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By Z. Gabsi.

The Tunisian Berber (or Shilha) vernaculars are one of the least defined Afroasiatic (Hamito-Semitic) languages to at the present time. even though they've been provisionally assigned to the North-Berber team in the Berber department of Afroasiatic, their instant association is still an open query. The relevant activity of this current paintings is to explain the phonology, morphology and syntax of Douiret. much less primary to the goals of the learn is the research of the fundamental wordstores of the 3 surviving Shilha types which come with Douiret, Chninni (or Chenini) and Ouirsighen (Jerba). The Shilha number of Douiret is selected for this research since it nonetheless keeps a few primary parts of Berber constitution which aren't very varied to different Berber languages comparable to Kabyle and Tamazight. The learn indicates that Tunisian Berber nonetheless survives this day, yet its destiny continues to be doubtful within the face of the forces of urbanisation, monetary migration and absence of presidency help all of which could give a contribution hypothetically to its most likely loss of life. This research should be pursued almost about the social and cultural context of the Tunisian Berber vernaculars. learn at the nature of language touch bewtween Tunisian Arabic and Shilha is virtually non-existent and during this learn, is a secondary problem. The robust impact of the neighborhood Arabic superstratum on Shilha in phonology, morphology, syntax and lexis is usually investigated, in addition to the presence of Berber parts within the designated Arabic dialect of Tunisia. because the thesis name indicates, this research shouldn't be taken because the final be aware on Berber in Tunisia. The little to be had facts on Berber in Tunisia makes the duty more durable in setting up a transparent photograph of its constitution and dating with different Berber languages reminiscent of Kabyle and Tamazight.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Education)

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Extra info for An outline of the Shilha (Berber) vernacular of Douiret (Southern Tunisia)

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Berber nationalists, today, give the nameAmazigh, meaning 'the noble ones' or 'the free ones', to all Berbers, generally, regardless of their ethnographical distribution. The word Mazigh occurs quite early in Arabic literature, having been used by Wahb Ibn Monabbih in AD 732 (Norris 1982:34). In Tunisia, Chninni Berbers usually refer to themselves as jbeliyye, literally 'the mountain dwellers'. In Douiret, the word douiri (masculine) and douiriyya (feminine) designate the inhabitants. Numerous theories have been proposed to explain the origin of Berbers.

In the Jebel Ghomrassen, there are the Hamdoun Berbers and in Jebel Abiodh one finds the Berbers of Chehab an, Meghebla and Dghaghra. Near the Hamdoun cliff, one finds the Zenata Berber tribes of both Chninni and Douiret. C. Nomadic Berber tribes which include the Ataiya and Atemma. While the former occupies the coastal steppe plain of Jefflira, the latter is found in Sidi Toui in vicinity of the Libyan border. In the period spanning from the 14th century to the French occupation ( 1881 ), some of the Berbers of Demer, Zenata and Matmata enlisted with the Hilaliens in their invasion of the Maghrib (Louis 1975:28).

One reason for the paucity of research on Berber in Tunisia may be the desire to avoid a 'divide and rule' effect as it is feared that an emphasis on linguistic division may undermine Arab unity. Such concern is deeply embedded in the minds of people from former colonies. 23 Cf. Fig. 1, p. 309 Chapter 1 General Introduction 22 Chninni The town of Chninni is located approximately sixteen kilometres from Tataouine. Both Chninni 24 and Douiret are part of the govemorate of Tataouine which plays the role of the region's administrative hub.

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