Friday , April 28 2017

Amazigh Studies and language classes at Leiden University

A letter was released by Leiden University last week announcing further development of the institution’s budding Amazigh Studies program. Noting that the first classes at the Institute were held back in February 2011 however the classes were not officially adopted until late 2015.  LU is only one of three universities in the Netherlands where Tamazight is taught. The other ones are the Tilburg University of University of Nijmegen.

The program will be run by  Prof Stroomer who is a field-work oriented descriptive linguist focusing on linguistic diversity in North Africa and the Middle East. He has a warm interest in local cultures, material culture and linguistic anthropology. He did fieldwork in Egypt, Kenya, Somalia, Morocco and Yemen. He studied languages in the Semitic, Cushitic and Berber group of the Afroasiatic language family.

Here is the text of that letter:

Tashelhiyt Berber Language Course

Tashelhiyt Berber Language Course

Berber Language Course (14.00-15.30) Harry Stroomer (Leiden)

Course description:
The course will focus on Tashelhiyt Berber of South Morocco, with some 10 million speakers the world’s largest Berber language. Anyone interested in language and culture of Moroccan Berber should be able to follow this course. Knowledge of Moroccan Arabic is recommended.

Learning objectives :
Good knowledge of the grammatical structure of Tashelhiyt Berber – Knowledge of basic Tashelhiyt Berber vocabulary – Knowledge of basic cultural phenomena (ahwash, agadir, marriage, agrucultural year, ceremonies, festivals, moussems, etc.)

Available teaching materials:
An outline of Tashelhiyt Berber morphology – Basic Tashelhiyt Berber vocabulary of 3000 words – 14 texts with complete word-by-word explanation.

General outline:
The following topics will be presented in the first half of the course: Introduction – Afroasiatic languages and Berber languages – distributionn of today’s Berber languages – the labels Berber and Amazigh – the Tashelhiyt speaking area: main “tribes” – the scripts in which (Tashelhiyt) Berber is/was written – general remarks on studying foreign languages: the closed list vs. open list-approach.

 

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