Original post on Language Learning SE

I'm trying to figure out if a language called Thaqovelith still exists or not. It is referenced in a book called "A descriptive phonology of Thaqovelith" published in 1980, so I believe it was not extinct then. I believe it may be a berber language.

  • Gregory Paul shaltz jr was my father he passed away in 1998 He taught Latin and philosophy Nov 3 '16 at 3:43
  • And what is the relevance of that fact?
    – curiousdannii
    Nov 3 '16 at 4:42
  • While completely off topic, some Googling reveals that Gregory Paul Shaltz Jr actually wrote a Thaqovelith grammar: "Gregory Paul Shaltz Jr., "A Descriptive Phonology of Thaqovelith" (Ph.D. diss., Illinois Institute of Technology, 1980)"
    – jogloran
    Nov 3 '16 at 7:06

It is alive enough that there is a Wikipedia entry. It is a dialect of Kabyle Berber indigenously called Taqbaylit ([ˈθɐqβæjlɪθ] if Wiki is to be believed). Shaltz doesn't get more specific than say "Northeast zone" and doesn't name the specific village. (The mapping from speling to pronunciation they give conforms to what I know of Berber phonology; ta-...-t is feminine noun inflection so the root qbayl is basically the same as the root Kabyle).

  • 1
    Does that mean taqbaylit is Thaqovelith? or is Thaqovelith a dialect of taqbaylit?
    – Qiangong2
    Aug 9 '16 at 19:36
  • 2
    They are the same word. Thaqovelith is how one would probably spell the pronunciation of the word in Latin letters, and Taqbaylit is the orthographic version of the word phonemically. Kabyle Berber is, simply, Taqbaylit. Since Taqbaylit is "Kabyle Berber" and the dissertation is about a specific village dialect, you can conclude that "Thaqovelith" is a dialect of Taqbaylit.
    – user6726
    Aug 9 '16 at 21:53
  • 2
    Classical Chinese is also "alive enough" to have a Wikipedia. ;-)
    – Tsundoku
    Aug 10 '16 at 9:43
  • 1
    The root is in fact QBL. Afro-asiatic languages lie on consonantal roots. The "y" doesn't really belong to the root. More precisely, it's a foreign root, from arabic. The y is here because it came from a plural form of an arabic word, qaba'il (tribes), where the glottal stop became an y (qabayil).
    – Amessihel
    Nov 25 '18 at 18:56
  • 1
    Also Taqbaylit = Kabyle which is can be viewed as 1) a "dialect" of Berber the latter is viewed as a language or 2) a Berber language if Berber is a group. It may be linguists' point-of-view related.
    – Amessihel
    Nov 25 '18 at 22:06


According to Ethnolgue, the language called Thaqovelith is also known as Kabyle, and has around 5,586,000 speakers worldwide.

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