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Kabyle in Arabic Script: A History without Standardisation

Abstract : The history of writing Kabyle, the largest Berber variety of Algeria, is often reduced simply to the history of the development of its currently dominant Latin orthography; Kabyle before the 20 th century is often viewed as essentially an unwritten language. This oversimplification obscures an extensive, though somewhat peripheral, corpus of Kabyle written in Arabic script starting before the 19 th century and continuing in some contexts up to the present. Unlike Berber varieties in some other regions, however, Kabyle shows few signs of ever having developed a standard Arabic-script orthography, and the transcription conventions used show little or no continuity between manuscripts from different periods. This lack of stan-dardisation reflects discontinuities in the region's educational and political history, in combination with certain differences between Kabyle and Arabic phonology.
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Lameen Souag. Kabyle in Arabic Script: A History without Standardisation. Creating Standards, De Gruyter, pp.273-296, 2019, ⟨10.1515/9783110639063-011⟩. ⟨halshs-02945641⟩