Tarifit

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Tarifit
Tarifiyt, Riffian, Tmazight, تريفيت
Tmaziɣt
Pronunciation[θmæzɪχt]
Native toNorthern Morocco
RegionRif
EthnicityRifians
Native speakers
1,271,000[1][2]
Latin, Arabic script, Tifinagh (symbolically)
Language codes
ISO 639-3rif
Glottologtari1263
Riffian Language Map.PNG

Tmazight or Tarifit Berber, also known as Riffian (Tarifit: Tmaziɣt [θmæzɪχt]) is a Zenati Berber language spoken in the Rif region in northern Morocco. It is spoken natively by some 1,271,000[3][4] Rifians primarily in the Rif provinces of Al Hoceima, Nador, Driouch, Berkane and as a minority language in Oujda, and Tetouan.[citation needed]

Name[edit]

In the Rif, the native name of this language is 'Tmaziɣt' (pronounced Tmazixt in most dialects). Speakers may specify by calling it 'Tarifiyt' (pronounced Tarifect in central dialects).[5]

Classification[edit]

Young man speaking Riffian Berber, recorded in Cuba.

Riffian is a Zenati Berber language[6] which consists of various sub-dialects specific to each clan and of which a majority are spoken in the Rif region, a large mountainous area of Northern Morocco, and a minority spoken in the western part of neighbouring Algeria.[7][8]

Geographic distribution[edit]

Percent of Rif-Berber speakers in Morocco by census 2004 Based on data found Here [1]

Riffian is spoken mainly in the Moroccan Rif on the Mediterranean coast and in the Rif mountains, with a large minority in the Spanish autonomous city of Melilla.[9] There are also speakers of Riffian in Morocco outside the Rif region, notably in the rest of Moroccan cities where they compose a minority. The neighbour state of Algeria is also home to Rif minorities. A Riffian-speaking community exists in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as to a lesser extent other European countries.[citation needed]

Morocco[edit]

There is a large amount of dialectal variation in Riffian Berber; this can easily be seen using the dialect Atlas (Lafkioui, 1997), however Riffian compose a single language with its own phonetical innovations distinct from other Berber languages. Majority of them are spoken in Northern Morocco, this includes the varieties of Al Hoceima, Temsamane, Nador, Ikbadene (including Iznasen) and the more southernly variety in the Taza province. Besides Riffian, two other related and smaller Berber languages are spoken in North Morocco: the Sanhaja de Srair and the Ghomara languages. They are only distantly related to Riffian and are not mutually intelligible with it.[10]

Algeria[edit]

Linguistic map of western Algeria showing Berber-speaking areas, including Riffian cluster of Bettioua, Marsa Ben-Mhidi, Aït Snous and Aït Bousaïd

A few Riffian dialects are or used to be in the western part of Algeria, notably by the Beni Snouss tribe of the Tlemcen, as well in Bethioua but also in various colonial districts Riffians started to emigrate to since the 19th century.[11][12]

Dialects[edit]

Distribution of Riffian dialects

There is no consensus on what varieties are considered Riffian and not, the difference of opinion mainly lie in the easternmost dialects of the Iznasen and the westernmost dialects of Senhaja de Sraïr and Ketama.[13] Dialects include West-Riffian (Al Hoceima), Central-Riffian (Nador) and East-Riffian (Berkan). Iznasen (Iznacen, Beni Snassen) is counted as a dialect in Kossman (1999), but Blench (2006) classifies it as one of the closely related Mzab–Wargla languages.

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Front Central Back
High i u
Mid (ə)
Low a
  • A mid-central vowel /ə/ can occur in lax positions.
  • Lax allophones of /i, a, u/ are heard as [ɪ, æ, ʊ].
  • In the vicinity of pharyngealized consonants, /i, a, u/ are heard as [ɪˤ, ɑˤ, ʊˤ].
  • When r becomes vocalized, the following diphthongs are heard [ɛa, a ~ æ, ɔa]
  • When ṛ becomes vocalized, the following diphthongs are heard [ɪˤɑ, ɑˤ, ʊˤa]

Consonants[edit]

In the history of Western and Central Riffian /l/ has become /r/ in a lot of words. In most dialects there is no difference in this consonant (ř) and in original r, but in some dialects it is more clearly distinguished by the fact that ř is trilled while r is a tap.
All consonants except for /ŋ/, /tʃ/ and /ʔ/ have a geminate counterpart. Most of the time, a geminate is only different from its plain counterpart because of its length; this is the case for /bː/, /dː/, /fː/, /gː/, /ɦː/, /ħː/, /jː/, /kː/, /lː/, /mː/, /nː/, /pː/, /pˤː/, /qː/, /r/, /rˤ/, /sː/, /sˤː/, /ʃː/, /ʃˤː/, /tː/, /tˤː/, /χː/, /zː/, /zˤː/, /ʒː/ and /ʕː/. Spirantized consonants have long stops as their geminate counterparts, e.g. yezḏeɣ [jəzðəʁ] 'he lives' vs. izeddeɣ [ɪzədːəʁ] 'he always lives'. There are only a few phonatactic expeceptions to this, e.g. in verb suffixes before vowel-initial clitics, ṯessfehmeḏḏ-as [θəs:fəɦməð:æs]. A few consonants have divergent geminated counterparts; ḍ (/dˤ/ and /ðˤ/) to ṭṭ (/tˤː/), w (/w/) to kkʷ (/kːʷ/), ɣ (/ʁ/) to qq (/qː/), and ř (/r/) to ǧ (/dʒː/). There are some exceptions to this. This is most common with ww, e.g. acewwaf [æʃəwːæf] 'hair', and rarely occurs with ɣɣ and ḍḍ e.g. iɣɣed [ɪʁːəð] 'ashes', weḍḍaạ [wədˤːɑˤ] 'to be lost'. /dʒ/ and /dʒː/ are allophonic realizations of the same phoneme, both are common.[14]

Consonants (Iqeřɛiyen variety)[15]
Labial Dental Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
plain phar. plain phar. plain phar. plain phar. plain lab.
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k kːʷ q ʔ
voiced b d g gːʷ
Fricative voiceless f θ s ʃ ʃˤ ç x ~ χ ħ
voiced β ð ðˤ z ʒ (ʝ) ɣ ~ ʁ ʕ ɦ
Approximant l j w
Flap ɾ ɾˤ
Trill r

Notes:

  • /ʝ/ has become /j/ in most of Central Riffian e.g. ayenduz [æjəndʊz] instead of aɡ̠enduz [æʝəndʊz] 'calf'.
  • /ç/ has mostly become /ʃ/ in Central Riffian and only occurs in a few words, e.g. seḵsu [səçsʊ] 'couscous'.
  • Pharyngealization is a spreading feature, it may spread to a whole word.
  • The only pharyngealized consonants common in Berber roots are /dˤ/, /ðˤ/, /zˤ/ and /rˤ/; the others seem to mainly occur in words of Arabic and Spanish origin.
  • /ʃˤ/ seems to only occur in the nouns ucca [ʊˤʃˤ:ɑˤ] 'greyhound' and mucc [mʊˤʃˤ:].
  • /ŋ/ occurs exclusively before the consonant /w/, it may be an assimalatory variant of n.
  • Labialization only occurs with the geminates /kːʷ/ and /gːʷ/.

Assimilations[edit]

There are quite a few assimilations that occur with the feminine suffixes t and ṯ.[16]

ḇ + ṯ = fṯ/ft (e.g. tajeǧeft < tajeǧeḇṯ 'gown/djellaba')
z + ṯ = sṯ/st (e.g. talwist < talwizṯ 'gold coin')
ẓ + ṯ = ṣṯ/ṣt (e.g. tayạạẓiṣt < tayạạẓiẓṯ 'hare')
j + ṯ = cṯ/ct (e.g. taɛejjact < taɛejjajṯ 'dust')
ɣ + ṯ = xṯ/xt (e.g. tmazixt < tmaziɣt 'Berber language')
ɛ + ṯ = ḥṯ/ḥt (e.g. tqubeḥt < tqubeɛṯ 'little bird')

There are also other assimilations.

ḏ + ṯ = tt (e.g. tabritt < tabriḏṯ 'path')
d + ṯ = tt (e.g. a t-tawi < a d-ṯawi 'she will bring here')
ḍ + ṯ = ṭṭ (e.g. tyaẓiṭṭ < tyaẓiḍṯ 'hen')
m + ṯ = nt (e.g. taxxant < taxxamṯ 'small room')
ř + ṯ = č (e.g. tameǧač < tameǧařṯ 'egg')

Spirantized consonants become stops after the consonant 'n', this occurs between words as well.

qqimen da < qqimen ḏa 'they sit here'
tilifun tameqqṛant < tilifun ṯameqqṛant 'the big phone'

Sound shifts[edit]

Letter ř[edit]

In the history of Western and Central Riffian /l/ has become /r/ in a lot of words, this sound shift has affected other consonants as well.

  • /l/ in other dialects corresponds to 'ř' (/r/) in Riffian (e.g. ul > 'heart')
  • The geminate equivalent, (//) in other dialects corresponds to 'ǧ' (/dʒː/) in Riffian (e.g. yelli > yeǧi 'my daughter'). It is underlyingly řř.
  • /lt/ in other dialects corresponds to 'č' (//) in Riffian (e.g. weltma > wečma 'my sister'). It is underlyingly řt.

These sound shifts do not occur in the easternmost Riffian dialects of Icebdanen and Iznasen and the westernmost dialects.[17]

Riffian letter Riffian word Original word English meaning
Ř ř ul heart
aɣyuř aɣyul donkey
awař awal speech / word
Ǧ ǧ azeǧif azellif head
yeǧa yella he is / he exists
ajeǧid ajellid king
Č č wečma weltma my sister
tacemřač tacemlalt blonde / white
taɣyuč taɣyult female donkey (jenny)

Postvocalic r[edit]

Postvocalic /r/ preceding a consonantal coda is dropped, as in taddart > taddaat 'house/home'. Thus in tamara 'hard work/misery' the /r/ is conserved because it precedes a vowel. These sound shifts do not occur in the easternmost Riffian dialects of Icebdanen and Iznasen and the westernmost dialects beyond Ayt Waayaɣeř.[18]

Zenati sound shifts[edit]

Additionally, the initial masculine a- prefix is dropped in certain words, e.g., afus 'hand' becomes fus, and afiɣaṛ 'snake' becomes fiɣạạ. This change, characteristic of Zenati Berber varieties, further distances Riffian from neighbouring dialects such as Atlas-Tamazight and Shilha.[19]

Writing system[edit]

Like other Berber languages, Riffian has been written with several different systems over the years. Unlike the nearby Tashelhit (Shilha), Riffian Berber has little written literature before the twentieth century. The first written examples of Riffian berber start appearing just before the colonial period. Texts like R. Basset (1897) and S. Biarnay (1917) are transcribed in the Latin alphabet but they are transcribed in a rather deficient way. Most recently (since 2003), Tifinagh has become official throughout Morocco. The Arabic script is not used anymore for writing Riffian Berber. The Berber Latin alphabet continues to be the most used writing system online and in most publications in Morocco and abroad.[20]

Lexicon[edit]

Basic vocabulary[21][22][edit]

1 water aman (plurale tantum)
2 nose tinzaa (plurale tantum)
3 to run azzeř
4 fire timessi
5 mouth aqemmum, imi
6 tongue iřes
7 meat aysum ~ aksum
8 bone iɣess
9 clothes aṛṛud
10 word awař
11 neck iri
12 people iwdan
13 why? mayemmi, maɣaa
14 to eat cc
15 to cut qess ~ qqes
15 to be scared uggʷed
16 cold aṣemmaḍ
17 room axxam
18 to write ari
19 dog aqzin, aydi
20 when? meřmi

Loanwords[23][24][edit]

Tarifit has loaned a fair amount of its vocabulary from Arabic, Spanish and French.[25] Around 51.7% of the vocabulary of Tarifit is estimated to have been borrowed.[26] All loaned verbs follow Riffian conjugations, and some loaned nouns are Berberized as well. A lot of loans are not recognizable because of sound shifts that have undergone, e.g. ǧiřet [dʒːɪrəθ] 'night' (Arabic: al-layla), hřec [ɦrəʃ] 'sick' (Arabic: halaka).

Examples of words loaned from Classical/Moroccan Arabic[edit]

  • ddenya: 'world' (orig. al-dunyā الدنيا)
  • tayezzaat: 'island' (orig. jazīra جزيرة)
  • řebḥaa: 'ocean' (orig. al-baḥr البحر)
  • lwalidin: 'parents' (orig. al-wālidayn الوالدين)
  • ḥseb: 'to count' (orig. ḥasaba حسب)

Examples of words loaned from Spanish[edit]

  • familiya: 'family' (orig. familia)
  • tpabut: 'duck' (orig. pabo)
  • ṣpiṭạạ: 'hospial' (orig. hospital)
  • pṛubaa: 'to try' (orig. probar)
  • arrimaa: 'to land' (orig. arrimar)

Examples of words loaned from French[edit]

  • maamiṭa: 'pot' (orig. marmite)
  • furciṭa: 'fork' (orig. fourchette)
  • ṣuṣis: 'sausage' (orig. saucisse)
  • fumaḍa: 'cream' (orig. pommade)
  • jjarḍa: 'garden' (orig. jardin)

Examples of words loaned from Latin[edit]

  • faacu: 'eagle' (orig. falco)
  • aqninni: 'rabbit' (orig. cuniculus)
  • fiřu: 'thread' (orig. filum)
  • aɣaṛṛabu: 'boat' (orig. carabus)
  • asnus: 'donkey foal' (orig. asinus)

Sample Text[edit]

From 'An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocc)' by Khalid Mourigh and Maarten Kossmann: Sirkuḷasyun (trafic)[27]

Sirkuḷasyun Trafic

A: Ssalamuɛlikum.

B: Waɛlikumssalam.

A: Teẓṛid lakṣiḍa-nni yewqɛen?

B: Lla, sřiɣ xas waha.

A: Tewqeɛ deggʷ brid n Wezɣenɣan.

B: Wah, lakṣiḍa d tameqqṛant.

A: Abrid ibelleɛ maṛṛa.

B: Immut din ca n yijjen?

A: Wah, yemmut ijjen waayaz d mmi-s, msakin.

B: Mamec temsaa?

A: Yesḥạạq ssṭupp uca tudef daysen ijjen ṭṭumubin.

B: Tuɣa itazzeř ɛini. Iwa, a ten-yạạḥem sid-ạạbbi.

A: Ttḥawař waha, din aṭṭas n ṭṭumubinat.

B: A wah, yewseɣ uqedduḥ.

A: Hello.

B: Hello.

A: Did you see the (car) crash that happened?

B: No, I only heard about it.

A: It happened on the Zeghanghane road.

B: Yeah, it was a big (car) crash.

A: The whole road is closed.

B: Did anybody die there?

A: Yes, one man and his son died, the poor guys.

B: How did it happen?

A: He crossed the red light and then a car hit them.

B: He was probably speeding. Well, may them rest in peace.

A: Just be careful. There are many cars.

B: Yes, there are many tin cans (i.e. cars).

Direct translation: Trafic

A: peace.upon.you(PL)

B: and.upon.you(PL).peace

A: you(SG).saw / accident-that / happening

B: no / i.heard / on.it / only

A: it(F).happened / in / road(AS) / of / zeghanghane(AS)

B: yes / accident / PRED / big(F:SG:FS)

A: road(FS) / it.is.closed / all

B: he.died / there / some / of / one(M:AS)

A: yes / he.died / one / man(AS) / and / son-his / poor.guys

B: how / it(F).happened

A: he.burned / traffic.light / then / it(F).entered / in.them(M) / one / car

B: PAST / he.runs / probably / well / AD / them(M:DO)-he.has.mercy / sir-lord

A: be.careful! / only / there / much(FS) / of / cars

B: o / yes / it(M).is.many / tin.can(AS)

Abbreviations used:
AD: The particle a(d) 'non-realized'
AS: Annexed State
DO: Direct object
F: Feminine
FS: Free State
M: Masculine
PAST: The particle tuɣa 'past reference'
PL: Plural
SG: Singular

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maaroufi, Youssef. "Recensement général de la population et de l'habitat 2004". Site institutionnel du Haut-Commissariat au Plan du Royaume du Maroc (in French). Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Population légale des régions, provinces, préfectures, municipalités, arrondissements et communes du Royaume d'après les résultats du RGPH 2014" (Xls). Morocco. Haut Commissariat au Plan. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  3. ^ Maaroufi, Youssef. "Recensement général de la population et de l'habitat 2004". Site institutionnel du Haut-Commissariat au Plan du Royaume du Maroc (in French). Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  4. ^ "Population légale des régions, provinces, préfectures, municipalités, arrondissements et communes du Royaume d'après les résultats du RGPH 2014" (Xls). Morocco. Haut Commissariat au Plan. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  5. ^ Mohammed Serhoual (2001–2002). Dictionnaire tarifit-français. Université Abdelmalek Essaâdi.
  6. ^ Tarifit at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  7. ^ Destaing, Edmond (1907). Leroux, Ernest (ed.). Etude sur le dialecte Berbère des Beni-Snous (in French).
  8. ^ Biarnay, Samuel (1910). Étude sur les Bet'-t'ioua du Vieil-Arzeu.
  9. ^ "CpM moción regular Tamazight Melilla tomando ejemplo Bable Asturias". 14 April 2010. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Mena Lafkioui (2007). Atlas linguistique des variétés berbères du Rif. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89645-395-2.
  11. ^ Destaing, Edmond (1907). Leroux, Ernest (ed.). Etude sur le dialecte Berbère des Beni-Snous (in French).
  12. ^ Biarnay, Samuel (1910). Étude sur les Bet'-t'ioua du Vieil-Arzeu.
  13. ^ Mena Lafkioui (2007). Atlas linguistique des variétés berbères du Rif. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89645-395-2.
  14. ^ Maarten Kossmann; Khalid Mourigh (2020). An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco). Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 9783868353075.
  15. ^ Maarten Kossmann; Khalid Mourigh (2020). An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco). Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 9783868353075.
  16. ^ Maarten Kossmann; Khalid Mourigh (2020). An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco). Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 9783868353075.
  17. ^ Mena Lafkioui (2007). Atlas linguistique des variétés berbères du Rif. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89645-395-2.
  18. ^ Mena Lafkioui (2007). Atlas linguistique des variétés berbères du Rif. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89645-395-2.
  19. ^ Mena Lafkioui (2007). Atlas linguistique des variétés berbères du Rif. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89645-395-2.
  20. ^ Maarten Kossmann; Khalid Mourigh (2020). An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco). Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 9783868353075.
  21. ^ Maarten Kossmann; Khalid Mourigh (2020). An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco). Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 9783868353075.
  22. ^ Mohammed Serhoual (2001–2002). Dictionnaire tarifit-français. Université Abdelmalek Essaâdi.
  23. ^ Maarten Kossmann; Khalid Mourigh (2020). An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco). Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 9783868353075.
  24. ^ Mohammed Serhoual (2001–2002). Dictionnaire tarifit-français. Université Abdelmalek Essaâdi.
  25. ^ Kossmann, Maarten (2009), Haspelmath, Martin; Tadmor, Uri (eds.), Tarifiyt Berber, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  26. ^ Kossmann, Maarten (2009). Loanwords in Tarifiyt, a Berber language of Morocco. De Gruyter Mouton. ISBN 9783110218435.
  27. ^ Maarten Kossmann; Khalid Mourigh (2020). An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco). Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 9783868353075.

Sources[edit]

  • Biarnay, Samuel. 1911. Etude sur le dialecte des Bet't'ioua du Vieil-Arzeu. Alger: Carbonel.
  • Biarnay, Samuel. 1917. Etude sur les dialectes berbères du Rif. Paris: Leroux.
  • Cadi, Kaddour. 1987. Système verbal rifain. Forme et sens. Paris: Peeters.
  • Colin, Georges Séraphin. 1929. "Le parler berbère des Gmara." Hespéris 9: 43–58.
  • Kossmann, Maarten. 2000. Esquisse grammaticale du rifain oriental. Paris: Peeters.
  • Lafkioui, Mena. 2007. Atlas linguistique des variétés berbères du Rif. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.
  • McClelland, Clive. 1996. Interrelations of prosody, clause structure and discourse pragmatics in Tarifit Berber. University of Texas at Arlington.
  • McClelland, Clive. The Interrelations of Syntax, Narrative Structure, and Prosody in a Berber Language (Studies in Linguistics and Semiotics, V. 8). Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2000. (ISBN 0-7734-7740-3)
  • Mourigh, K., & Kossmann, M. 2020. An introduction to Tarifiyt Berber (Nador, Morocco) (Lehrbücher orientalischer Sprachen ; volume IV/1). (ISBN 9783868353075)
  • Renisio, A. 1932. Etude sur les dialectes berbères des Beni Iznassen, du Rif et des Senhaja de Sraïr. Paris: Leroux.

External links[edit]