TARMORYAN LANGUAGE


Introduction

Tarmoryan or t'tarmorij (لترماورؠج) is the official language of Tarmorya and spoken by around 850,000 people, mostly in Tarmorya but also in Morocco and Algeria. Despite the strong influence of Berber languages and Arabic, Tarmoryan in fact belongs to the Indo-European family. It is the last remnant of Latin spoken in northern Africa at the time of the Roman Empire. The African Romance or African Latin was the language spoken in the Roman province of Africa during the later Roman and earlier Byzantine Empires prior to the annexation of the region by the Umayyad Caliphate in 696. Latin was subsequently supplanted by Arabic in all the province except in the city of Portus Africć - currently Bourzafrique or Burzafriqe (برزفريقة) - and its surroundings where it remained spoken by peasants and shepherds until present times. The language changed dramatically through the centuries under the influence of Arabic, that was used by the government, the local aristocracy and in the Islamic religious rites. Furthermore, the Berber dialect called Mesoudian or l'mesudi (لمسودي) intensively influenced the phonology, the lexicon and the grammar of Tarmoryan. Recently French also added a new superstratum to the language.

Tarmoryan served as a cultural identity for its people, distinguishing them from others in the Mediterranean coast of Africa and, after the independence, becoming the official language of Tarmorya. The language spoken today is the most divergent of the Romance languages and, for a certain period of time, considered a creole belonging to Afro-Asiatic family of languages.


Classification

        Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Afro-Mediterranean, Tarmoryan (etm)


Phonology

Consonants


Stops: /b/, /d/, /t/, /k/, /g/

Fricatives: /f/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /ɣ/

Uvular: /q/

Pharyngeal: /ħ/

Nasals: /m/, /n/

Lateral and flap:  /l/, /r/

Semi-vowels: /w/, /j/


 

Vowels


Front: /i/, /e/, /ē/

Central: /ć/, /a/, /ə/

Back: /o/, /ʊ/, /u/


Writting

Traditionally Tarmoryan is written in Arabic, although some attempts were made in the past to change it into the Latin alphabet and Tiffinagh, the Berber writting, used by the Mesoudian community in the country.  See below  the correspondence of the different writtings.



Arabic Latin Tifinagh IPA
ا A a ć or a
ب B b b
گ G g ɡ
د D d d
none E e ə
ف F f f
ک K k k
ح H h
ħ
ق Q q q
ي I i i
ج J j ʒ
ل L l l
م M m m
ن N n n
و U u ʊ or u
ر R r r
غ Gh gh
ɣ
س S s s
ش š
ʃ
ت T t t
و W w w
ي Y y j
ز Z z z
اي E e    ē
او  O o
  ō


Morphology and Syntax

Article

 

By influence of Arabic, the single form of the definite article is l' (ل), invariant with respect to gender and number. However, before nouns starting with the so-called sun letters (t, d, r, z, s, j, š and n) it sounds like these letters, despite keeping the same written form (ل) in Arabic. For the indefinite article, the numeral  un (ون) 'one (masc.)' or une (ونة) 'one (fem.)' is used. So, for example:

        l'ghid 'the night                   un ghid 'a night' or 'one night'
        t'temdint 'the city'               une temdint 'a city' or 'one city'



Nouns

 

Nouns are either masculine or feminine.Typical masculine nouns of Berber origin start with e-. These nouns have the feminine formed with an initial and a final t. So, for example:

        eghlid 'king'                       teghlidt 'queen'

        emksa 'shepherd'               temksat 'shepherd (female)'


Plural of nouns can be of two forms: broken or classic. Classic plural is formed with the addition of -i (masculine) or -ye (feminine). Typically, classic plural is applied to words of Latin origin. Broken plural is formed adding an initial i- and/or a final -n to the root of masculine nouns (which can have vocalic changes). Broken plural of feminine words are typically formed with ti- initial and -in or -t final. There are several irregulaties and exceptions. So, for example:

        tsahrt 'witch'                       tsahrin 'witches'

        adrar 'mountain'                 idurar 'mountains'

        murj 'death'                        murti 'deaths"

        otel 'hotel'                          otili 'hotels'



Adjectives

 

Adjectives are postponed and agree in gender and number with nouns.

        ketab qeddes 'holy book'    kitaben qiddasen 'holy books'

        šrarb mall 'bad wine'        šarben malli 'bad wines'

        mlyer malle 'bad woman'    mlyere mallye 'bad women'



Pronouns

 

Personal pronouns vary with respect to gender and number. They can be subjective, objective and possessive. See the list below:


Subjective
Objective
Possessive
Masculine
Feminine
Masculine Feminine Masculine
Feminine
agh  agh me me mi mi
tu te te te tus twe
ill ille s se sus sa
nus nust nus nus nusr nusret
wus wust wus wus wusr wusret
illi illes illi illes ns nse



The demonstrative pronouns are: hiq 'this' (masc.), heq 'this' (fem.) kwil 'that' (masc.), kwel 'that' (fem.), kwilli 'those' (masc.), kwellye 'those' (fem.)


Some interrogative pronouns: kwi 'what', kwis 'who', kwand 'when'.


The single relative pronoun is kwi 'that'.



Verbs


Tarmoryan verbs are conjugated according to person, gender, number, tense and mood. Below is the present of indicative of the regular verb sqribr 'to write' in the present of indicative:



Present Tense
Maculine
Feminine
I write
agh sqribegh
thou writest
tu sqribt
te sqribte
he/she writes
ill sqrib
ille sqribe
we write
nus sqrebim
nust sqrebime
you write
wus sqrebimt
wust sqrebimte
they write
illi sqribent
illes sqribente



As an example of an irregular verb, see below the conjugation of  esr 'to be' in the present of indicative:


Present Tense
Maculine
Feminine
I am
agh sum
thou art
tu as
te ase
he/she is
ill ast
ille ast
we are
nus sums
nust sums
you are
wus aste
wust aste
they are
illi sunt
illes sunt



Imperative of regular verbs are created with the addition of the suffix -te to the radical for both masculine and feminine forms.


Some examples:

        ismmi ast Yessine  'my name is Yessine'

        ebrite heq tezyat š'šrab d šrubte  'open this bottle of wine and drink it!'

        n'nafi starent gh'muyye 'the boats stayed at the port'

        ill wad br'mesjid, ille nun wade 'he goes to the mosque, she doesn't'



Numerals


The cardinal numbers from 1 to 20 are listed below. When two forms are showed, first is masculine and second is feminine:


1. un, une 11. unjem
2. dwu, dwe 12. dwujem
3. ters 13. trijem
4. kattr 14. ketturjem
5. kunq 15. kunjem
6. sis 16. sissem
7. sabt 17. sabjem
8. uqt 18. uqjem
9. nub 19. nubjem
10. deq 20. wight




The Yuklandic Ísđorian Institute of Languages (ÍSMÁL - Ísđorske Stofnunín af Málum), dedicated to promote endangered languages of the world by translating and publishing books, comics and films into these languages, published some Tintin albuns in Tarmoryan (l'Lut Zurd 'The Blue Lotus', l'Jezire Nigre 'The Black Island', Tintin gh'Temezirt l'Dhab Nigr 'Tintin in the Land of the Black Gold', r'Rihle 714 br'Sidni 'Flight 714 to Sydney')  and in Mesoudian (Tintin ɣ'təməzirt n'ddhab əbəršan 'Tinitin in the Land of the Black Gold'):