Activities Strand 2

Comparative studies – Language-variation: grammatical & sociolinguistic issues

WP3. Morpho-phonological & morpho-syntactic variation (coord. Sabrina Bendjaballah, CNRS LLING & Azeb Amha, Leiden ASC)

One of the salient characteristics of the Afroasiatic languages is the fact that they use morphophonological processes to express various categories that are encoded in the syntax in other languages, e.g. Indo-European. For this reason, the questions pertaining to the morphophonological / morphosyntactic interface are crucial for a proper understanding of the grammar of these languages. ALL is expected to foster a fruitful interaction of phonologists and syntacticians, and thus to bring to light new generalizations on the intricate morphosyntactic systems of Afroasiatic languages.


  • Amazigh Bedar & Lucie Quellec. 2020. l-alternations in Taqbaylit. In: Krzysztof Jaskuła (ed.), Phonological and Phonetic Explorations 2020: 11-28.
  • David Le Gac & Sabrina Bendjaballah. 2020. Preboundary lengthening in Somali. Proc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020: 156-160. DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-32
  • Radwa Fathi. accepted. Vowel length and Prominence in Cairene Arabic. In:
    Florian Breit, Yuko Yoshida and Connor Youngberg (eds.), Elements,
    Licensing and Government
    . London: UCL Press. 


  • Amazigh Bedar & Lucie Quellec. 2020. The internal structure of /l/ in Taqbaylit. Morpho-Phonological Variation in Nantes, 17/01.
  • Radwa Fathi. 2020. La vocalisation des verbes sains en arabe égyptien. Séminaire de Linguistique Sémitique et Contact des Langues en Méditerranée, INALCO, Paris, 5/03.
  • Sabrina Bendjaballah & David Le Gac. 2020. The Acoustics of Somali Geminates. LabPhon 17, 6-8/07.
  • David Le Gac & Sabrina Bendjaballah. 2020. Preboundary lengthening in Somali. Speech Prosody 2020, 25/05-31/08.
  • Sabrina Bendjaballah & Saalim Saciid Shariif. 2020. Brève présentation du système sonore du somali. Formation à destination des travailleurs sociaux dans le cadre d’un partenariat avec l’association Rajo, 24/11.
  • Amazigh Bedar. 2020. La représentation phonologique du préfixe du réfléchi en kabyle. Issues of Amazigh Studies: The Challenges of Today and Tomorrow. Napoli-L’Orientale, 26-27/11.


TSLThe Somali Language (with WP2)

  • Wednesday March 10, 10h-12h, online: Sabrina Bendjaballah & Martin Haiden (LLING Nantes), The Causative of Intransitives in Somali
  • Tuesday April 13, 10h-12h, online: David Le Gac (Univ. Rouen)
  • Wednesday June 2, 10h-12h, online: Martin Orwin (Napoli l’Orientale)
L’attribut alt de cette image est vide, son nom de fichier est Capture_Rift.jpg.

WP4. Language contact: Sociolinguistics, contact-induced change coord. Jairo Guerrerro, Catherine Miller, IREMAM & Maarten Kossmann, Leiden LUCL)

As most languages in the world, Afroasiatic languages experience various types of linguistic contact. This is particularly the case between Cushitic, Omotic and Semitic languages in the Horn of Africa, where the three families have co-existed for millennia. Contacts are also massive between Arabic and Nilo-Saharan languages in Africa, between Arabic and Berber languages in North Africa, and between Arabic and Modern South Arabian languages in the Arabian Peninsula. Language contact can be viewed as one of the triggering factors for linguistic change, and each of the situations above entails different degrees of linguistic heterogeneity raising important questions about the causes of contact-induced change.