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Tifinagh

From Academic Kids

Tifinagh is the alphabetic script used by the Tuareg, a Berber people of northern Africa, to write their language, Tamasheq or Tamashek. Before the 3rd century AD, Tifinagh was more widely used by speakers of Berber languages (or Tamazight) all across North Africa and on the Canary Islands. This older version of Tifinagh is sometimes named Libyan (French libyque) to distinguish it from the modern version used by the Tuareg. It dates from about the 6th century BC[1] (http://www.mondeberbere.com/langue/tifinagh/tifinagh_apparition.htm). While ultimate Phoenician origin is widely accepted (for it as for most of the world's alphabets), it is clearly very innovative and may have more than one ancestor, "probably Punic and Northern Arabic scripts" according to O'Connor 112; some scholars (eg M. Cohen) consider its origin to be a question as yet unresolved[2] (http://www.mondeberbere.com/langue/tifinagh/tifinagh_origine.htm). Some scholars consider it to be autochthonous in origin. Mustafa A'ashi considers "tifinagh" to be a Berber word deriving from the two words itif + nnegh, meaning our invention in the Berber language; however, given that the singular is tafineq (of which tifinagh is the regular plural), the etymology more commonly given (eg by Karl Prasse) relates to the Greek phoinikos "Phoenician". Mustafa A'ashi suggests that Tifinagh may be older than the Phoenician script, and that that might motivate translating "Tifinagh" as our invention. Other scholars argue that neither etymology is correct.

Traditionally, the script marks no vowels, except word-finally; however, various proposals to allow it to mark vowels have been made in recent times. In some areas, Arabic vowel diacritics are combined with Tifinagh characters to mark vowels. The letter forms vary significantly across the wide area where Tifinagh is used. The direction of writing varies; right-to-left is common, but the older "Libyan" inscriptions most commonly use the unusual orientation bottom-to-top. Occasionally the script has been used to write other neighboring languages, such as Tagdal Songhai.

A modern version, sometimes styled "Neo-Tifinagh", was put forward by the Acadmie Berbre in the 1960's; it is written left to right, marks vowels, and has been modified to better fit Northern Berber phonology. In a modified form, this script has recently (2003) been adopted for pedagogical purposes in Morocco.

Code chart

Tifinagh is encoded in the Unicode range U+2D30—U+2D7F, starting from version 4.1.0. There are 55 defined characters, but there are more characters being used than those defined. In ISO 15924, the code Tfng is assigned to Tifinagh. Here is a comparison chart for the character glyph and the transliteration.

CodeCharUnicodeTransliterationName
2D30Image:2D30.pngaya
2D31Image:2D31.pngbyab
2D32Image:2D32.pngbhyabh
2D33Image:2D33.pnggyag
2D34Image:2D34.pngghyaghh
2D35Image:2D35.pngdjBerber Academy yaj
2D36Missing image
2D36.png
Image:2D36.png

djyaj
2D37Image:2D37.pngdyad
2D38Image:2D38.pngd.yadh
2D39Image:2D39.pngd.yadd
2D3AMissing image
2D3A.png
Image:2D3A.png

d.yaddh
2D3BImage:2D3B.pngeyey
2D3CImage:2D3C.pngfyaf
2D3DImage:2D3D.pngkyak
2D3EImage:2D3E.pngkTuareg yak
2D3FMissing image
2D3F.png
Image:2D3F.png

ⴿkhyakhh
2D40Image:2D40.pnghyah
2D41Image:2D41.pnghBerber Academy yah
2D42Image:2D42.pnghTuareg yah
2D43Image:2D43.pngh.yahh
2D44Image:2D44.pngayaa
2D45Image:2D45.pngkhyakh
2D46Image:2D46.pngkhTuareg yakh
2D47Image:2D47.pngqyaq
2D48Image:2D48.pngqTuareg yaq
2D49Image:2D49.pngiyi
2D4AImage:2D4A.pngjyazh
2D4BMissing image
2D4B.png
Image:2D4B.png

jAhaggar yazh
2D4CImage:2D4C.pngjTuareg yazh
2D4DImage:2D4D.pnglyal
2D4EImage:2D4E.pngmyam
2D4FImage:2D4F.pngnyan
2D50Image:2D50.pngnyuareg yagn
2D51Image:2D51.pngngTuareg yang
2D52Image:2D52.pngpyap
2D53Image:2D53.pnguyu
2D54Image:2D54.pngryar
2D55Image:2D55.pngr.yarr
2D56Image:2D56.pngghyagh
2D57Missing image
2D57.png
Image:2D57.png

ghTuareg yagh
2D58Missing image
2D58.png
Image:2D58.png

ghAyer yagh
2D59Image:2D59.pngsyas
2D5AImage:2D5A.pngs.yass
2D5BMissing image
2D5B.png
Image:2D5B.png

shyash
2D5CImage:2D5C.pngtyat
2D5DImage:2D5D.pngt.yath
2D5EImage:2D5E.pngchyach
2D5FImage:2D5F.pngt.yatt
2D60Image:2D60.pngvyav
2D61Image:2D61.pngwyaw
2D62Image:2D62.pngyyay
2D63Image:2D63.pngzyaz
2D64Image:2D64.pngzTawellemet yaz
2D65Image:2D65.pngz.yazz
2D6FImage:2D6F.png+wLabialization mark
2D5C 2D59Image:2D5C.pngImage:2D59.pngⵜⵙtsyats
2D37 2D63Image:2D37.pngImage:2D63.pngⴷⵣdzyadz
2D5C 2D5BImage:2D5C.pngMissing image
2D5B.png
Image:2D5B.png

ⵜⵙchyach
2D37 2D4AImage:2D37.pngImage:2D4A.pngⴷⵊdjyadzh

External links

de:Tifinagh-Schrift fr:Tifinagh nl:Tifinagh wa:Tifinar zh:提非納字母

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