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On complementation with finite clauses in Tarifiyt Berber: work in progress

Monday 3 December 2018
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden


Like other Berber languages, Tarifiyt Berber (spoken in NE Morocco) has a predilection for finite constructions in subordination.

In many of these constructions, subordination is marked by means of subordinating elements; however, in other constructions such elements are absent and unacceptable; only intonation and intended meaning show that a clause is subordinated. Some of these constructions can be considered complements of operator verbs; other construction seem to be better understood as secondary predicates (if the two can be distinguished in Tarifiyt).

In this talk I want to show you some of these constructions, such as the complementation of “to want”, “to begin” and “to become” and constructions associated with “to find” and I hope to hear your opinion about the analysis of this phenomenon and about whether it is interesting at all to somebody outside of Berber studies.


Some examples:

ad ini-ɣ ižžən nḥašt                                                       ‘I will say something’
nr say:A-1sg one thing     


xs-əɣ [ad ini-ɣ ižžən nḥašt]                                        ‘I want [to say something]’
want:P-1sg [nr say:A-1sg one thing]


ggur-əɣ ɣar-əs drus drus                                            ‘I am walking towards him little by little’
go:I-1sg to-3sg little little


uca ssənti-ɣ [ggur-əɣ ɣar-əs drus drus]                                ‘then I started [to walk towards him little by little]’
then begin:P-1sg [go:I-1sg to-3sg little little]


Nnaḍur y-əṣbəḥ aṭṭas                                                  ‘Nador (a city in Morocco) is very nice’
Nador 3sg:m-be.good:P lot


Nnaḍur y-ədwəř [y-əṣbəḥ aṭṭas]                                            ‘Nador has become [very nice]’
Nador 3sg:m-become:P [3sg:m-be.good:P lot]


A: Aorist (only used after nr and in imperatives)
I: Imperfective
m: masculine
nr: non-realized (modal particle)
P: Perfective
sg: singular

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