“The more ferocious and larger portion of that population consists of the aboriginal Berbers, the ancient Numidians, and Mauretanians. The Romans termed this race, genus insuperable Bello–unconquerable in war. The present memoir has special reference to this Berber or Numidian race. It will embrace, however, some notices of the nations of Soudan or Negroland.”
“While my chief object is to contribute some materials towards the investigation of the Berber language, the subject gives political importance to the ethnographic design, in the present posture of affairs. The various vocabularies of the languages and dialects of North Africa, and Soudan, appended to this memoir, were collected by myself, during my official residence at Algiers, before the late conquest. I might be able to incorporate them into a more extensive volume of researches, into the history or Berber race. The Geographic Society of Paris has just published the Berbero-Arabic dictionary and grammar of Venture, which, since the time of Volney, has remained in manuscript in the Imperial Library.”
“Mr. Newman has shown by his analysis, eminently philosophic, that the Berber belongs grammatically, not lexically, to the Syro-Arabian family of languages. Dr. Lepsius, the Prussian hierologist, has attempted to establish the same affinity, for the Coptic.Mr. Venture, whose dictionary and grammar of this language have just been published at Paris, by the Geographic Society, has characterized the Berber, as the jargon of a savage people, deficient in terms to express abstract ideas, which they are obliged to borrow of the Arabs. “
“Mr. Newman has noted the abstract terms which had been borrowed from the Arabic. Among others, is the word power, which really has its representative in Berber, although the Taleb may have used the Arabic word. This is true also, of one-half of all the words which he has cited, as being Arabic instead of Berber.”
Click Here Notes on Northern Africa, the Sahara and Soudan-William B. Hodgson
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