Kabyle language: Wikis


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Kabyle language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
About this sound Taqbaylit
Spoken in Algeria; immigrant communities in France, Belgium and elsewhere
Region Kabylie (Provinces of Tizi Ouzou, Bejaia, Bouira, Boumerdes, Sétif, BBA, and parts of Jijel)
Total speakers 4,123,000 (1995) [1]—5.5 million in Algeria, about 6 million worldwide [2][3]
Language family Afro-Asiatic
Writing system Berber Latin alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 kab
ISO 639-3 kab
Kabyle-speaking areas (in 1936)

Kabyle is Berber language (Kabyle: Ṯaqbayliṯ, About this sound Taqbaylit , pronounced [ˌθæqβæjˈlɪθ]) spoken by the Kabyle people. In 1995, there were 6,123,000 speakers worldwide, the majority in Algeria, where there were more than 4,500,000. However, according to INALCO estimates, there are 5.5 million speakers in Algeria and about 7 million worldwide.

Kabyle was (with some exceptions) rarely written before the 20th century; however, in recent years a small but increasing body of literature has been printed. The originally oral poetry of Si Mohand is particularly notable in this respect.



The classification of Kabyle is Afro-Asiatic, Berber and Northern Berber languages.

Geographic distribution

Kabyle is a Berber language native to Kabylie, it is present in seven Algerian districts.

The populations of Tizi Ouzou, Béjaïa (Bgayet) and Bouira (Tubiret) are in majority Kabyle-speaking. Kabyle is majority language in Bordj Bou Arreridj, Sétif and a minority language in Boumerdes and Jijel where it coexists with Algerian Arabic.

Kabyle is also spoken as a mother tongue among the Kabyle diaspora in Algerian and European cities (mainly France). It is estimated that half of Kabyles live outside Kabylie.


Official status

Berber languages have no official status in Algeria. Kabyle faces an unfavourable environment in this nation, although there exists a public radio (Channel II, which dates back to the Algerian revolution), and some TV news reports on the unique Algerian TV channel. Since private ownership of TV channels is illegal in Algeria, Kabyles have launched a private Kabyle speaking TV channel that broadcasts from Paris, France (Berbère Télévision).

In 1994, Kabyle pupils and students boycotted Algerian schools for a year, demanding for the officialization of Berber, leading to the symbolic creation of the "Haut Commissariat à l'Amazighité" (HCA) in 1995. Berber languages were subsequently taught as a non-compulsory language in Berber speaking areas.

After the tragic events of the Black Spring in 2001, The Kabyle population organized itself under the label of the Arouch. One of their main goals was to officially recognize Berber. President Bouteflika said "Berber will never be an official language, and if it has to be a national language, it has to be submitted to a referendum" [4]; however he had to submit to the pressure of the Black spring and recognize Berber as a "national language" without a referendum.

In 2005, Bouteflika contradicted himself about the Berber issue, saying that "there is no country in the world that has two official languages" and that "this will never be the case of Algeria".[5]


From west to east, some linguists distinguish four zones characterized by three distinct—but mutually intelligible—pronunciations in the following regions: At the west of Tizi Ghenif, Kabylie of the Djurdjura, Soummam valley and the zone starting from Bejaïa to the east.


This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

The phonemes below reflect the pronunciation of Kabyle.


Kabyle language has four vowels: (e is not considered to be a true vowel, it is just epenthetic)

  • /a/ [æ]
  • /e/ [ə]
  • /i/ [ɪ]
  • /u/ [ʊ]

Historically, schwa (e) is thought to be the result of a pan-Berber reduction or merger of three other vowels. The phonetic realization of the vowels, especially /a/, is influenced by the character of the surrounding consonants; emphatic consonants invite a more open realization of the vowel, e.g. aẓru = [azˁru] 'stone' vs. amud = [æmud] 'seed'.


Kabyle consonant phonemes
  Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
 Plain  Lab.  Plain  Emph.  Plain  Emph.  Plain  Emph.  Plain  Lab.  Plain  Lab.  Plain  Lab.
Stops and affricates voiceless       t [t] [tˁ] tt [ts]   č [tʃ]       k [k] k [kʷ] q [q] q [qʷ]    
voiced b [b] b [bʷ]   d [d]   zz [dz]   ǧ [dʒ]       g [ɡ] g [ɡʷ]        
Fricatives voiceless   f [f] t [θ]   s [s] [sˁ] c [ʃ] c [ʃˁ] k [ç] k [çʷ]     x [χ] x [χʷ] [ħ] h [h]
voiced b [β]     d [ð] [ðˁ] z [z] [zˁ] j [ʒ] j [ʒˁ] g [ʝ] g [ʝʷ]     ɣ [ʁ] ɣ [ʁʷ] ɛ [ʕ]  
Nasals m [m]     n [n]                          
Laterals       l [l] l [ɫ]                        
Trills       r [r] [rˁ]                        
Approximants                   y [j]     w [w]      


Inside the Kabyle language there are various accents which are the result of assimilations (these accents are generally divided into western and eastern Kabyle). Some of these assimilations are present among all Kabyle "dialects" and some not. These assimilations are not noted in writing, such as:

  • « Axxam n wergaz. » — "The house of the man." is pronounced either « Axxam n wergaz. » or « Axxam bb wergaz » or « Axxam pp wergaz » ...etc. (N+W=BB)
  • « D taqcict. » — "It's a girl." is pronounced « Tsaqcict ». (D+T=TS)
  • Here is a list of some of these assimilations: D+T=TS, T+T=TS, N+W=BB/PP, I+Y=IG, W+W=BB, Y+Y=GG.

Gemination affects the quality of certain consonants, turning fricatives into stops; in particular, geminated ɣ becomes qq and y becomes gg.

Fricatives vs. Stops

Kabyle is mostly composed of fricatives, phonemes which are originally stops in other Berber languages, but in writing there is no difference between fricatives and stops. Below is a list of fricatives vs. stops and when they are pronounced (note that gemination turns fricatives into stops).

Cononant B D G K T
Fricative /β/ About this sound Sound sample /ð/ About this sound Sound sample /ʝ/ About this sound Sound sample /ç/ About this sound Sound sample /θ/ About this sound Sound sample
Stop /b/ /d/ /ɡ/ /k/ /t/
Is a stop after m l,n b,j,r,z,ɛ f,b,s,l,r,n,ḥ,c,ɛ l,n
Is a stop in the words
(and their derivatives)
ngeb, ngeḥ, ngeẓwer, angaẓ, ngedwi, nages,ngedwal

Writing system

A trilingual sign in Algeria, written in Arabic, Kabyle (using Tifinagh), and French.

The most ancient Berber writings were written in the Libyco-Berber script (Tifinagh). Such writings have been found in Kabylie (also known as Kabylia) and continue to be discovered by archeologists. In fact, Tifinaghy alphabet disappeared in the 7th century, when Latin became the official and administrative language in North Africa (as in Europe).

The first French-Kabyle dictionary was compiled by a French ethnologist in the 18th century. It was written in the Latin script with an orthography based on that of French.

However, the Kabyle language really became a written language again in the beginning of the 19th century. Under French influence, Kabyle intellectuals began to use the Latin alphabet. "tamacahutt n wuccen" by Brahim Zellal was one of the first Kabyle books written using the Latin alphabet.

After the independence of Algeria, some Kabyle activists tried to revive the Libyco-Berber script, which is still in use by the Tuareg. Attempts were made to modernize the writing system by modifying the shape of the letters and by adding vowels, but its use remains limited to logos. Kabyle literature continued to be written in the Latin script. This new version of Tifinagh has been called Neo-Tifinagh and has been adopted as the official script of Berber languages in Morocco.

Mouloud Mammeri codified a new orthography for the writing of the Kabyle language which avoided the use of the archaic French orthography. His script has been adopted by all Berber linguists, the INALCO and the Algerian HCA. It uses diacritics and two letters from the extended Latin alphabet: Čč Ɛɛ Ǧǧ Ɣɣ ẓ.


Nouns and adjectives


As an Afro-Asiatic language, Kabyle has only two genders, Masculine and Feminine. Like most Berber languages, masculine nouns and adjectives generally start with a vowel (a-, i-, u-), while the feminine nouns generally start with t- and end with a -t (there are some exceptions, however). Note that most feminine nouns are in fact feminized versions of masculine nouns.


  • Aqcic "a boy", taqcict "a girl".
  • Amɣar "an old man", tamɣart "an old woman".
  • Argaz "a man", Tameṭṭut "a woman".
  • Izi "a fly", Tizit "mosquito".


Singular nouns generally start with an a-, and do no have a suffix. Plural nouns generally start with an i- and often have a suffix such as -en. There are three types of plural : external, Internal, mix:

  • External or "regular": consists in changing the initial vowel of the noun, and adding a suffix -n,
amɣar "an old man" → imɣaren "old men".
argaz → irgazen "men"
ul → ulawen "hearts"
  • Internal: involves only a change in the vowels within the word:
adrar → idurar "mountain"
amicic "a cat" → imcac "cats"
  • Mix: combines a change of vowels (within the word) with the suffix -n:
igenni "sky" → igenwan "skies".
izi → izan "fly"
aar → iuran "root"
afus → ifassen "hands"

Free and annexed state

As in all Berber languages, Kabyle has two types of states or cases of the noun, organized ergatively: one is unmarked, while the other serves as the subject of a transitive verb and the object of a preposition, among other contexts. The former is often called free state, the latter construct state. The construct state of the noun derives from the free state through one of the following rules:

The first involves a vowel alternation, whereby the vowel a become u :

amaziɣ → umaziɣ "Berber"
ameqqran → umeqqran "big"
adrar → udrar "mountain"

The second involves the loss of the initial vowel in the case of some feminine nouns (e is not considered to be a true vowel, it just makes the reading easier):

tamɣart → temɣart "women"
tamdint → temdint "town"
tamurt → tmurt "country"

The third involves the addition of a semi-vowel (w or y) word-initially:

asif → wasif "river"
au → wau "wind"
iles → yiles "tongue"
uccen → wuccen "jackal"

Finally, some nouns do not change for free state:

taddart → taddart "village"
tuccent → tuccent "female jackal"

Depending on the role of the noun in the sentence, it takes either its free or annexed state:

  • Free: Yewwet aqcic. "He has beaten a boy". (Verb-Object)
  • Annexed: Yewwet weqcic. "The boy has beaten". (Verb-Subject)

After a preposition (at the exception of "ar" and "s"), all nouns take their annexed state:

  • Free state: Aman (water), Kas n waman (a glass of water).


There are three tenses : the Preterite (past), intensive Aorist (present perfect, present continuous, past continuous) and the future (Ad+Aoriste). Unlike other Berber languages, the aorist alone is rarely used in Kabyle (In the other languages it is used to express the present).

  • "Weak verbs" have a preterite form that is the same as their aoriste. Examples of weak verbs that follow are conjugated at the first person of the singular:
Verb Preterite ad + aorist Intensive aorist
If (to outdo) ifeɣ ad ifeɣ ttifeɣ
Muqel (to observe) muqleɣ ad muqleɣ ttmuquleɣ
Krez (to plough) kerzeɣ ad kerzeɣ kerrzeɣ
  • "Strong verbs" or "irregular verbs":
Verb Preterite ad + aorist Intensive aorist
Aru (to write) uriɣ ad aruɣ ttaruɣ


Conjugation in Kabyle is done by adding suffixes (prefixes, postfixes or both). These suffixes are static and identical for all tenses (only the theme changes):

Person Singular Plural
1st — (e)ɣ n(e) —
2nd (m) t(e) — (e) t(e) — (e)m
2nd (f) t(e) — (e) t(e) — (e)mt
3rd (m) i/y(e) — — (e)n
3rd (f) t(e) — — (e)nt
  • Example: verb afeg (to fly) with its four themes : ufeg (preterite), ufig (negative preterite), afeg (aorist), ttafeg (intensive aorist).
Person Preterite Negative Preterite Ad+Aorist Intensive Aorist Imperative Intensive Imperative
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
1st ufgeɣ nufeg ur ufigeɣ ur nufig ad afgeɣ ad nafeg ttafgeɣ nettafeg
2nd (m) tufgeḍ tufgem ur tufigeḍ ur tufigem ad tafgeḍ ad tefgem tettafgeḍ tettafgem afeg afget ttafeg ttafget
2nd (f) tufgeḍ tufgemt ur tufigeḍ ur tufigemt ad tafgeḍ ad tefgemt tettafgeḍ tettafgemt afeg afgemt ttafeg ttafgemt
3rd (m) yufeg ufgen ur yufig ur ufigen ad yafeg ad afgen yettafeg ttafgen
3rd (f) tufeg ufgent ur tufig ur ufigent ad tafeg ad afgent tettafeg ttafgent
Preterite Participle Aorist Participle Intensive Aorist Participle
Positive Negative Positive Negative
yufgen ur nufig ara yafgen yettafeg ur nettafeg

Verb framing

Kabyle is a satellite-framed based language, Kabyle verbs use two particles to show the path of motion:

  • d orients toward the speaker, and could be translated as "here".
  • n orients toward the interlocutor or toward a certain place, and could be translated as "there".


  • « iru-d » (he came), « iru-n » (he went).
  • « awi-d aman» (bring the water), « awi-n aman » (carry away the water).


Kabyle usually expresses negation in two parts, with the particle ur attached to the verb, and one or more negative words that modify the verb or one of its arguments. For example, simple verbal negation is expressed by « ur » before the verb and the particle « ara » after the verb:

  • « Urareɣ » ("I played") → « Ur urareɣ ara » ("I did not play")

Other negative words (acemma...etc.) are used in combination with ur to express more complex types of negation.

Verb derivation

Verb derivation is done by adding affixes. There are three types of derivation forms : Causative, reflexive and Passive.

  • Causative: obtained by prefixing the verb with s- / sse- / ssu- :
ffeɣ "to go out" → ssuffeɣ "to make to go out"
kcem "to enter" → ssekcem "to make to enter, to introduce"
irid "to be washed" → ssired "to wash".
  • Reflexive: obtained by prefixing the verb with m- / my(e)- / myu-:
er "to see" → mer "to see each other"
ṭṭef "to hold" → myuṭṭaf "to hold each other".
  • Passive: is obtained by prefixing the verb with ttu- / ttwa- / tt- / mm(e)- / n- / nn-:
krez "to plough" → ttwakrez "to be ploughed"
ečč "to eat" → mmečč "to be eaten".
  • Complex forms: obtained by combining two or more of the previous prefixes:
enɣ "to kill" → mmenɣ "to kill each other" → smenɣ "to make to kill each other"

Interestingly, two prefixes can cancel each other:

enz "to be sold" → zzenz "to sell" → ttuzenz "to be sold" (ttuzenz = enz !!).

Agent noun

Every verb has a corresponding agent noun. In English it could be translated into verb+er. It is obtained by prefixing the verb with « am- » or with « an- » if the first letter is b / f / m / w (there are exceptions however).

  • Examples:
ṭṭef "to hold" → anaṭṭaf "holder"
inig "to travel" → iminig "traveller"
eks "to graze" → ameksa "shepherd"

Action noun

Every verb has a corresponding action noun, which in English it could be translated into verb+ing:

ffer "to hide" → tuffra "hiding" (stem VI), « Tuffra n tidett ur telhi » — "Hiding the truth is bad".

There are 6 regular stems of forming action nouns, and the 7th is for quality verbs : (C for consonant, V for vowel)

Stem Verb Action noun
I cvcv acvcv
II c(c)vc(c) ac(c)vc(c)v
III c(c)ecc ac(c)ecci
IV (c)cac(c) a(c)cac(c)i
V c1c2ec3 accac
VI ccec tuccca
VII ic1c2vc3 tec1c2ec3
  • Examples:
ɣeẓẓ "to bite" → aɣa
zdi "to be united" → azday
ini "to say" → timenna

Predicative particle "d"

The predicative particle "d" is an indispensable tool in speaking Kabyle, "d" is equivalent to both "it is + adjective" and "to be + adjective", but cannot be replaced by the verb "ili" (to be). It is always followed by a noun (free state).


  • D taqcict, "it's a girl".
  • D nekk, "it's me".
  • Nekk d argaz, "I'm a man".
  • Idir d anelmad, "Idir is a student".
  • Idir yella d anelmad, "Idir was a student".

The predicative particle "d" should not be confused with the particle of coordination "d"; indeed, the former is followed by a noun at its annexed state while the first is always followed by a noun at its free state.


Personal pronouns

Person Singular Plural
1st (m) nekk / nekkini nekni
1st (f) nekk / nekkini nekkenti
2nd (m) kečč / keččini kunwi / kenwi
2nd (f) kemm / kemmini kunnemti / kennemti
3rd (m) netta / nettan / nettani nutni / nitni
3rd (f) nettat nutenti / nitenti

Example : « Ula d nekk. » — "Me too."

Possessive pronouns

Person Singular Plural
1st (m) (i)w / inu nneɣ
1st (f) (i)w / inu nnteɣ
2nd (m) (i)k / inek nwen
2nd (f) (i)m / inem nkent
3rd (m) (i)s / ines nsen
3rd (f) (i)s / ines nsent

Example : « Axxam-nneɣ. » — "Our house." (House-our)

Pronouns of the verb

  • Direct object
Person Singular Plural
1st (m) (i)yi ɣ / (y)aɣ / naɣ / (y)anaɣ
1st (f) (i)yi ɣ / (y)aɣ / tnaɣ / (y)anteɣ
2nd (m) (i)k (i)ken
2nd (f) (i)kem (i)kent
3rd (m) (i)t (i)ten
3rd (f) (i)tt (i)tent

Example : « Yuɣ-it. » — "He bought it." (He.bought-it)

  • Indirect object
Person Singular Plural
Long form Short form Long form Short form
1st (m) (i)yi yi ɣ / (y)aɣ ɣ
1st (f) (i)yi yi ɣ / (y)aɣ ɣ
2nd (m) (y)ak k (y)awen wen
2nd (f) (y)am m (y)akent kent
3rd (m) (y)as s (y)asen sen
3rd (f) (y)as s (y)asent sent
  • Example : « Yenna-yas. » — "He said to him." (He.said-to.him)
  • Complex example (Mixing indirect and direct object) : « Yefka-yas-t. » — "He gave it to him." (He.gave-to.him-it)


There are three demonstratives, near-deictic ('this, these'), far-deictic ('that, those') and absence:

  • Suffix: Used with a noun, example : « Axxam-agi» — "This house." (House-this).
Near-deictic Far-deictic Absence
Singular Plural Singular Plural
(y)a / (y)agi (y)agini (y)ihin / (y)ihinna (y)inna nni
  • Isolated : Used when we omit the subject we are speaking about : «Wagi yelha» — "This is nice." (This-is.nice)
Near-deictic Far-deictic Absence
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
masculine wa/ wagi/ wagini wi/ wigi/ wigini wihin / wihinna wihid / wihidak
widak-inna / wigad-inna
widak-ihin / wigad-ihin
win / winna wid / wid-nni
widak / widak-nni
feminine ta / tagi / tagini ti / tigi / tigini tihin / tihinna tihid / tihidak
tidak-inna / tigad-inna
tidak-ihin / tigad-ihin
tin / tinna tid / tid-nni
tidak / tidak-nni


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".

"First" and "last" are respectively amezwaru and aneggaru (regular adjectives). Other ordinals are formed with the prefix wis (f. tis): wis sin "second (m.)", tis tlata "third (f.)", etc.


Prepositions precede their objects: « i medden » "to the people", « si temdint » "from the town". All words preceded by a preposition (at the exception of « s » and « ar », "towards", "until" ) take their annexed state.

Some prepositions have two forms : one is used with pronominal suffixes and the other form is used in all other contexts.

Also some of these prepositions have a corresponding relative pronoun (or interrogative), example:

« i » "for/to" → « iwumi » "to whom"
« Tefka aksum i wemcic » "she gave meat to the cat" → « Amcic iwumi tefka aksum » "The cat to whom she gave meat"
Kabyle prepositions
Preposition With suffixes translation equivalent Corresponding Relative pronoun translation equivalent
d yid- / did- 'and, with, in the company of' (w)ukud / wi d 'with whom'
i 'for, to' (dative) iwumi / iwimi / imi / umi / mi 'to whom' (dative) / 'whose'
ɣer / ar 'to' (direction) iɣer / ɣer way / (s)aniɣer / (s)awier / ɣer 'to' (direction)
s 'to' (direction) sani 'to' (direction)
ɣur 'among' (w)uɣur / ɣur 'among'
ɣef / af / f fell- 'on; because of; about' iɣef / ɣef way / ɣef wadeg / ɣef 'on what'
deg / g / di 'in' ideg / deg way / deg waydeg / anda / deg 'where'
seg / si / g 'from' iseg / seg way / ansi 'from where'
s iss- / yiss- / yis- 'with, by means of, using' (instrumental) s ways / s wacu / s / iss / is 'with what' (instrumental)
ger gar- 'between'
n 'of'
nnig / sennig 'on top of'
ddaw / seddaw 'beneath, under'
ar 'until'
deffir 'behind'
zdat / zzat 'in front of'
am 'like, as'


Conjunctions precede the verb: mi yiwwe "when he arrived", muqel ma yusa-d "see if he came".


Kabyle has absorbed quite some Arabic and French vocabulary. According to Salem Chaker, about a third of Kabyle vocabulary is of Arabic 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).

Sample text

In. MOULIERAS (Auguste), les fourberies de si Djeh'a.

Aqerruy n tixsi Ewe Head
Yiwen wass, Ğeḥḥa yefka-yas baba-s frank, akken ad d-yaɣ aqerruy n tixsi. Yuɣ-it-id, yečča akk aksum-is. Yeqqim-d uceqlal d ilem, yewwi-yas-t-id i baba-s. Ihi, mi t-iwala yenna-yas: "acu-t wa?" yenna-yas: "d aqerruy n tixsi".

-A ccmata, anida llan imeẓẓuɣen-is?

-Tella d taɛeẓẓugt.

-Anida llan wallen-is?

-Tella d taderɣalt.

-Anida yella yiles-is?

-Tella d tagugamt.

-I weglim n uqerruy-is, anida yella?

-Tella d taferḍast.
One day, Jehha's father gave him one cent, so that he buys a ewe head. He bought it, and ate all of its meat. Only an empty carcass was left, he brought it to his father. Then, when he saw it he said: "what is that?" Jehha said: "a ewe head".

-You vile (boy), where are its ears (the ewe)?

-It was deaf.

-Where are its eyes?

-It was blind.

-Where is its tongue?

-It was dumb.

-And the skin of its head, where is it?

-It was bald.
IPA transcription : æqərruj ən θiχsi Word by word translation : head of ewe
jiwən wæss, dʒəħħæ jəfkæ-jæs βæβæ-s frank, ækkən æ d-jæʁ æqərruj ən θiχsi. juʁ-iθ-id, yətʃtʃæ ækʷ æçsum-is. jəqqim-d uʃəqlæl ð iləm, jəwwi-jæs-θ-id i βæβæ-s. Ihi, mi θ-iwælæ jənnæ-jæs: "æʃu-θ wæ?" jənnæ-jæs: "ð æqərruj ən θiχsi".

-æ ʃʃmætæ, ænidæ llæn iməz̴z̴uʁn-is?

-θəllæ ts aʕəz̴z̴ugt.

-ænidæ llæn wælln-is?

-θəllæ ts æðərʁælθ.

-ænidæ jəllæ jils-is?

-θəllæ ts æʝuʝæmθ.

-i wəʝlim ən uqərruj-is, ænidæ jəllæ?

-θəllæ ts æfərðˁast.
One day, Jehha he.gave-to.him father-his cent, so.that he.buys head of ewe. He.bought-it-here, he.ate all meat-its. Stayed-here carcass it.is empty, he.brought-to.him-it-here to father-his. Then, when it-he.saw he.said-to.him: "what-it that?" he.said-to.him: "head of ewe".

-Oh vile, where are ears-its?

-She.was it.is deaf.

-Where are eyes-its?

-She.was it.is blind.

-Where is tongue-its?

-She.was it.is dumb.

-And skin of head-its, where it.is?

-She.was bald.

Note: the predicative particule d was translated as "it.is", the particule of direction d was translated as "here".

Sources used for this article

  • Kamal Nait-Zerrad. Grammaire moderne du kabyle, tajerrumt tatrart n teqbaylit. Editions KARTHALA, 2001. ISBN 978-2-84586-172-5
  • Dallet, Jean-Marie. 1982. Dictionnaire kabyle–français, parler des At Mangellet, Algérie. Études etholinguistiques Maghreb–Sahara 1, ser. eds. Salem Chaker, and Marceau Gast. Paris: Société d’études linguistiques et anthropologiques de France.


  • Ethnologue entry for Kabyle
  • Achab, R. : 1996 - La néologie lexicale berbère (1945-1995), Paris/Louvain, Editions Peeters, 1996.
  • Achab, R. : 1998 - Langue berbère. Introduction à la notation usuelle en caractères latins, Paris, Editions Hoggar.
  • F. Amazit-Hamidchi & M. Lounaci : Kabyle de poche, Assimil, France, ISBN 2-7005-0324-4
  • Salem Chaker. 1983. Un parler berbere d'Algerie (Kabyle): syntax. Provence: Université de Provence.
  • Dallet, Jean-Marie. 1982. Dictionnaire kabyle–français, parler des At Mangellet, Algérie. Études etholinguistiques Maghreb–Sahara 1, ser. eds. Salem Chaker, and Marceau Gast. Paris: Société d’études linguistiques et anthropologiques de France.
  • Hamid Hamouma. n.d. Manuel de grammaire berbère (kabyle). Paris: Edition Association de Culture Berbère.
  • Mammeri, M. : 1976 - Tajerrumt n tmaziɣt (tantala taqbaylit), Maspero, Paris.
  • Naït-Zerrad, K. : 1994 - Manuel de conjugaison kabyle (le verbe en berbère), L’Harmattan, Paris.
  • Naït-Zerrad, K. : 1995 - Grammaire du berbère contemporain, I - Morphologie, ENAG, Alger.
  • Kamal Nait-Zerrad. Grammaire moderne du kabyle, tajerrumt tatrart n teqbaylit. Editions KARTHALA, 2001. ISBN 978-2-84586-172-5
  • Tizi-Wwuccen. Méthode audio-visuelle de langue berbère (kabyle), Aix-en-Provence, Edisud, 1986.


External links

Websites in Kabyle

Online dictionaries

Simple English

Kabyle is a Berber language (Kabyle: Ṯāqbāylīṯ, taqbaylit, pronounced /ˌθaq.βajˈliθ/) spoken by the Kabyle people. There are 3,123,000 speakers worldwide, the majority in Algeria, where there are more 2,000,000 speakers.

Kabyle was (with some exceptions) rarely written before the 20th century; however, in recent years a small but increasing body of literature has been printed. The originally oral poetry of Si Mohand and Ait Menguellet are particularly notable in this respect.


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