Numidian language

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East Numidian
Old Berber
Native to ancient Numidia
Region Limited to the islands
Ethnicity Maesulians
Era fl. ca. 200 BCE
Libyco-Berber script (Proto-Tifinagh)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nxm
Linguist list
Glottolog numi1241[1]

East Numidian, also known as Old Berber, was the language of the Maesulians of the eastern part of ancient Numidia during the Pre-Roman era, in what is now Libya.

The language is scarcely attested, and can only be confidently identified as Afro-Asiatic; however, the Maesulians were ethnically Berber, and it is supposed that East Numidian was therefore a Berber language. The Berber branch of Afro-Asiatic is sometimes called Numidian-Berber, as it is not certain that East Numidian would fall within the modern Berber languages, or form a sister branch to them. Indeed, it is widely supposed that it forms a group of its own, as there is no trace of the noun-case system shared by the modern Berber languages. Proto-Berber is also theorized not to have grammatical case


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Numidian". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  • Aikhenvald & Militarev, 1991. 'Livijsko-guanchskie jazyki', Jazyki Azii i Afriki, vol. 4, pp. 148–266.