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Siwa and its significance for Arabic dialectology

Souag, Lameen (2009) 'Siwa and its significance for Arabic dialectology.' Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik (51). pp. 51-75.

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Alternative Location: http://zal.uni-hd.de/zal51.htm

Abstract

Siwi is best known for being the easternmost Berber language, but includes a very substantial Arabic stratum. The q reflex of qāf and the final ʾimāla of -ā to -ī in loanwords alone suffice to establish that most of this influence derives neither from Bedouin dialects nor from the main Nile Valley dialects; instead, these link Siwa to other Egyptian oases. Some borrowed grammatical elements, notably lā "not" and qət ̣t ̣"ever", the actor noun formation a-CəCCēCī, and demonstrative agreement with the addressee, underline Siwi’s archaism relative to almost all modern Arabic dialects. The depth of Arabic influence on Siwi suggests very close social contact, and historical sources indicate an Arab presence in the oasis alongside Berber in the 12th century. The Arabic element of Siwi thus provides a new source of evidence on sedentary Arabic dialects that reached the region independently of the Banī Sulaym and probably prior to their 11th century arrival.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: language contact, Arabic, Berber, dialectology, Siwa, Saharan history
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PJ Semitic
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
ISSN: 0170026X
Depositing User: Lameen Souag
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2012 10:32
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13428

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