Numidian language

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

East Numidian, also known as Old Libyan, was the language of the Maesulians of the eastern part of ancient Numidia during the Pre-Roman era, in what is now Algeria.[citation needed]

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


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Numidian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  • Aikhenvald & Militarev, 1991. 'Livijsko-guanchskie jazyki', Jazyki Azii i Afriki, vol. 4, pp. 148–266.