Text language: French
The well-known French berberologist Arsène Roux (1893–1971) has devoted a great part of his life to the research and teaching of Berber in Morocco, in particular Middle Atlas and Tashelhiyt [Taschelhit] Berber.
The present volume contains two text collections that Roux has used in his teaching of Middle Atlas Berber during the second half of the French Protectorate period of Morocco (1935–1956). The first collection, Récits, Contes et Légendes Berbères dans le parler “Beni Mtir“ was originally a stencilled book of iii + 101 pages, produced in 1942, with black cardboard hard covers. The number of stencilled copies is unknown, nor do we know how many of them were put at the disposal of Roux’s pupils. As indicated in the title, the texts are all in the Beni Mtir (Berber: Ayt Ndir) dialect, a tribe in the region of the town of El-Hajeb in the province of the same name. (Note that the Tashelhiyt Berber counterpart of this book has been published as volume 5 of Berber Studies, see the link below.)
The original of the second collection, Choix de versions Berbères, parlers du Maroc Central (Tamazirht) was produced in 1952, with a flexible sand coloured paper cover. It was a book stencilled in an unknown number of copies. This book contained iv + 44 pages and was distributed among the pupils of Roux, too. It contains very short texts from the oral literay tradition, as well as some ethnogphraphic texts.
These two collections are published in this volume with their respective original introductions and tables of content. The transcription follows Roux’s original in all details. Like for almost all of his work, Roux did not make any translations. Despite the fact that these materials have been produced more than fifty years ago, they fully deserve an edition for the following reasons.
Firstly these text have been produced by a scholar who had a sharp phonetic ear and a great command of the Middle Atlas Berber language. Secondly these texts have been collected with an emphasis on linguistic reality and with a realist vision on Middle Atlas Berber language and culture. Thirdly the original texts are nowadays difficult to find and even more difficult to obtain.
Translations of the transcribed texts into English have been published as volume 43 of the series Berber Studies: