Talk:Tunisian Arabic

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Relationship to Maltese[edit]

well, I need to change the second appearance of Maltese being the closest thing to Tunisian. The converse _is_ true, but Algerian, Libyan are much closer to Tunisian than Maltese. Believe me, I can wander round Algiers happily, and have done, but Valletta is tougher. Even Moroccan is probably a little closer (not in rhythm), but Al-Andalusi's comment about Kuwaiti is almost definitley correct. Yes, Maltese is easier to understand to this Tunisian second language speaker (but I can also understand Italian reasonably well) than Gulf Arabic (OK, I also understand Standard), so actually that doesn't say too much.

--Drmaik 22:27, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I am a native speaker of the Tunisian dialect (northern/coastal urban form), and Maltese is definitely not intelligible to me in any way. I also don't know a single Tunisian who would understand but a few words of Maltese. So I will edit that part if I don't have some backup information on it because it's inaccurate. OTOH, most other Arab dialects are fully understandable to a Tunisian, with the possible exception of Western Algerian and Morroccan dialects. I am not a linguistics professionnal, so I have no idea why Tunisian dialects (or Western Lybian ones for that matter), classified as Maghrebi, are often considered unintelligible with Eastern Arabic dialects. My daily experience of Levantines, Egyptians as well as Gulf people in contact with Tunisians shows the opposite. I will not change this part since there seems to be a consensus (though mainly from non Arab scholar sources or from generally accepted ideas in the Middle-East - today's Middle-Esterners having had little contact with Tunisians/Lybians and actually know little about them). But any information and correction would be welcome.--Yobaranut

On the issue of Maltese, I'm suprised you find it so hard to understand (are you talking about listening rather than reading?) I know a few Tunisians who have found it quite easy, but that sort of thing does vary and also depends on the amount of exposure. In any case, the article doesn't say they're easy to understand, just that they have a close relationship (verb conjugation, inti to men and women, where vowels go, the diphthongs of the traditional urban varieties, words like biex, xejn etc.) Also, Tunisians do tend to understand Middle Easterners, because of exposure to these varieites in the media, while the opposite isn't the case (as the reply below indicates). --Drmaik 22:21, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

After 2 deletions of the statement of the closeness of the realationship between Tunisian and Maltese, I need to comment. The article is not saying that they are mutually intelligible, but that they are closely related linguistically. In fact, a Maltese friend of mine was good at understanding it, but that would be putting my own experieince against MaxCosta's. And I've been to mass in Malta and had little difficulty following the sermon. But structurally the two are very similar: they both use qieghed for the progressive (no other Arabic dialect I am aware of does this), have the same conjugation of the verb (e.g. niktib, tiktib, jiktib are the same...) with no gender marking in the second person (again, a Tunisian distinctive). Tunisian dialects have xinhu, xejn, again distinctive. dabbar rasu means the same, negation with mhux etc is very similar. And why one pronounces barred h in taghha, taghhom becomes clear from Tunisian as well: ain and h, both mainly lost in Maltese, fuse to barred h in Tunisian. These are very close structural similarities shared with not much else. --Drmaik 15:35, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I also disagree that Maltese is closest to Tunisian (or vice versa). I think that Maltese is closer to the Levantine Arabic, particularly to Lebanese. I think that what makes Maltese and Tunisian sound similar is the fact that they're both influenced by a latin language, Italian in the Maltese case and French in the Tunisian case. Regarding the verbs, we say nikteb, tikteb, jikteb, tikteb, niktbu, tiktbu and jiktbu (with an e not an i) but it depends on the dialect. It can vary a lot from one village to another. Another thing that I have an issue with is why Maltese it's not considered to be a dialect of Arabic. It's not only because of sociolinguistic reasons but because it's not mutually intelligible and there are actually several dialects of Maltese that are all related to this language that has developed in total isolation from Arabic for almost 1000 years. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Arabic but let's get things straight. I also like Arabic and study it. One should also note that many Tunisians who are in contact with tourists in Sousse and Tunis have also learnt a little bit of Maltese and that's also a reason why many Maltese people claim that they have no problem communicating in those cities. If they had to go to some far out village where no Maltese tourists ever go, I doubt they'd say the same thing. --Saviourag 02:25, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

I, too, was shocked to read that Maltese is considered to be "close" to Tunisian. Is English considered "closer" to Scandinavian languages than German because of the loss of most gender and case distinctions? Sharing a handful of features isn't enough, guys. I think such an assertion needs to be backed up by a cite, at the very least.
I also take issue with:
  • some of the vocabulary. "My father" is not /bˁaː bˁa/ but /buː ya/
  • "Some consonants are bracketed in the table above because they are not universally considered to be separate phonemes, but there is strong evidence indicating they are. There are two sources for these bracketed consonants: the pharyngealised forms are internal developments while the other three..." Who knows what consonants are being referred to here? Pharyngealized /b/? What's that? Strong evidence? Cite it, please. Cbdorsett 09:28, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough on the request for a cite: I think Versteegh has a toss-off comment somewhere, and I've heard at least one paper on a related subject, and read one too. It'll take me a few days to ferret.
As for the other comments, no /buː ya/ is not TA: it is suppleted by /bˁaː bˁa/, even though there's no possessive marker. When learning TA, people would laugh at /buː ya/. Err, the evidence for pharyngealised b etc. is presented. I'll check out Singer, where I think I got the example. )Added later: Indeed, below, the page numbers for the phonemic oppositions are given.) I've clarified which consonants are which; it wasn't exactly clearly written.
shnuwa and shniya. There may have been a gender difference in the past, and I know it was still taught recently, but for many (most?) speakers in Tunis, it is not there, at least not consistently. At least one person expressed surprise to me that there was meant to be a difference. Unfortunately, I know this from my own enquiries, so I can't state so on page. I think shnuwwa is more common than shniyya with 'how are you' but again, no citeable evidence. Nice to see someone else interested in the page! Drmaik 12:49, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

08:31, 15 January 2006 (UTC): I am a native speaker of Tunsian, and my personal experience has been that middle eastern speakers of arabic have a difficult time understanding tunisian when spoke the way it is between tunisians, although Syrians and Lebanese seem to have a better time at it than Egyptians and Gulf people. How ever north-africans can understand tunisian much better. When I speak to Libyans, Algerians and Morrocans, I basically speak the same way I do with other tunisians (No French/Arabic code switching with Libyans and they can't figure out the words with latin origins). However when I speak to middle easterners, I have to "waterdown" my tunisian to a sort of pseudo-standard arabic, and even then I sometimes can't get myself understood. I think the reason that most middle easterners understand north-africans is either that north-africans do the same I do, they (consciously or unconsciously) take into account who they are speaking to and change their speach accrodingly.

I've never known why tunisian people call the French language "sury", while this word means "syrian" in arabic. This doesn't exist in any other dialect as far as I know. -- 09:01, 19 August 2005 (UTC) I do not know either, however, I can propose an (very far fetched) explanation: Syria was also a french colony at one point, and since "sury" can mean "french language", but also "Syrian", maybe this is related to the use of the word. this is the only connection I can find between the word "sury" and the french language (or indeed France in general). It is known that some Tunisians were fighting (enlisted by force into the french army, actually) on the french side in Syria during the french occupation of that country. Maybe they strated the use of "sury" to mean french. However, this seems a very unlikely cause, since France occupied Tunisia long before it did Syria (by about 40 years), and that by the time of the occupation of Syria, there would already exist a word for "french" in Tunisian Arabic.

The use of the term "sury" for "French" is gradually disappearing in Tunisian. It exists mainly among old generations and rural or less educated sections of the population. "Sury" is definitely getting to mean "Syrian" and "Fransawi" is the word for French. I have no idea where the old meaning comes from, but it definitely predates French colonization of Syria, so your guess is most probably wrong. My personal guess would rather be that Levantines (who were called Shamis or Syrians) and Europeans (then called Rumis) were often thought to (physically) look alike, hence a certain confusion? That too could be a far-fetched guess though --Yobaranut 08:31, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I am Maltese for all it is worth and this is my two cents worth. Many foreigners that know the Classical Arabic or its various colloquial versions claim to understand Maltese, and how it is so like Tunisian Maghreban Arabic dialects. I am dubious of those claims. Maltese derives from Siculo-Arabic and introduced to Malta after the invasion of Sicilian based and born Moors who spoke some sort of Arabic found in the Maghreb. That was in the 9th century. Malta has had little to do with the Levant or Arabia and a little more with North Africa during the Moorish period. However, the language developed with little non Sicilian influence and contains peculiarities which show a two population and hybrid origin of the Maltese people and language. Many words dealing with the home are not Semitic, some relationships are not from Semitic even the word for water is permanently tied to the indefinite article. Introduced languages are absorbed usually incorrectly by non native speakers. I have been to Tunisia more than once. Don't understand much of their lingo at all, and if they do speak Maltese it is due to recent contact with Maltese people or diaspora Maltese who once lived in the country when the Europeans were in control. Tunisian Arabic dialects were effected by the Bedouin invasion of the Al-Hilali tribe in the 11th century who further "Arabised" Tunisian Arabic dialects. Maltese comes from pre-Hilali Maghreban Arabic already laced with Romance or Greek words from Sicily in the 9th century. Tunisian absorbed its foreign words from the time of European Colonialism not from the Middle Ages.

I see no harm from people tying the Maltese language to Maghreban Arabic provided they acknowledge the long separation with both Standard Arabic and Maghreban Arabic dialects, and the fact that Maltese words derived from Semitic once spoken in the Maghreb is actually older than any Tunisian Arabic dialects, and the ancestor Semitic languages in the Maghreb were changed by the Al-Hilali and subsequent contact with Standard Arabic and other Arabic dialects. Studying the Semitic part of the Maltese language would show what the post Muhammad spoken Maghreban Semitic language was like in Tunisia better than any languages now spoken in Tunisia. Maltese is a window to their past. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PontoHardbottle (talkcontribs) 05:46, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Lack of indicative suffix[edit]

The statement "The lack of an indicative prefix in the verbal system, resulting in no distinction between indicative and subjunctive moods." puzzles me as the subjunctive mode in Modern Standard is distinguished from the indicative by a different suffix (fatha for subjunctive, damma for indicative) but use the same imperfect prefix.

What you say is correct. The stated contrast is with other dialects which use ba-, (Middle East) ta- or ka- (Morocco) to mark the indicative. I'll try to make this clearer later in the day.--Drmaik 05:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Reconsider the name[edit]

There is nothing named Tunisia Arabic. This is not true only for Tunisian Arabic but generally Arabic Dialect names, I find that most Arabic dialect names are derived from country names; this is totally wrong and it has nothing to do with linguistics. In Tunisia there are at least three major dialects, so how can you state something such as Tunisian Arabic (you have to pick one). For instance, the south dialect is closer to the Western Lybian dialect, the western dialect is closer to Eastern Algerian Dialect. Besides, The north dialect has very major differences with the southern and western dialect in pronunciation and pronouns (the qaf instead of ga for example, two pronouns for YOU: enta & enti in the south and west instead of one). So I advise the writers to reconsider the name because it did not represent the actual truth. Bestofmed 18:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC).

Thanks for addressing this issue. I've just noticed that while the article does mention the similarity at the borders, that TA is not mentioned as part of the Maghrebi dialect continuum, which by its very nature causes problem with nomenclature. However, WP:NAMING states that articles should be named after what they are most commonly called, which in this case is TA.
And I would argue there is such a thing as TA: yes, there's not an abrupt difference at the border (similar to American English and Canadian English, for example), but what about 'louage'? 'kaskrut?' The pronunciation of 'taxi'? The fact there's a tendency for the more prestige conscious in Tunisia (variable according to region) to shift to a variety more similar to that of Tunis, as opposed to Algiers or Tripoli? inti is prestigious (to a man) in Tunisia (not according to everyone, of course...), but the opposite is the case in Annaba. th is prestigious in Tunisia, t in Algeria. If you disgree about prestige, look at behaviour: people in Mahdia use th quite a lot: you won't find t-pronouncing areas in Algeria shifting to th. So there is a commonality, partially influenced by TV (esp. channel 21, I guess) of what people evaluate to be Tunisian, even if they do not choose to speak it themselves. I would argue that Tunis Arabic has some elements belonging to an Ausbausprache, and functions as such for all or most of Tunisia in the spoken domain.
Well, I've spent some time on this.... if you disagree with the latter argument, the first one about the naming practices is probably more relevant, in any case. Moreover, 'Tunisian Arabic' gets around 17,500 hits on google, and is listed as such by the Ethnologue, which is the most widely referenced source on language variety definition, whatever your opinion on its faithfulness. Drmaik 06:52, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe it is necessary to reconsider the name to "Tunisian" for the sake of neutrality and efficiency. If such thing as "Tunisian Arabic" exists then "Maltese" should be changed to "Maltese Arabic". The classification as "Arabic" despite the substantial Tamazight substrata and the miscellaneous influences has been for mere political reasons. E3 (talk) 23:29, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

sociolinguistic reasons[edit]

  • I see this sentence, "Maltese[1], which is not considered to be a dialect of Arabic for sociolinguistic reasons.".
  • Don't you think the opposite is the reality :) That for socioreligious reasons, varieties of Arabic are considered dialects & only dialects, rather than independent languages, but affected with Modern Standard Arabic because it is the main written language in all the Arab league countries. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 20:15, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Where is the Maltese quote found? It should say "variety of Arabic", not "dialect". We are being careful in Wikipedia to use "variety" for the different forms of Arabic to walk the line between those who consider them dialects even though they are not all mutually intelligible and those who consider them languages even though neighboring varieties tend to be mutually intelligible. (Taivo (talk) 20:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC))


The existence of /g/ is mentioned, but it should probably also be said in Tunisia they use a separate letter for the sound, ڨ (in contrast to Morocco, for instance, which uses a three-dot kaf for /g/). (talk) 12:50, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

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@GeekEmad: The sole source for the "STUNdard" material you have added to this article and to Tunisia appears to be someone's blog, for which, in turn, the sole cited source is a proposal published only six months ago by someone representing an organization called The League of Tunisian Humanists. Can you provide evidence that this convention has achieved any significant consideration or official acceptance outside the League and that it could be considered notable under Wikipedia's guidelines? Is there any evidence that the standardized language and writing convention championed in the paper has come into use in any significant way? —Largo Plazo (talk) 20:04, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

  • There is a book about "STUNdard" method and Tunisian Darija which I forgot to add it as a source. STUNdard has no official website till no, and it has just a blog about it. Please tell me, what sources should STUNdard has to get a recognition (in Wikipedia and out of Wikipedia) --GeekEmad (talk) 20:19, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • It would need to actually have been adopted. A standard language is one that has obtained formal recognition: Are official documents written in it? Is it a standard that TV newscasters are expected to follow? Is it a standard followed by newspapers or universities? Is it taught to schoolchildren and are textbooks written in it? Are street signs and road markers written in it? If not, then I'm afraid that your additions over the last day or two give the impression of an official or generally recognized status that STUNdard doesn't possess. Without that sort of status, a reasonable question from people reading those articles would be "Why are all these articles giving these invented spellings for things?"
Notability is the key here. If, at least, the project's attempts to obtain some sort of recognized status met the general notability guidelines, then it would make sense to mention it in this article. However, it would still be inappropriate in the other articles you've edited to keep the STUNdard spellings that you've provided, just as it would be inappropriate for me to make up a simplified spelling for US English and then add spellings using my own system to all the articles on Arabic Wikipedia that are about US topics. If even the attempts have received no or insufficient attention, then I believe the material you've added to this article would be considered original research unsupported by reliable sources and would need to be removed.
Nothing of what I've said here is a judgment on the value of the project. Judgment about inclusion of a topic on Wikipedia isn't based on the personal evaluations of the merits of the topic by people on Wikipedia. I have no opinion on the merits of STUNdard. Further, if it achieves notability later on, then it will become a valid topic for inclusion on Wikipedia; if it achieves any kind of formal recognition and is put into common use, then it will make sense to include spellings in it in Tunisia-related articles. —Largo Plazo (talk) 20:56, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Actually it's an unofficial writing system for Tunisian Arabic (which is spoken and has no standard form yet), so I'm sorry for using it on other pages. It has the same level (or a little higher) of Chat Alphabet. So, can I write a Wikipedia page about it (and I'll translate it to 2 languages)?
@GeekEmad:, can you let me know if there's any sort of documentation of official recognition or common acceptance and use of STUNdard practices? —Largo Plazo (talk) 06:51, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
  • It's a method to write a spoken language in a country with a Gov. that want to "Arabize" everything and delete everything related to Berbers, so recognition of Tunisian with STUNdard method is impossible because Tunisian has many Berber words and has a Berber grammar. So, a recognition from Gov. to this method or even to the language is impossible. but, people can widely use it, It will be even used in Tunisian Wikipedia. and here I want to ask a question, in this situation, can this method get a recognition from an assiociation (like what?) and be used on other pages of Wikipedia or not?. You can remove the edits that I made on other pages.
  • Based on what you've told me, it doesn't currently meet the notability guidelines and is therefore not something that Wikipedia would cover. —Largo Plazo (talk) 14:08, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Move reverted[edit]

Wikipedia articles are named per WP:COMMONNAME not the local desires of non-English speakers. If you disagree, then initiate a proper request for move and build a consensus for any change. --Taivo (talk) 22:20, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Yes sorry about that --GeekEmad (talk) 11:30, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Latin script[edit]

There is a sentence about Latin characters being used on social websites. I don't quite understand how this comes to pass. Is Derja written in Latin taught in schools or is it relatively easy for a speaker literate in the Arabic script to make the change to Latin, because the symbols can be "translated" one by one? The Arabic Alphabet article makes it seem a lot more complicated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:8108:1E00:1924:E1C0:A86A:64D0:2C07 (talk) 17:39, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Is Tunsi (Tunisian Arabic) Punic ?[edit]

I did some researches recently and I discovered that, many people, are starting to think that the maghrebi dialects are, of punic origin. In fact, what we consider berber isn't itself as distinct because, it is in great part punic itself.

We can see here, a comparison between Phoenician and arabic (its in french) same here ici

I found that realy impressive, knowing that this is only phoenician and not yet punic ! Is it possible, that the language we speak isn't much different from what was spoken at Carthage ? If enough people agree on that, I think this article should include these elements, and be written in that optic.

Also many recent researches in the Maghreb are adding elements on that matter, here one (sorry for non-french reader) :

There's also a debate here on that

Exacrion (discuter)  — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exacrion (talkcontribs) 18:39, 18 February 2015 (UTC) 
I don't see how comparing MSA words to Tunisian words that are identical or nearly the same demonstrates a Punic origin. Look at the entries for "cent" and "chien", for example. Elimam's word list was just as puzzling: how was it meant to demonstrate that the Tunisian words on the list were of Punic rather than Arabic origin? Anyway, see this analysis and Lameen Souag's comment after it, including "My conclusion in brief is that nothing in his list justifies postulating even Punic influence on Darja, much less Punic origins for it, ...."
The bottom line is that this is one man's hypothesis, which is not a valid basis for inclusion in a Wikipedia article, unless it's an article about novel theories and there are other reliable sources that have written about his hypothesis. —Largo Plazo (talk) 18:58, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with —Largo Plazo.
Furthermore I believe that your point "In fact, what we consider berber isn't itself as distinct because, it is in great part punic itself" seems rather unreferenced and unlikely. Perhaps one of the cases where this might stand, would be if you were referring to Neo-Punic as partly Punic and similarly to Tunisian, relying on an Amazigh substrata and a multitude of loanwords from other Mediterranean languages; in the case of Neo-Punic, mostly Phoenician.
E3 (talk) 08:41, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
To Exacrion (talk) and kwami (talk), in particular, for notification. I came through this controversy quite by accident. Here are 4 statements which are relevant to the linguistic classification of Tunisian Arabic. (1) Punic is an extinct variety of extinct Phoenician. (2) Both languages are known only from brief text or vocabulary samples. To the extent that we can judge from these rests, both languages are to be classified within the Semitic subgroup of Afro-Asiatic and are thus closely related to Arabic. (3) To the extent that we can judge today, Punic differs from Phoenician mainly by its large Berber substratum. Berber is to be classified as a non-Semitic subgroup of Afro-Asiatic and is only distantly related to Semitic. We don't know whether Punic had completely replaced Berber in the area or whether there was a coterritorial maintenance of both Punic and Berber. (4) Substratal evidence are linguistic facts but do not have any bearing on linguistic classification. This is incidentally true of historical and cultural facts. This means that research determining the nature of a substratum in Tunisian Arabic, Punic or Berber, might shed light on the origins of the populations of Tunisia but will have no bearing on the origin of Tunisian Arabic as a language. Novalis69 (talk) 18:44, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Newspaper articles and blogs are not WP:reliable sources. They are not adequate to make extraordinary claims like this. The only linguistic source you provided (elsewhere) describes a Punic substratum in Tunisian Arabic. It does not claim that Tunisian is actually Punic. It looks like some reporter misunderstood what they read. Sometimes the people who talk the most know the least. — kwami (talk) 19:56, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

tokwami, —Largo Plazo, E3 Then do we all agree to add the punic substratum to the page at least ? Exacrion (discuter)
No, I disagree, because the hypothesis is the product of one person in a non-peer-reviewed paper based on what it is bewildering to think that he considers evidence—especially when much of it seems to be evidence of the Arabic origin of words on his list. —Largo Plazo (talk) 21:33, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
to E3 Not it's a fact that Amazigh, was influenced by Phoenician/Punic, it contains many punic words, that are believed to be genuinely berber, especially near Tunisia (+east algeria/ west libya). I definitely believe Tunisian is an evolution of Punic, that doesn't make any doubt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asmodim (talkcontribs) 20:18, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

references to the use of english code-switching withing tunisian[edit]

I don't know what references could fit, in that. If someone can help it would be great.

Otherwise, if there's Tunisian people here, let's just agree with that and that'll be fine. I always use English code-switching with my friends and even more recently with my family and so do they. I don't see in what we need a source for something so basic and just part of our daily lives. If we do that in the same logic we'd need to prove, french, arabic and I don't know what else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elioun (talkcontribs) 16:53, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

But you see, you aren't writing this article for yourself. Everything in a Wikipedia article must be verifiable. Theoretically, every single assertion should be explicitly supported by a citation to a reliable source. In practice, much of what's written is uncontroversial (see WP:The sky is blue) and there's no reason why anyone would lie or be mistaken about it. But if anyone has any doubts about an assertion, he or she is entirely within reason to ask for a proper citation rather than taking it on the word of one or more people here, if for no other reason than that Wikipedia content should not consist of original research. Further, because of how Wikipedia is built, it is never, itself, a reliable source. Therefore, scrupulous researchers would never cite Wikipedia as a source for information in papers that they are writing. It helps them enormously when Wikipedia directs them to a reliable source for the information that's carried here.
In this case, I'd like to see a citation because:
  1. Your family and friends aren't necessarily representative of the bulk of the country.
  2. When I prepared for my trip to Tunisia, all of the guidebooks I used explained that Tunisians are largely bilingual and that tourists who speak French can get along easily there. (I'm American, native language English, and my guidebooks were all in English.) None of them said anything about English being commonly spoken around the country. If it were, I'd expect that these guidebooks would have said that as well, since that would be more useful to English-speaking tourists than French!
  3. When I was in Tunisia, only once did I ever hear a Tunisian speak English, and that was a hotel manager who was speaking to a tourist from Hong Kong. Granted, I spoke French the whole time I was there, because I do speak it fairly comfortably, and because of the guidance given by my guidebooks, so I never asked anyone if they spoke English. But, also, no one ever switched to English with me on the theory that at least one of us might as well be speaking his native language, and I never heard Tunisians code-switching with each other in English. Really, the only times I encountered English were (a) on one "Camel Crossing" sign on the way from Kebili to Matmata, (b) on a poster in Sidi Bou Said advertising a canned beverage called Boga Cidre with the slogan "Think Tounsi", and (c) the word "Fuck" preceding the words "Ben Ali" in the graffiti in this photo I took in Souk Lahad (nine months after Ben Ali had been deposed).
For those reasons, I'm genuinely surprised to see an assertion that Tunisians are trilingual in general, with English as one of their languages, and I'm requesting one or more appropriate sources to support the assertion. —Largo Plazo (talk) 19:06, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
What kind of sources or citation could work in that case ? (don't ask me for an accredited research that's obviously impossible)
Anything that meets the requirements for a reliable source and that says credibly that it's true. —Largo Plazo (talk) 00:39, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
By the way, please WP:SIGN your contributions on talk pages. —Largo Plazo (talk) 00:40, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 18 April 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 14:05, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Tunisian ArabicTunisian language – Please see the conversation on incubator:Special:PermanentLink/2902392#Proposal about Wiktionary Tunisian and meta:Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Tunisian. Mjbmr (talk) 14:35, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Keep. I make no judgment on the merits of the arguments given in the campaign to encourage people to call it simply "Tunisian" when I say that at this time, in English, the language spoken natively by Tunisians is, to the best of my knowledge, most commonly known as "Tunisian Arabic". This is the applicable criterion even if Tunisians, in their language, have adopted, or were to adopt, the designation "Tounsi". WP:COMMONNAME applies. —Largo Plazo (talk) 15:06, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Tunisian Arabic is derived from Arabic but it's not written in Arabic. Mjbmr (talk) 15:26, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
What script it's written in is irrelevant to what the language is called or should be called. But even if that is your argument for deciding that the language should be called just "Tunisian", we don't name articles according to what anyone thinks their topics should be known as. We name them based on what their topics are known as. —Largo Plazo (talk) 15:48, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
You'r speaking for me. I never said that. I'm saying it's a little bit miss understanding when the article name has a "Arabic" with it. In the article already says "Tunisian, or Tunisian Arabic" so what's the different for you if we rename it. Mjbmr (talk) 15:54, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I was assuming that your comment was meant to be relevant to this discussion, so I interpreted it in that regard, i.e., that what script it's written in is relevant to the choice of title for this article. Did you throw it in as a random remark that wasn't meant to be relevant to the discussion? As for what the difference is to me, I just got through explaining that. —Largo Plazo (talk) 16:23, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Tunisian Arabic is a dialect of Arabic not a separate language. Furthermore the conversations cited in the proposal are themselves on-going and clearly highly contested. The main purpose of this proposal appears to be an attempt to manipulate the conversations cited. Ebonelm (talk) 18:56, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment, If there are reasons why the language has fundamental differences a standard form of Arabic then to call it Tunisian Arabic may lack precision. I checked the parallel versions of this article in Arabic and also did the same for the articles on Gulf and Egyptian Arabic. Even though Egyptian is known to be quite different to other Arabics, like Gulf Arabic it is described to be a "tone" (لهجة ). In contrast the Tunisian article was described to be a "rolling" (دارجة ) whatever that means. Certainly I think that there is a reason to treat the language differently as per precise and I can well envisage that calling it something like Tunisian (Arabic dialect) or Tunisian (Arabic based language) might be appropriate. If there was an English based language that used mahy different contents and a different alphabet I am not sure that it would be accurate so simply describe it as Fooish English. GregKaye 19:32, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose: All varieties of Arabic within the Arabic disglossic system are know as "X Arabic" in English. Per WP:COMMONNAME therefore, this article must remain at "Tunisian Arabic". It doesn't matter what the name is in Arabic or Tunisian Arabic or Chukchee or Quechua. In English, it is "Tunisian Arabic" in virtually all linguistic sources. --Taivo (talk) 20:29, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: First of all it's not a dialect, it was derived from Arabic that's why it's called Arabic, it has different accent and a lot of different words, and it's not quite possible to write all words in Arabic. As you noticed, it is written in both scripts in the country, but today, it is recommended to write in Latin script. btw it has nothing to do with English. And edits like Special:Diff/657073135/657071801 is not good while we're discussing this. Please read the article well, it says all about Latin script. I'm saying it should not be called "Arabic" since it also is written in Latin. Please see the links I provided in the initial comment and see another example here. Mjbmr (talk) 20:35, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks, it's very helpful to this discussion that you repeated all your arguments after I explained why they are invalid and/or not pertinent to the question at hand and pointed you to WP:COMMONNAME, the Wikipedia guideline that is pertinent here. And you added a new one: That is has nothing to do with English. Of course it does. This is English Wikipedia. We name articles according to what their topics are called in English. Again, WP:COMMONNAME. Just like we don't list information about the Dutch language under "Nederlands".
Completely unrelated to the question at hand: If the Arabic alphabet can be adapted to accommodate Persian (including 6 vowels as well as /g/ گ and /p/ پ and and /tʃ/ چ and /v/) and Urdu (11 vowels and lots of consonants unknown in Arabic, plus aspiration) and Turkish and Kurdish and Pashto and Somali, then it's absurd to argue that it can't be adapted just as well as English can to accommodate the phonology of the speech of the Tunisian people. —Largo Plazo (talk) 20:51, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
First of all please read all previous comments, I said it has nothing to do with English, I didn't say it has nothing to do with English Wikipedia, read GregKaye's comment for more information. Second, I didn't say rename the language name, I said remove ambiguity from the title, the article describe it, it self. The policy says it as well: "However, some topics have multiple names, and this can cause disputes as to which name should be used in the article's title." Mjbmr (talk) 21:05, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I've read all the previous comments and I'm interpreting everything you've written in their light. I know you said it has nothing to do with English, not that it has nothing to do with English Wikipedia. I'm saying that because this is English Wikipedia, it does, despite your contention, have everything to do with English. And if we aren't renaming the language, then the article should be under the name the language has. In English. That name is "Tunisian Arabic". Therefore, that is the answer to this dispute. —Largo Plazo (talk) 21:12, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I actually think that there is a strong case for support this is certainly the way that I am leaning. I'm also interested in similarities that the Tunisian situation may or may not have to Patois and Creole language situations. I think that both titles meet the requirements of recognisability but, it seems to me that "Tunisian xxx" has such significant differences from regular forms of Arabic that, in some ways, to call it "... Arabic" would be imprecise. I wouldn't be surprised if the only reason that Patois and/or Creole definitions have not been applied is because these terms may be associated with, for instance, island and Western Atlantic situations.
Its crystal balling but I think that if, for instance, we did not use the title "Jamaican Patois" we might simply use "Jamaican (language)".
"Tunisian language" would be helpful in that it would avoid inaccuracies in regard to the topic that would be implied by a presentation of "Tunisian Arabic". GregKaye 10:24, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
As with Mjbmr, you're arguing in favor of a change in the way we name the language in the real world. I have no stake in that discussion and have no argument against it (other than to maintain that the script that's used to write the language, which Mjmbr raises as a rationale, is irrelevant). But Wikipedia isn't in the business of campaigning for change or getting ahead of the curve. The title of the article now should be what the language is known as in the real world now. —Largo Plazo (talk) 11:39, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree, at least to the extent of the script as being of little significance. Wikipedia is in the business of precision and I think there can be a case for tentatively taking stand in borderline cases especially where options with similar central contents are presented. GregKaye 14:27, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Highlighting apparent differences between Tunisian Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic (or even Classical Arabic) is like arguing how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. Every variety of Arabic has differences between it and MSA and between it and its neighbors. But since there is absolutely no accepted linguistic methodology for "counting differences" then any such discussion is doomed to failure. Even the methods used to measure levels of intelligibility have caveats that are sometimes ignored (to the detriment of the study). Tunisian Arabic is one of the Maghrebi varieties (which include forms in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco as well as Tunisia), and as such, it differs in some recognizable ways from MSA. But that doesn't separate it in any special way from the Arabic diglossic system--which stretches from Morocco to Oman. Orthography is certainly not of any importance whatsoever in linguistic features. Linguists almost always write Tunisian Arabic examples in their research publications in the IPA or in some other Roman transcription system. It means nothing. Whether "language" or "dialect" (note that I consistently use, as is the Wikipedia consensus, "variety"), it doesn't matter--Tunisian Arabic is part of a larger disglossic system that linguists recognize as "Arabic" and label as such. --Taivo (talk) 14:29, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The thing is, I see no borderline case. I see a "variety" (taking my cue from Taivo) that I've consistently seen referred to as "Tunisian Arabic", and then I see some people campaigning for the elimination in the real world of the "Arabic" designation. For this to be a borderline case, the variety would already have to be referred to as "Tunisian" alone, in the real world, with a frequency on the same order of magnitude as the frequency with which it's referred to as "Tunisian Arabic".
By the way this discussion largely parallels the one above about the use of the STUNdard transcription methodology. —Largo Plazo (talk) 16:07, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm looking through the history of this page and being reminded that we went through the same sort of discussion when GeekEmad unilaterally moved the article to Tunisian Darija last August. The year before that, E3, above, argued "The classification as 'Arabic' despite the substantial Tamazight substrata and the miscellaneous influences has been for mere political reasons." Well, no. That's a false argument. It's classified as Arabic because it's always been called Arabic since before the language began to diverge, and we simply haven't stopped calling it Arabic. Compare English, which in 900 CE was called English when its vocabulary was almost exclusively Germanic, and continued to be called English after the aftermath of 1066 (Battle of Hastings) brought in an immense incursion of French at the same time that the language lost much of its morphological complexity, and remains called English today despite borrowings from dozens of additional languages, many related to several centuries of colonialism.
The only reason the situation with Arabic looks different is that it didn't evolve in a fairly uniform way as English did. The largest shifts in English occurred while the language was spoken nowhere but the British Isles until the English started colonizing the New World in the 17th century. If Arabic had been replaced centuries ago by some other language (Greek? Latin? Turkish?) everywhere in today's Arabic speaking world except Tunisia, then it never would occur to people in Tunisia, speaking Arabic as it evolved over the centuries, absorbing substrata from Berber and whatever else, to stop one day and say, "Hey, our language has changed in the last 500 years. Let's start calling it something else." The reason it seems like a different situation from that of English is that Arabic is spoken over a huge expanse, and it has undergone substantially different transformations across that expanse. —Largo Plazo (talk) 16:43, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Apart from is it a dialect of Arabic or not, which is a linguistic question, not a question of opinions, I think that because everyone calls it Tunisian Arabic, this page must stay as it is. When, one day, for some reasons, the name changes to Tunisian language, or Tunisian Darija, or whatever, we have to change the name of this page. By the way, my comments about STUNdard were really stupid. Sadly, we can't remove sections here. However, I think that the same rules must be applied on all x Arabic articles. In Algerian Arabic, they use a writing method that's the same as STUNdard (no official recognition of it), and there is a section about it, the same goes for Lebanese Arabic article. At the end, they describe a writing method (other than Said Aqel's alphabet). --GeekEmad (talk) 17:47, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Your comments weren't stupid! It was just a matter of framing your interest in STUNdard in the context of Wikipedia's concerns. I agree that the same considerations apply to Algerian Arabic, Lebanese Arabic, etc. But on the other hand, in my opinion, official recognition isn't the sole criterion available. As I had put it to you in our previous conversation, I think "official recognition or common acceptance", i.e., being a de facto standard, should be adequate. Do the conventions being used in those articles reflect common usage among the general public? —Largo Plazo (talk) 18:11, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The methods described in Algerian Arabic and Lebanese Arabic articles are new projects, or small projects that nobody uses them. Arabic Chat Alphabet is widely used, that's why there is an Article about it, or it's mentioned in x Arabic articles, this is not the case of LLL systemor the transcription method used in Algerian Arabic (The transcription method is not phonemic, nor used by linguists). --GeekEmad (talk) 13:44, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Transcription method[edit]

I see that all of words in this articles are written in Arabic script without a reference, and since there is no standard Arabic Alphabet for Tunisian Arabic, and since this is an article related to linguistics, I suggest the use of a Transcription method use by linguists who study Tunisian Arabic. The transcription method used in VICAV dictionary seems interesting and it denotes all the emphatic consonants, and it uses some IPA characters. There is another transcription method used by Ines Dallaji in her work Hochzeitsbräuche in Nābil (Tunesien). Eine linguistische und ethnographische Studie. This method uses no IPA letters and uses the letter c to denote Arabic Ayin. I strongly support the use of a transcription method instead of writing words without clear guidelines. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GeekEmad (talkcontribs) 11:14, 21 April 2015 (UTC)