This Proto-Berber entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.

Proto-Berber edit

Etymology edit

Widely considered to be a metathesis of an early borrowing ultimately from Semitic language, with the form *gamal; compare Arabic جَمَل(jamal). The intermediate is unknown, and Kossmann (2005) raises several formal problems, beyond just metathesis, with the common suggestions of Latin camēlus and Coptic ϭⲁⲙⲟⲩⲗ (camoul).

Noun edit

*a-lɣəm m

  1. camel

Reconstruction notes edit

Kossmann (2005) suggests that the labialization may point to an original *a-lɣŭm. Kossmann (2013) also suggests *a-ləɣəm as an alternate solution to the consonant cluster.

Descendants edit

Descendants of the form *a-ḷəm:

  • Tuareg:: (including feminine forms, as the masculine is often rare or lost altogether)
  • Sedentary dialects: (likely borrowed from Tuareg)
    • Ghadames: aḷǎm
    • Northern Saharan Berber: aḷəm (Mzab, Gourara, Wargla)

Descendants of the form *a-l(ə)ɣ(ʷ)əm:

Descendants that may belong to either of the above forms:

Descendants of the form *a-ɣlam:

  • Tamasheq: aɣlam (young adult camel) (in the dialects of Niger and Burkina Faso)

Borrowings that may be direct from Berber:

Borrowings that are likely indirectly from Berber, through uncertain intermediates (with multiple levels of borrowing in the case of nativized forms that now refer to the horse):

Likely borrowing into Mande, the origin of which is uncertain but possibly Zenaga:

References edit

  • Kossmann, Maarten (2005) Berber Loanwords in Hausa (Berber Studies; 12), Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, →ISBN, →ISSN
  • Kossmann, Maarten (2013) The Arabic Influence on Northern Berber (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics; 67) (in English), Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, →DOI, →ISBN