Libyan Arabic affixes in Siwi


Affix function number of borrowed affixes


Information and examples are from Souag (2010), see also Souag (2009). There are five borrowed affixes/fusional patterns.


2 comparative/superlative markers

C1C2əC3 template imposed on triliteral adjectives ‘comparative’, e.g. gzəl ‘shorter’ (from agzāl ‘short’), zṭəf ‘blacker’ (from azəṭtạ̄f ‘black’), zwər ‘bigger’ (from azuwwār ‘big’) (Souag 2010: 158)

‑hum superlative’, e.g. zwərhum ‘the biggest’ (from azuwwār ‘big’) (Souag 2010: 159). Note that Souag (2010: 38) talks about “full productivity of the Arabic comparative/superlative template in Siwi.”


2 nominalizing root patterns

āCəCCēCī template ‘agent (habitual doer)’, e.g. aččēwī ‘glutton’ (from əčč ‘eat’), aruwwēlī ‘flee‑er’ (from rwəl ‘flee’), ajəllēwī ‘someone who swears a lot’ (from jəll ‘swear’) (Souag 2010: 422)

lə‑/əl‑ + C1C2āC3ət template ‘deadjectival nominalizer’, e.g. ləmlālət ‘whiteness’ (from aməllāl ‘white’), zzṭāfət ‘blackness’ (from azəṭtạ̄f ‘black’), əzzwārət ‘bigness, size’ (from āzuwwār ‘big’) (Souag 2010: 161)


1 verbal derivational prefix

dā‑ ‘suggestive’, e.g. dā‑təġḍəb! ‘let her get angry!’, dā‑iẓnant! ‘let them [Algeria and Morocco] divide it!’ (Souag 2010: 384). It probably comes from Classical Arabic imperative daʕ ‘leave, let’ (Souag 2010: 379).


Additionally, there are two plural morphemes which are each only attested with one native Siwi (Berber) stem, thus they are not counted here, especially because it can be expected that Souag’s (2010) detailed study would have uncovered further hybrid formations if they existed: lə‑CCaCəC, e.g. lŭgrazən ‘dogs’ (from agŭrzni ‘dog’) (Souag 2010: 90), lə‑kdew‑a ‘squashes’ (from lə‑kdew‑iyy‑at ‘squash’) (Souag 2010: 88).