The berber language (Tamazight) is one of the oldest languages of humanity. Nowadays, it is spoken by the people of North Africa , Egyptian oasis of Siwa and the Touaregs in the Sahara (desert). Since the earliest foundation of human societies, the Amazigh people occupied the Northern part of Africa which extends from the red sea to the Canary Isles in the ocean, and from the Niger in the Sahara to the mediteranean sea.
Amazigh people’s origin
Recent anthropoligical discoveries enable us to account for the Amazigh people’s origin. Relying on the discoveries, it seems that this poeple can be considered as the origin from which ramified all the different white races of the globe. In fact, Eminent anthropologists agreed on the fact that Africa is the cradle of humanity this is notable in the work of the professor Leakey in Kenya and in Tanganika. Mr Eugene Guernier, professor in political studies institute in Paris university, reports in his book “L’apport de l’afrique à la pensée humaine” information he had collected from the professor Leakey himself about the conditions in which he made the discovery that led him to consider Africa the continent of the human kind first apperance: he wrote : “In the Rusinga isle, near the east side of the lack Victoria, not far from the town of Risamu, Professor Leakey discovered the inferior jaw of a hominian of twenty million years old. The human being reconstitued, on this jaw got the name of Proconsul Africanus. This fossile seems to stand for the typical step from a non hominian being to a human. We should underline the fact that Africa is the sole continent where fossiles, corresponding to the different stages of humanity, have been found.
Relying on the these data, we can think that the racial diversity happened during centuries of the icy period, During their migration all over the world, some human groups, influenced by climatic conditions, nutrition and activities modes , by the angle of solar rays, were differencied in a black and a white race in the ancestral hemisphere and north Africa.
Mr Eugene Guernier, in his book said that the African used only archaic forms of expression, but Schematic ones until when he used some vocative signes in south Africa, Later Egyptians used ideographical signs such as the hieroglyphs and the berber also invented a set of vocatives called “Ti-finar”.
It’s undeniable that the oldest documents of language expression found in North Africa, Either ideographic as “hieroglyphs” or consonants as the “TIFINAGH” express berber words. Mr Said Hanouz in his book “Knowledge and syntax of berber language” (Library Klincksieck, paris 1968) reported many examples of words writen in hierogliphs which express berber (amazigh) word of nowadays :
this word means “drink” : it is spelled “swi” of the amazigh verb “swa” of the same significance.
This wrod means “lady” : it is spelled “Ta metut” , amazigh word which refers to “lady”.
NB: extracted from elementary grammar of middle Egypt, by Dr A.Du Buck (la grammaire elementaire de Moyenne Egypte : in frensh)
Likewise, the Ti-finagh express berber words. mr Henri Lhote, in his book Touareg of hoggar, speaking about the Ti-finar inscription, says : “the oldest ones comprise signs which are no longer used and remain incomprehensible for the Touareg.
They begin ordinarily with three or four points in line, followed by a circle, which is followed by three parallel hyphens drawn longitudinally :
They are located in the “Tassili”, in Hoggar , Adrar of Iforas.
He goes further :” inscriptions of the middle era contain initial signs which are a hyphens followed by three points in triangle :
And the meaning of which it still understood by the Touaregs. they mean : “nek” or “wanek” that mean “me”.
He adds : the most recent inscriptions are materialised by the begining :
improved form of :
And which has the same significance, followed by proper noun :
“tenet” =said, I say and expressing a wish or idea, It seems undoubtedly that the Ti-finagh are means of expression of the berber language and may be the first human signs, expressing in writen man’s idea. These sign are so elementary and archaic that they can’t emanate from any other form of writing. They are represented with geometric signs :
which recall no other known alphabet.
The oldest hieroglyphs seem to date back to four thousand (4000) years before the christian era, while chinese graphics didn’t appear until three thousand (3000) years before Jesus christ, and the pictographical writings of America (Mayas and Aztecs) just in the Eighth century before J.C.
The Tifinagh appeared, associated to hieroglyphs, in inscriptions of the oldest monuments and Egyptian statutes. The most telling in this respect, is a group of statutes in shist, discovered in Gizeh, in Cairo museum now, presenting the Mycerinus (fourth dynasty) between the goddess Hathor and the personification of the 17 th mome of upper Egypt (photo Oropeza) appeared in “Ancient Egypt history” by Jasques Pirenne.
The engraved text on the inferior part of the statute is constitued of hierogliphical signs and characters, like Tifinagh.
hence, we can think that those first geometric signs which are the Tifinagh, served as prototypes in the ulterior formation of the coming alphabets (Egeens, Akkadians, Summarians, phoenician and Greek).