Taqbaylit - Vocabulary

Vocabulary

Kabyle has absorbed quite some Arabic and Latin vocabulary. According to Salem Chaker, about a third of Kabyle vocabulary is of foreign origin; the amount of French loanwords has not been studied yet. These loanwords are sometimes Berberized and sometimes kept in their original form. The Berberized words follow the regular grammar of Kabyle (free and annexed state).

Examples of berberized Arabic or French words :

Kitab => Taktabt (Book, Ar.)
Machine => Tamacint (Machine, Fr.)

Many loanwords from Arabic have often a different meaning in Kabyle:

El Mal (Money, Ar.) => Lmal (Domestic animals, Kab.)

All verbs of Arabic origin follow a Berber conjugation and verbal derivation:

fhem (to understand) => ssefhem (to explain).

Only the first two numbers are Berber; for higher numbers, Arabic is used. They are yiwen (f. yiwet) "one", sin (f. snat) "two". The noun being counted follows it in the genitive: sin n yirgazen "two men".

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