Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Berber is a Language of Spain

Meliliyya and Sebta (Mililla and Ceuta) are two small enclaves in northern Moroccan that Spain never returned after 1956, when it gave up the rest of its Moroccan territories. Technically, Spain is the northernmost country in Africa.

OK, so if you wanna accept that Melilia and Sebta really are part of Spain...

And if their inhabitants--45 percent of whom are Muslims--of are really Spanish citizens...

Then, since a significant number speak Berber as their mother tongue, why shouldn't Berber be an official language of Spain, like Catalan or Basque?

Here's the story, translated, from Le Journal Hebdomadaire:

The Amazigh language is almost official

Discussion over the change of status of the Spanish leaders of Ceuta and Melilla has brought its own batch of surprises. The Basque and Catalan nationalist parties have introduced a recommendation that would give these enclaves two official languages: Spanish, obviously, and... Rifian, the "dialect" spoken in northern Morocco. This recommendation has attracted even the very influential Pedro Zerolo, in charge of social movements within the PSOE [a Spanish political party]. But the request was not met with approval by the Spanish parliament, following a coalition between the popular party and the party in power. The Amazigh language thus missed a beautiful chance for world recognition. This would have been for the first time Berber had been adopted as an official language.


At 3:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are they writing it these days and if so what orthography(if not the one you displayed which is so much fun to look at and think about)? I'm trying to think what else I know about Berber... (Mom)

At 9:47 AM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

Yes, they're writing and publishing, and in that wacky font. I need to buy a book that's for sale here in Tangier, with French, English, Arabic, and Berber translations of some big epic. There are websites and maybe even periodicals...

Berber is Afro-Asiatic, along the same level as Semitic and Cushitic and Egyptian. There are lots of "languages" according to Ethnologue, but accdg to a UT linguist all these are really dialects, there's enough mutual intelligibility between them all.


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