2024 Student Research Conference:
37th Annual Student Research Conference

Undocumented Past: Grammatical Comparisons of Siwi Berber and Qaran Berber Folktales

Adam F. Bishop
Dr. Douglas Ball, Faculty Mentor

The Berber languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken by the Berber people of northern Africa. Qaran Berber is an endangered Berber language spoken by the people of the Qara Oasis in north-west Egypt. This language is undocumented, with all known sources claiming that Siwi Berber, the language of the nearby Siwa Oasis, is the only Berber language spoken in Egypt. This project builds off of my previous research, in which I recorded and translated Qaran folktales, which describe elements of an undocumented religious system. In this presentation, I present morphemic analyses of these folktales and compare grammatical features of Qaran Berber to those recorded in Siwi Berber folktales. Throughout this research, I have found significant grammatical differences between the two languages' verb morphology systems, particularly regarding the formation of the past tense, and I will present my theories on the origin of these differences.

Keywords: Qaran Berber, Siwi Berber, Berber language, linguistic analysis, undocumented language, folktales

African Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 406-3
Location: MG 1000
Time: 2:30

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