-G. Prasse (2003) əlqissǎt ən-təməddurt-in - Le récit de ma vie. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.
  • Nicolas, Francis (1944) Folklore Twareg. Poésies et Chansons de l'Azawarh. BIFAN VI, 1-4, p. 1-463.

Linguistic topics

  • Cohen, David (1993) 'Racines'. In: Drouin & Roth, eds. À la croisée des études libyco-berbères. Mélanges offerts à Paulette Galand-Pernet et Lionel Galand (Paris: Geuthner), 161-175.
  • Kossmann, Maarten (1999) Essai sur la phonologie du proto-berbère. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.
  • Prasse, Karl G. (1969) A propos de l'origine de h touareg (tahaggart). Copenhagen.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Omnipelagos.com ~ article "Tuareg languages" (735 words)
Tuareg () or Tamasheq/Tamajaq/Tamahaq is a Berber language or family of closely related languages spoken by the Tuareg, in parts of Mali, Niger, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso (with a few speakers, the Kinnin, even in Chad[1].)
No simple adjectives exist in the Tuareg languages; adjectival concepts are expressed using a relative verb form traditionally called 'participle'.
Tamahaq - Language of the Kel Ahaggar, spoken in Algeria and in the north of Niger by approximately 57 000 people.
Tuareg languages (642 words)
They are traditionally written in the indigenous Tifinagh alphabet; however, the Arabic alphabet is commonly used in some areas (and has been since medieval times), while the Latin alphabet is official in Mali and Niger.
The Tuareg languages have very heavily influenced Northern Songhay languages such as Tasawaq, whose speakers are culturally Tuareg but speak Songhay varieties; this influence includes points of phonology and sometimes grammar as well as extensive loanwords.
Tawallammat Tamajaq language - Language of the Iwellemmeden, spoken in Mali and Niger by approximately 670 000 people.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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