Activities Strand 1

Areal Studies – The Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

WP1. Understudied & endangered languages: A case study, Modern South Arabian (coord. Sabrina Bendjaballah, CNRS LLING & Aaron Rubin, PSU)

Modern South Arabian languages are spoken in Yemen and in Oman. They represent the last remaining indigenous languages of the southern Arabian Peninsula. Modern South Arabian languages are all endangered, to varying extents, and still remain understudied. This work package relies on a group of researchers who have a solid history of collaboration, and is thus expected to significantly advance our knowledge of this language family.


  • Al Kathiri, Amir Azad Adli & Julien Dufour. 2020. The morphology of the basic verbal stems in Eastern Jibbali/Sħrɛ̄́t. JSS LXV/1: 171-222.
  • Bendjaballah, Sabrina & Aaron Rubin. 2020. The 3fs Perfect In Omani Mehri. JSS LXV/2: 511-529.
  • Manoubi, Ali. 2021. Interview sur le hobyot. Iqra 30: 23.


  • Kungl, Anton. 2020. Verbal Noun Formation in Mehri – General overview and selected problems (Part 1), Language and Nature in Southern Arabia, online workshop series, 16/06/2020.
  • Kungl, Anton. 2020. Verbal Noun Formation in Mehri – General overview and selected problems (Part 2), Language and Nature in Southern Arabia, online workshop series, 23/06/2020.
  • Manoubi, Ali. 2020. Le hobyot, étude d’une langue sudarabique moderne. Le Diwan de Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, CEFAS, 18/11/2020. more information
  • Manoubi, Ali. 2021. الكلمات الفرنسية من أصل عربي : تجليات التكيّف اللغوي, Journée mondiale de la langue française, Musée national d’Oman, 22/03/2021.
  • Manoubi, Ali. 2021. توثيق الهوبيوت من خلال مقاربة لغوية. Département d’histoire, Sultan Qaboos University, 7/04/2021.
  • Manoubi, Ali. 2021. Aperçu de quelques points de la grammaire du hobyot. LLING, Université de Nantes, 11/06/2021.
  • DOT : oral presentations by S. Bendjaballah, J. Dufour and A. Kungl :


SeSaMSéminaire Sudarabique Moderne

  • Manoubi, Ali (CEFREPA), Le pluriel nominal en hobyot, 18/02/2021.
  • Kungl, Anton (LLING), The Feminine Singular Suffix(es) of Mehri Nouns, 12/03/2021.
  • Bendjaballah, Sabrina (LLING) & Julien Dufour (ENS-Ulm), A propos de la préformante a/h- dans les langues sudarabiques modernes (Part 1), 20/04/2021.
  • Bendjaballah (LLING), Sabrina & Julien Dufour (ENS-Ulm), A propos de la préformante a/h- dans les langues sudarabiques modernes (Part 2), 2/06/2021.
  • Radwa Fathi (LLING), The morphological architecture of Omani Mehri fəʕṓl / fəʕḗl plurals, 25/06/2021.

International conferences

  • with WP3 & WP4 : “ALLMAS” Paris Workshop on Arabic and the Ancient & Modern Languages of South Arabia, January 20, 21, 2022, co-organized by Almas (projet ANR19 CE27-0025) et ALL (IRN CNRS)


  • Three-year doctoral contract (CEFAS, ANR ALMAS) – starting date: 01/10/2020 – more information

Research stays

  • Julien Dufour (CEFREPA, ENS-Ulm), Fellow Nantes Institute of Advanced Studies, 10/2020-06/2021- more information
  • Ali Manoubi (CEFREPA, Paris 4), Nantes, 25/05-25/06/2021
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WP2. Music & language: Poetry in the Arabian Peninsula and in the Horn of Africa (coord. Julien Dufour, ENS-Ulm, Cefrepa & Martin Orwin, Napoli L’Orientale)

The Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa share a common cultural characteristic: poetry is held in high regard and represents the most prominent form of expressive culture. The members of this work package instantiate different areas of specialization: descriptive linguistics, literature, metrics, and phonetics. It is expected to shed new light on the poetry of the region, as well as on the relationship between language and music.


  • Orwin, Martin (Napoli L’Orientale), Ars Poetica in Somali: A comparison of ‘Uurkubbaalle’ by ‘Gaarriye’ and ‘Hal-Abuur’ by Hadraawi and what they tell us about Somali poetry, Somali Studies International Association (14th Congress), Jigjiga-online, 3/07/2021.


TSLThe Somali Language (with WP3)

  • Bendjaballah, Sabrina & Martin Haiden (LLING Nantes), The Causative of Intransitives in Somali, 10/03/2021
  • Le Gac, David (Univ. Rouen), On Somali Prosodic Structure, 13/04/2021.
  • Orwin, Martin (Napoli l’Orientale), Poetic speech melody in the modern performance of Somali poetry, 2/06/2021
  • Banti, Giorgio (Napoli l’Orientale), Sentential complements in Somali, 22/06/2021.
  • Nilsson, Morgan (Göteborg), How many inflectional forms does a Somali verb have?, 30/11/2021
  • Orwin, Martin (Napoli l’Orientale), Some thoughts on the structure of Somali metrical templates, 18/01/2022
  • Banti, Giorgio (Napoli l’Orientale), Of verbal nouns and agent nouns in Northern Somali, 22/02/2022

International conferences

with WP3: Somali Workshop 2022

Research stays

  • David Le Gac (Rouen), Nantes et La-Roche-sur-Yon, 23-26/03/2022

Non-academic partner