Volume 45, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The present study investigates the grammatical origin of the postverbal negator in Rif Berber (Afroasiatic, Berber; North, Northeast, and Northwest Morocco) and in Moroccan Arabic of Oujda (Afroasiatic, Semitic; Northeast Morocco), the only languages in which it is commonly attested up till now. Based on new data obtained from recent fieldwork in Morocco, the study will demonstrate that this negator is most probably of Berber origin and has been construed out of an existential by system-internal grammaticalization. The study will also provide evidence for quadruple negation marking in Rif Berber, relating to a reduplication of the -negator. Moreover, it will show how Berber constantly innovates its cyclical negation system, in which, in this case, different Jespersen Cycles and a Negative Existential Cycle are interlaced. Accordingly, the study will prove that in Moroccan Arabic is an innovation phenomenon induced by contact with Rif Berber and instantiated through the processes of pattern replication and matter borrowing.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aguade, Jorgé, & Mohammad Elyaacoubi
    1995El dialecto arabe de Skūra (Marruecos). Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bensoukas, Karim
    2015 Amazigh negative verb morphology: How far does the variation go?Brill’s Journal of Afro-Asiatic Languages and Linguistics7(2). 211–278. 10.1163/18776930‑00702004
    https://doi.org/10.1163/18776930-00702004 [Google Scholar]
  3. Boucherit, Aziza
    2002L’arabe parlé à Alger. Aspects sociolinguistiques et énonciatifs. Paris: Peeters.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Brugnatelli, Vermondo
    1987 La negazione discontinua in berbero e in arabo magrebino. InGiuliano Bernini & Vermon-do Brugnatelli (eds.), Atti della 4a Giornata di studi camito-semitici ed indoeuropei, 53–62. Milan: Unicopli.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. 2002 Les thèmes verbaux négatifs du berbère: Quelques réflexions. InKamal Nait-Zerrad (ed.), Articles de Linguistique Berbère. Mémorial Werner Vycichl, 165–180. Paris: L'Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. 2011 Négations, participes et figement en berbère: nouvelles hypothèses. InAmina Mettouchi (ed.), “Parcours berbères”. Mélanges offerts à Paulette Galand-Pernet et Lionel Galand pour leur 90e anniversaire, 521–532. Köln: Köppe.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Caubet, Dominique
    1983La détermination en arabe marocain (Collection ERA 642). Paris: Université Paris 7.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. 1993L’arabe marocain, tomes I (Phonologie et morphosyntaxe) et II (Syntaxe et catégories grammaticales, textes). Paris: Peeters.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. 1996 La négation en arabe maghrébin. In: Salem Chaker & Dominique Caubet (eds.), La négation en berbère et en arabe maghrébin, 79–97. Paris: L’Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. 2018 Arabic and Berber in contact. Arabic in a minority situation in Al Hoceima region. In: Stefano Manfredi & Mauro Tosco (eds.), Arabic in contact, 73–110. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/sal.6.05cau
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sal.6.05cau [Google Scholar]
  11. Chaker, Salem
    1996 Quelques remarques préliminaires sur la négation en berbère. InSalem Chaker & Dominique Caubet (eds.), La négation en berbère et en arabe maghrébin, 9–22. Paris: L’Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Croft, William
    1991 The evolution of negation. Journal of Linguistics27. 1–27. 10.1017/S0022226700012391
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700012391 [Google Scholar]
  13. Dahl, Östen
    2010 Typology of negation. InLaurence Horn (ed.), The expression of negation, 9–38. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Diem, Werner
    2014Negation in Arabic. A study in linguistic history. Wiesbaden: Harrasso-wits.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Dryer, Matthew S.
    1988 Universals of negative position. InMichael Hammond, Edith Mo-ravcsik, & Jessica Wirth (eds.), Studies in syntactic typology, 93–124. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.17.10dry
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.17.10dry [Google Scholar]
  16. Galand, Lionel
    1994 La négation en berbère. Matériaux arabes et sudarabiques (GELLAS, nouvelle série)8. 169–181.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Gast, Volker & van der Auwera, Johan
    2012 What is ‘contact-induced grammaticalization’? Examples from Mayan and Mixe-Zoquean languages. InBjörn Wiemer, Bernhard Wälchli & Björn Hansen (eds), Grammatical replication and borrowability in language contact, 381–426. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110271973.381
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110271973.381 [Google Scholar]
  18. Heath, Jeffrey
    2005A grammar of Tamashek (Tuareg of Mali). Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110909586
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110909586 [Google Scholar]
  19. Jespersen, Otto
    1917Negation in English and other languages. Copenhagen: Host & Son.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Lafkioui, Mena B.
    1996 La négation en tarifit. InSalem Chaker & Dominique Caubet (eds.), La négation en berbère et en arabe maghrébin, 49–77. Paris: L’Harmattan.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. 2007Atlas linguistique des variétés berbères du Rif. Köln: Köppe Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2013a Reinventing Negation Patterns in Moroccan Arabic. InMena Lafkioui (ed.), African Arabic: Approaches to dialectology, 51–93. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110292343.51
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110292343.51 [Google Scholar]
  23. 2013b Negation, grammaticalization, and language change in North Africa: The case of the negator NEG___bu. InGiorgio Francesco Arcodia, Federica Da Milano, Gabriele Iannàccaro & Paolo Zublena (eds.), Tilelli. Scritti in onore di Vermondo Brugnatelli, 113–130. Cesena: Caissa Italia.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Lafkioui, Mena B. & Vermondo Brugnatelli
    2020 Negation in Berber: Variation, evolution, and typology. Linguistics58(4). 967–1008. 10.1515/ling‑2020‑0010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2020-0010 [Google Scholar]
  25. Lanfry, Jacques
    1968Ghadamès, Étude linguistique et ethnographique. Vol I: Textes, notes philologiques et ethnographiques. Fort-National: FDB.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Lucas, Christopher
    2013 Negation in the history of Arabic and Afro-Asiatic. InDavid Willis, Christopher Lucas & Anne Breitbarth (eds.), The history of negation in the languages of Europe and the Mediterranean. Vol. I: Case studies, 399–452. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602537.003.0010
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602537.003.0010 [Google Scholar]
  27. Marçais, Philippe
    1977Esquisse grammaticale de l’arabe maghrébin. Paris: Maisonneuve.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Matras, Yaron & Jeanette Sakel
    2007 Investigating the mechanisms of pattern replication in lan-guage convergence. Studies in Language31. 829–865. 10.1075/sl.31.4.05mat
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.31.4.05mat [Google Scholar]
  29. Meillet, Antoine
    1912 L’évolution des formes grammaticales. Scientia12. 384–400.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Mettouchi, Amina
    2009 The system of negation in Berber. InNorbert Cyffer, Erwin Ebermann, and Georg Zieglemeyer, Negation patterns in West African languages and beyond, 287–306. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tsl.87.14met
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.87.14met [Google Scholar]
  31. Mitchell, Terence Frederick
    2009Zuaran Berber (Libya). Grammar and texts. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Naït-Zerrad, Kamal
    2002 Review of Esquisse grammaticale du rifain oriental, Kossmann Maarten, Paris, Louvain, Peeters. Orientalistische Literaturzeitung97. 4–5.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Paradisi, Umberto
    1960 Testi berberi di Augila (Cirenaica). AION10. 79–91.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 1963 Il linguaggio berbero di El-Fógăha (Fezzân). Testi e materiale lessicale. AION13. 93–126.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Pauwels, Jan L.
    1958Het dialect van Aarschot en omstreken. Brussel: Belgisch Interuniversitair Centrum voor Neerlandistiek.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Pennacchietti, Fabrizio
    1967 Sull’origine della particella negativa araba . Annali dell’Istituto Orientale di Napoli18. 15–23.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Prasse, Karl-Gottfried
    1972Manuel de grammaire touarègue (tahăggart). Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Prasse, Karl-Gottfried, Ghoubeïd Alojaly & Mohamed Ghabdouane
    2003Dictionnaire touareg-français (A-L). Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Prasse, Karl-Gottfried
    2010Tuareg elementary course (Tahăggart). Köln: Köppe Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Ramat, Paolo
    2006 Italian negatives from a typological/areal point of view. InNicola Grandi, & Gabriele Iannàccaro (eds.), Scritti in onore di Emanuele Banfi in occasione del suo 60º compleanno, 355–370. Cesena: Caissa Italia.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Renisio, Amédée
    1932Dialectes berbères des Beni Iznassen, du Rif et des Senhaja de Sraïr. Paris: Ernest Leroux.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Sarnelli, Tommaso
    1924–25Il dialetto berbero di Sokna, suppl. of L’Africa Italiana. Napoli: Societa africana d’Italia.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude
    1997 The modern South Arabian languages. InRobert Hetzron (ed.), The Semitic languages, 378–423. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Sudlow, David
    2001The Tamasheq of North-East Burkina Faso. Köln: Köppe Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. 2009Dictionary of the Tamasheq of North-East Burkina Faso. Köln: Köppe Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Schwegler, Armin
    1991 Predicate negation in contemporary Brazilian Portuguese. Orbis34. 187–214. 10.2143/ORB.34.0.2013017
    https://doi.org/10.2143/ORB.34.0.2013017 [Google Scholar]
  47. Taine-Cheikh, Catherine
    1995–96 Trois points de vue sur la negation dans le dialecte arabe de Mauritanie. Matériaux arabes et sudarabiques. GELLAS7. 11–61.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. van der Auwera, Johan
    2009 The Jespersen cycles. InElly van Gelderen (ed.), Cyclical change, 35–71. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/la.146.05auw
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.146.05auw [Google Scholar]
  49. van der Auwera, Johan & Olga, Krasnoukhova
    2020 The typology of negation. InViviane Déprez and M. Teresa Espinal (eds.), The Oxford handbook of negation, 91–116. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. van der Auwera, Johan, Olga Krasnoukhova & Frens Vossen
    . Forthcoming. Intertwining the negative cycles. InArja Hamaro & Ljuba Veselinova eds. The Negative Existential Cycle from a historical-comparative perspective, 1–39. Berlin: Language Science Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Veselinova, Ljuba
    2013 Negative existentials: A cross-linguistic study. Italian Journal of Linguistics25: 107–45.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. 2016 The negative existential cycle viewed through the lens of comparative data. InElly van Gelderen (ed.), Cyclical change continued, 139–87. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/la.227.06ves
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.227.06ves [Google Scholar]
  53. Vossen, Frens
    2016 On the typology of the Jespersen Cycles. Antwerp: University of Antwerp PhD dissertation.

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error