Korandje language

From Academic Kids

Korandje ()
Spoken in: Algeria
Region: Tabelbala, wilaya of Bechar
Total speakers: a few thousand
Ranking: not in top 100
Genetic classification: Nilo-Saharan
Official status
Official language of: ---
Regulated by: ---
Language codes
ISO 639-1rn
ISO 639-2run
See also: LanguageList of languages

Korandje is by far the most northerly of the Songhay languages. It is spoken around the oasis of Tabelbala by no more than a few thousand people; its name, Kora-n-dje, means "village's language". While retaining a basically Songhay structure, it is extremely heavily influenced by Berber and Arabic; Lacroix estimates that only 40% of its vocabulary is Songhay, with another 30% each from Arabic and Berber.



Little study of Korandje has been done, so the phonology of the language is necessarily somewhat tentative. According to Robert Nicolai, it has the following consonants (those in brackets are found mainly in borrowings):

Plosives b t d k g kw gw (q)
Affricates ts dz
Pharyngealized plosives (ṭ ḍ)
Semivowels w l y
Fricatives f s z k (x) γ (ḥ `) h
Pharyngealized fricatives (ṣ ẓ)
Nasals m n
Pharyngealized nasals (ṇ?)
Trills r

Tilmatine also reports a pharyngealized r and affricate d.

Korandje appears to have a six-vowel system: a, i, u, e, o, and ə (schwa). It is unclear whether vowel length is phonemic or not.



The pronouns are: aγi, I; ni, you; ana, he/she/it; yayu, we; n'd'yu, y'all; ini, they. Possessive pronouns are an, my; nen, your; an, his/her/its; yan, our; n'd'en, your (pl.); in, their.


The infinitive and singular imperative are both the stem (eg xani "sleep"); the plural imperative takes a prefix u- (uxani "sleep! (pl.)). Cancel describes the conjugations as follows (also for xani):

English Preterite English Aorist
I slept a xani I sleep a (ba) am xani
you slept n(e) xani you sleep n ba am xani
he/she/it slept a xani he/she/it sleeps a m xani
we slept ia xani we sleep ia m xani
you (pl.) slept nd'(a) xani you (pl.) sleep nd'ba m xani
they slept ia xan they sleep iba am xani

Verbs are negated by surrounding them with `as ... h/hi, eg ni `as ba enγa h > n`esbanγa h "do not eat!". "No" is hoho or ho: n'd'xani bnu, willa ho? "did you sleep yesterday, or not?".


The plural is formed by adding -yu, eg bri "horse" > briyu "horses". Some Berber loans take their original plurals in i-...-en, eg thaserdent "mule" > thiserdanen "mule"; this type is even extended to Arabic loanwords, eg dra` "arm" > dra`n "arms". Some take both plurals: adra "mountain" > adrayu or idranen "mountains".

The possessive is expressed by the particle n, with the possessor preceding the possessed: wi n taffa "woman 's knife".


The numbers include fu "one", inka "two".

External links

  • See Information on Korandje ( (in PDF format; go to p. 163)


  • Cancel, Etude sur le dialecte de Tabelbala, in Revue Africaine, 1908, N 270-271, 302-347.
  • Dominique Champault. Une oasis du Sahara nord-occidental, Tabelbala, Paris: CNRS 1969.

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools