Sokna language

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Native to Libya
Region Fezzan
Native speakers
5,600  (2006)[1]
Fezzan (Foqaha)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 swn

Sokna or Sawknah is a Berber language spoken in the town of Sokna (Isuknan) and the village of Fuqaha in northeastern Fezzan in Libya. The most extensive and recent materials on it are Sarnelli (1924)[2] for Sokna and Paradisi (1963)[3] for El-Fogaha. Both articles report that the language was spoken only by a handful of old people at the time, so it is generally presumed to be extinct. The Ethnologue [4] reports that it had 5,600 speakers as of 2006; the basis for this claim is unclear.

Aikhenvald & Militarev (1984) and Blench (2006) consider Sokna and Fezzan to be separate languages. Blench lists Tmessa and Al-Foqaha as dialects of Fezzan.


  1. ^ Sokna at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Sarnelli, Tommaso. 1924. "Il dialetto berbero di Sokna: Materiali lessicali, testi manoscritti in caratteri arabi, con trascrizione e traduzione", in Supplemento all'Africa Italiana.
  3. ^ Paradisi, Umberto. 1963. "Il linguaggio berbero di El-Fogaha (Fezzan)". Istituto Orientale di Napoli XIII. 93-126.
  4. ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics. Sawknah|Ethnologue[1]