Post by Tukuler al~Takruri on Apr 20, 2010 13:52:33 GMT -5
Since Obenga's Introduction à la linguistique historique africaine is either untranslated or not easily attainable presented here will be sketches of it by one "Cotonou" a Francophone African.
CHAPITRE V. - Système phonologique du berbère p. 67 Documentation. Phonologie berbère: système consonantique et système vocalique. Observations phonologiques. Langues égyptienne et berbère: leur opposition irrémédiable
Here are Cotonou's posts on the above chapter in the order presented on ES back in Octber of 2007.
Obenga’s points : Berber, especially « conservative » Ghadamès (due to its geographic distribution) has significantly borrowed from other unrelated but adjacent languages such as Greek, Latin, Punic, Arabic.
Post by Tukuler al~Takruri on Apr 20, 2010 13:57:42 GMT -5
Well, I forgot to mention that in the page 67 Obenga pointed out that comparing Berber phonology to Egyptian would be a decisive factor in the establishment of a relationship between the two languages/branches.
rasol: The three 1st pages of the chapter are just an introduction to Berber, its historical areal contacts and its scientific descriptions, nothing about its genetic position.
- Some Berber phonemes seem to be restricted to borrowings from foreign languages: S, x, q, as well as laryngal sounds like glide E
- There exists in Berber, a processus of consonantic lengthening, different from gemination & reduplication to express an usual or intensive action. Ex:
kurem (ultra-brief u) "to be cold", intensive ikkurem; sskrem "to cool down" intensive issekram; akerram "very cold" ikerramen "plural form of the latter".
- This system totally contrasts with Egyptian phonology, Pharaonic & Coptic; there are no emphatics in Coptic, while there are in Berber; there is sometimes coexistence of lengthening and reduplication in the same theme. Ex
eghli "fall down"> qelluli "tumble"
- In Berber, tone of full vowels is clearly vanishing; a full vowel could be the result of the evolution of a formerly long vowel; the vowel zero could be the result of the evolution of a formerly short vowel.
- All of this is inexistant in Egypto-Coptic; there is no phonemic relationship between Berber & Egypto-Coptic; between Berber and "Négro-Africain".
- Berber is a vastly extended African language of which were part Guanche, Libyan, Numidian, Numido-Libyan; Libyc alphabet is ancestral to Tifinagh, which is clearly of Phoenician origin;
He is conscious of the fact that Berber literature is magnificent, and Berbers gave to humanity several great people, such as Pharaohs, Politicians, Generals, Philosophers, Theologists, poets, etc. But from a strict linguistic standpoint, it is clear that Berber system is clearly different from Egypto-Coptic.
- According to some Berber language specialists though, some cognates can be found within the two branches:
Ber ______ Eg ____ Coptic wel ______ b-l ____ vel ____ "eye" aghis ____ qs _____ kes ___ "bone" ushshen __ wnsh _________ "jackal"
Is it due to borrowing? Chance? Areal contacts?
- According to Pr. Werner Vycichl from Geneva University he discussed a lot with during his studies, those are cognate inherited from a common ancestor.
- Obenga's wonders how rigorous is it to draw a conclusion on the basis of only four words whose relatedness hasn't been proven from a regular phonemic standpoint; that comparative method as used in the case of Indo-European & Romance has been ignored in Berber/Egyptian comparative studies, which have been clearly unimpressive so far.
- According to Morylinski, the word wel in Ghadamès wouldn't be of berber origin, but a borrowing from Arabic; this opinion is also that of Obenga who states that the common form of Berber languages for "eye" is actually +tit, not wel.
- The plural for tit~titt is tiTawin~tiTTawin. Another plural form for "eye" "allen" has been found in Sus's Tashelît, among Ntifa, and Izayan. So the plural of tit, in Berber speaking area is tiTTawin or allen, from another root.
-But those two forms are far from being isolated in Berber languages from both morphological & lexical standpoints, hence the following related forms: -to cry "smiTTiu"(semlal), semmeTTu (Ahaggar), smiTTi (Amar); -tears (plural) "imeTTawen", "imTaun", enDaun -to cry "el", "il", "al", alla, hall, tahala, tala.
- So according to Obenga, el, il, al "to cry" is related to allen "eye".
- The singular (tit) / plural (allen) alternation is hence due to the coexistence in Berber of two distinct roots used for "eye", "cry", "tears", while Egyptian has two completely different roots for the same meanings: irt "eye", rmi "to cry", rmwt "tears.
- The great distribution of tit/allen in Berber speaking area along with the fact that wel is only found in Ghadamès tends to show that the latter wasn't inherited from Proto Berber, was probably a borrowing or an innovation.
- He wonders what is the origin of the final -n found in Semitic, but not in Egyptian, nor Berber. Semitic has a different morphological structure. Moreover, nor Egyptian nor Berber forms do show a post alveolar fricative consonant "sh" like Hebrew/Arabic do. What is the explanation for this divergence?
- There has never been any paronyms/homonyms attesting of the relationship between qs (AE), kas, kes, kis, kèès (Coptic) "bone" and Berber ighès, iqs "bone". This kind of similarity, although claimed as being genetic is of the like of those that can be found between AE mr "hoe", Sumerian "mar", Akkadian "marru", Greek "marron", Latin "marra"; French "marre, mare", etc, which may be due to borrowings or areal contacts.
- The comparative method is completely ignored in Egypto-Berber studies.
- Berber, that lacks of /p/ in his phonemic system, abundantly uses emphatic phonemes, morphological lengthenings and has only three full vowels in its system shows absolutely no relationship with Egypto-Coptic phonology.
- In conclusion,
1. morphology, 2. lexicology, 3. phonology
all contradict a possible common origin of Egyptian & Berber.
- Hamito-Semitic is a ghost, a myth similar to other linguistic myths based on the notion of "ancient Mediterranean languages".
- He provides a demonstration of it in the next chapter I will post later.