4th quarter 2021
numerous tables and charts
Text language(s): English
The purpose of this work is to propose a framework for the classification of Tashelhiyt verbs.
Tashelhiyt is a Berber language. As all other Berber languages, it has borrowed many Arabic roots and forms. The framework shows how verbs can be classified into a relatively small number of regular patterns and how these patterns are partly predictable.
Berber languages can be broadly divided into Northern Berber (including the three large groupings of Tashelhiyt, Tamazight and Tarifit in Morocco, Kabyle and Shawiya in Algeria, and a range of smaller dialects across North Africa) and Southern Berber, principally represented by Tuareg. The verbal systems of the various Berber languages have local particularities, but deep underlying similarities.
A system based on the morphology of modern Tashelhiyt verbs is needed, incorporating verbs of all origins. This is what is attempted here. The reader is assumed to be interested in Tashelhiyt verbs and may have an interest in Berber verbs more widely. Given the importance of French, literary Arabic and colloquial Arabic in Morocco, some knowledge of these languages is useful to anyone studying Tashelhiyt. However, prior knowledge is not required to understand the contents. But they may be of more interest to those coming to the text with knowledge of Arabic or another Berber language. Specialists will probably find their sparseness and incompleteness frustrating. The end result is a compromise, but the aim is to include enough information to be helpful to language learners from various backgrounds, and to provide pointers for possible future research.