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Il Laboratorio di Scienze dell’ Antichità

Sezione Informatica per le Lingue Antiche

9 dicembre 2011

Re-examining Libyco-Berber: how much do we know, and how does it fit into the family's subclassification?

Lameen Souag

The language of the Classical-era Libyco-Berber inscriptions of North Africa is transparently related to modern Berber, and the alphabet was deciphered well over a century ago; yet most of the inscriptions available are so short that little progress has been made since Fevrier (1953) concluded that the meanings of only 10 words were securely known. However, the reconstruction of Berber historical phonetics and subgrouping has advanced considerably in this period, suggesting new avenues for extracting information. After explaining the history of Libyco-Berber, the basis for its decipherment so far, and the obstacles standing in its way, this talk examines the question of how Libyco-Berber compares to historical reconstruction on the basis of modern Berber varieties.

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