Re: Berber/Tifinagh (was: Swahili & Banthu)

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Mon Nov 10 2003 - 17:47:00 EST

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    ----- Message d'origine -----
    De: "Don Osborn" <>

    > I've thought for instance about the small number of schools here in Niger
    > that teach in Tamajak, using the Latin based script and how easy it will
    > will not be for the students to make the connections with the Tifinagh
    > is traditionally used. It would be tidy to have one-to-one
    > but even if not, some fairly consistent rules would help. I'm not sure
    > extent to which people working on Tamajak in Latin orthography (presumably
    > from the spoken language) make reference to traditions of spelling with
    > Tifinagh, but it would seem essential.

    The Touareg (like the new Volkswagen) traditionnal usage of Tifinagh is very
    defective if recall properly Hanoteau (in its Tamachek' Grammar this from
    memory, not being at home) : geminates not noted, short vowels usually not
    written, etc. I'm not too sure how you can pass from traditional Touareg
    Tifinagh to the Latin-based script.

    > And it is perhaps imporant too to take this on a broader scale to
    > the traditional ways of writing Berber in Tifinagh (and Arabic) and to
    > harmonize the Latin transliterations in the region. It may well be that
    > aside from whatever complexities there may be on the
    > level, that there may be different conventions arising in the language(s)
    > written in different scripts - not to mention that there may still be work
    > yet to do in standardizing spellings in either script within any given
    > variety of Berber. Dealing with such issues would not be served by
    > Tifinagh as anything less than a script in its own right.

    I also believe it but I'm also not sure that Tifinagh -- still not
    encoded -- is best served by us waiting until Latin transliterations of
    Berber (Chleuh, Kabyle,Tamachek') are harmonized among populations scattered
    in many countries.

    P. A.

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