Universiteit Leiden

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Demonstratives in Ayt Atta Tamazight

  • Simone Mauri
Thursday 28 April 2016
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
148 (first floor)

This talk provides an illustration of the demonstrative system of Ayt Atta Tamazight (henceforth, AAT) and sketches its main differences vis-à-vis other Berber varieties. Most Berber languages are characterised by large inventories of demonstrative forms. The expression of both spatial and anaphoric meaning is attested in most Berber varieties (but cf. Figuig which lacks an anaphoric form, Kossmann 1997). Previous descriptions of (Northern) Tamazight show a two-way distinction into proximal and distal meaning, as well as the presence of an item with anaphoric function and a number of presentative forms (Abdel-Massih 1971, Penchoen 1973). Differently from those Tamazight dialects, AAT also displays a medial form. More interestingly, AAT seems to diverge from most Berber varieties in that it also shows forms dedicated to the expression of temporal deixis.

Abdel-Massih, Ernest T. 1971. A Reference Grammar of Tamazight. A Comparative Study of the Berber Dialects of Ayt Ayache and Ayt Seghrouchen. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.
Kossmann, Maarten. 1997. Grammaire du parler berbère de Figuig. Paris, Louvain: Peeters.
Penchoen, Thomas G. 1973. Tamazight of the Ayt Ndhir. Los Angeles: Undena.

Simone Mauri - Biographic notes and research interests
After obtaining a BA in Philosophy at University of Bologna (Italy), Simone Mauri completed an MA in Language Documentation and Description at SOAS (University of London), focusing on issues concerning the documentation of endangered and/or oral languages. After the MA, he started his doctoral research at SOAS and was eventually granted a PhD in Field Linguistics in 2015 with a thesis on The Formal and Functional Properties of Grammatical Aspect in Ayt Atta Tamazight, a variety of Berber (Afroasiatic) spoken in South-East Morocco. His thesis provided a sketch grammar of Ayt Atta Tamazight and focused on the interrelation between aspect and discourse structure in that variety, providing an interpretation of the so-called Chained-Aorist construction in terms of clause chaining. His main research interests concern Berber linguistics, dialectology, discourse structure, grammatical and lexical aspect.

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