Talk:Nobiin language

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Former good articleNobiin language was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
February 2, 2006Good article nomineeListed
February 21, 2006Peer reviewReviewed
February 18, 2009Good article reassessmentKept
November 1, 2009Good article reassessmentDelisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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Comments[edit]

Very nice article, I must say. It's really nice to see smaller languages being described so well and thoroughly. A few comments:

  • I don't know if it's already the case, but I can recommend listing only phonemes in the tables and mentioning allophones in comments below.
  • The comments of the two examples concerning tones are somewhat indicipherable. "(vegetables:DO cook:she.PRESENT-Q)" is pretty hard to understand unless you're quite familiar with linguistic lingo. Could this be solved to be more intuitive? I like the typography the solution with <small></small> a lot, though. Simple, yet effective.
  • There is no mention of stress. Is it present in Nobiin?
  • A lof the features mentioned under "Morphology" should probably be moved to "Grammar". Any thoughs on that?

Peter Isotalo 23:16, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

Many thanks for your comments! I'll reply to them point by point:
  • Allophony. I always specify whether I'm giving a phonetic or a phonemic inventory. In this case, the tables are phonetic inventories and some notes on allophony are given directly below the table. I think it's mainly a matter of personal taste — I like to be able to see at a glance what sounds occur in a language. Additionally, in cases of free variation (the extremely common r/l for example) I don't have to make an arbitrary choice which of the two to include in the inventory; I can just list them both.
  • Examples. You mean the use of (unexplained) abbreviations in the glosses? Yeah, that's something I thought about, though I'm not perfectly sure I made the right choice. I've used this notation earlier at Nafaanra language and Gbe languages and it's a convenient compromise between interlinear glosses and plain translations. I'm sure it looks a bit intimidating to the non-linguistic reader, but then again, that reader isn't interested in morpheme-by-morpheme glosses anyway (or so I thought). That's why I have been using abbreviations like 'OB' and 'Q'. I've been kind though and translated most of the pronouns instead of glossing them as 1SG etc.
  • Stress. The article should definitely say something about stress, especially because Nobiin has been taken long for a stress-language instead of a tonal language. Werner 1987 however remarks specifically that he didn't perceive any stress/accent phenomena whatsoever and that he does not see any reason to tie the account of tone to anything of the sort (as had been tried before). I'll prepare a paragraph or two on this.
  • Morphology/Grammar. Yep, that's the weak spot of this article. I started out with the traditional three-way distinction because I didn't like the template provided by Wikiproject Languages (which only has 'Sounds' and 'Grammar'). But in the end I found myself describing syntactical phenomena under verbal morphology. I don't know any easy way out. I would call noun compounding a morphological process, but where should the various lists of pronouns go? Your advice would be welcome.
Again, thanks for your comments! — mark 23:55, 7 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
S'more comments:
  • At the talkpage of the Phonetics Project, Ish ishwar pointed out that there is very little information on phonotactics in most language articles. If you have any literature describing that, it would be a great addition to the "Sounds" section.
  • The picture of the wedding is very nice, but I don't really see what it has to do with linguistics. Or morphology for that matter. :-D
  • To really get on your nerves, Mark, I have to point out that the map is not all that helpful. The map should have colored or shaded areas where Nobiin is spoken and I don't think that many people know what cataracts are. It's very useful (and looks very good) in Nubia, but it should be modified for this article.
Peter Isotalo 12:34, May 8, 2005 (UTC)


  • <grumble> You're right about the map. The problem is the scale: Nobiin communities are scattered abroad and usually are too small to make colored-in areas useful (such a map would run the risk of being misleading). I'll try something though.
  • As for the nice wedding photo, yeah I quite like it too, and no, it's got nothing to do with morphology whatsoever or with grammar for that matter :). Originally I was planning to select some nice sample sentences related to marriage, but they proved to be rather hard to find. Thanks for reminding me though, there is one Nobiin text I didn't check out yet so I'll look into it. Regardless, the picture is useful to relate the dry linguistic stuff to the speakers of the language.
  • Phonotactics. Ish Ishwar is right about that. Unfortunately, Werner doesn't say much about it. In his data I observed some sort of weak relationship between consonant and vowel length, but he didn't write about that so it would be bordering on original research to include that (but compare the following to get a taste of it: dàrrìl climb, dààrìl be present vs. *dàrìl, *dààrrìl; féyyìr grow, fééyìr lose (a battle) vs. *féyìr, *fééyyìr).
  • Oh, and may I ask your advice on the structure of the article? What should be done to avoid talking about demonstrative sentences under the heading 'Morphology'? Revert to the good old Sounds vs. Grammar opposition?

mark 13:00, 8 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a section on stress and tone now, but I have the feeling that it reads a little awkward. Maybe it is too detailed, or maybe there are EAL-issues or something. Feel free to tinker with it. — mark 20:40, 8 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

- This is indeed one of the best-written linguistics related articles I've seen on Wiki, especially since it's about a lesser known but venerable language. I don't have comments about its specifics because I haven't actually studied Nobiin, but I sure hope it gets featured. - Zerida 08:44, 26 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Website Link is Nobiin?[edit]

I added a website link: http://napata.org/language.html Although the website is called Napata, is this data on Nobiin? The form for 10 is dime which is Nobiin versus dimini which is Dongolawi and Kenuzi. This is why I added z to the list of phonemes. Imperial78

I can't seem to load that website. — mark 11:41, 19 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I fixed it. It should work now Imperial78

BTW, I have revamped the phoneme tables and added some notes on the occurrence of [z] and other sounds that were not originally part of Nobiin's phoneme inventory. — mark 12:02, 14 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article Organization[edit]

Nubians. The observation (in the summary section) "Many Nobiin speaking Nubians were forced to relocate in 1963-1964 due ..." may be moved to Nubians Article Stub. Reference to that fact may be shown in Geography. (BTW, "Korosko in the North" is not shown on the map). --Connection 11:55, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good point about Korosko, I'll see about adding that sometime. As for the article Nubians, some info of our article here might indeed be relevant there, too. Feel free to edit and move! — mark 12:08, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Waw. That was quick! --Connection 12:31, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lexical Stock. Is there comparative research investigating influence of Arabic, or Coptic languages (especially pre-medieval period, concurretnly with adoption of the latter's alphabet)? Or Beja, for that matter.

Ah, that's the weak point of this article presently (see also the todo-box above). Werner does note a lot of Arabic loanwords in his 1987 Grammatik. The studies by Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst (see the bibliography over at Nubian languages) provide the broader comparative view. For more historical details on the Old Nubian language and its alphabet, I would consult Browne's work. And you're right: the fact that Old Nubian was written in a variant of the Coptic script (with some additional characters that seem to come from Meroitic) must mean that the languages somehow have been in contact; and contact presumable means influence. — mark 14:29, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. Much instructive. Now I remember that Noub is a term for "Gold" in Ancient Egyptian and Coptic "Νουβ". May be because Nubia was a trading route for gold. Incidentally, "dhahab" the equivalent in Arabic (or "dahab", according to the phonology of the dialects in Egypt and Sudan), is a common family name in Nubia. --Connection 17:21, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's also one of the names of Nubia as used by Nubians themselves (bilad ed Dahab). The term "Nubia" as referring to the modern geographic region is thought to have come into use during the Graeco-Roman era, but there is some evidence to suggest that it was used by ancient Egyptians even earlier. Reference to Nubians and their lands in Egyptian texts vary—one of the most widely used pertains to the Nubians' famed archery. It's a skill and a reputation they held well into the modern period. You might be interested in MakuriaZerida 22:54, 14 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"SESCO" or "ISESCO"?[edit]

There is reference here and in the Nubian languages article to "the extended SESCO system" of Arabic transcription. I have been looking for info on this and wonder if ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is intended instead? They sponsored some work on extended Arabic orthographies.--A12n 20:15, 24 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, it should be ISESCO. — mark 08:48, 3 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are there any good sources on what the (extended) ISESCO system consists of? – Sean M. Burke 03:40, 7 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Learning Nobiin[edit]

Hi, Im originally Sudanese(from Nubia aka "Halfa"). My parents always speak the "Nobiin" language so I was able to understand many of the words but I am unfortunately not fluent in my tribal language. I was wndering if you know of any books that would be of assistance in learning this language. It would be great if you could refer me to any sources. Thanks!

Great that you're taking interest in the language! Do you prefer the Latin or the Arabic script to read about Nobiin? And do you mind if it's in German? Werners (1987) Grammatik des Nobiin still is a great source to begin with. Lots of examples throughout the text, more than twenty verbal paradigms written out, and some lengthy Nobiin texts about daily life in Nubia. If you email me, I can send you some scanned pages to give you an idea of what it looks like.
BTW, I don't know if you're still with your parents and if you have the technical means, but it would be great if you could record some of the example sentences of this article as they are spoken by a native speaker of Nobiin. Just dreaming here. — mark 08:38, 29 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A GA Review will be needed soon[edit]

This article received its Good Article rating on 4 February 2006 from an editor who hearkened back to a kinder, gentler era when it was not outside of norms to just simply plonk down a Good Article tag for no other reason than WP:ILIKEIT. Alas, the standards for retaining this pretty green trinket have tightened over the year; in the present regime, someone unassociated with writing this article (a reviewer) should examine the article with respect to the good article criteria and, on the various standards cited, expresses up, down, or neutral sentiments, plus an aggregate sentiment, upon which retaining the pretty little trinket relies. By posting this remark here, I'm not suggesting that the article has gone bad or presently fails the criteria, but I am noting the absence of a review that is a hallmark of the present process, and, in the fullness of time, a review should be performed on this article. With the absence of a review, this article is a delisting candidate. Note that, for an editor to delist this article, the due-diligence of a good article review is required so that specific reasons for delisting can be given by the dislisting editor; anything short of that is unfair to editors who contribute to this article regularly and in good faith. Drop any questions about this on my talk page. Take care — Gosgood 13:49, 27 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

why is it called "Nobiin"?[edit]

hi im nubian from egypt and i never heard anyone call our dialect "nobiin", im not sure how to write it in english but its kinda like fidjica, so we call ourselves fidjicawiya.--195.229.235.41 (talk) 20:18, 28 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, thank you for stopping by! Fiadidja/Fiadicca is listed as a term corresponding to one dialect of Nobiin (the other is Mahas). As the article has it (based on Werner's grammar of the language), "Nobiin" is the genitive form of Nòòbíí "Nubian" and literally means "(language) of the Nubians". Nobiin is thus used as an umbrella term for both the Mahas and Fiadicca dialects. Does that help? — mark 09:39, 18 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does this meet GA criteria?[edit]

The list is missing a lot of references and may not meet the GA criteria anymore. The history section is completely unreferenced and many others as well.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 19:21, 7 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you wanted to do an indiviual assessment and delist, i doubt anyone would disagree that this article doesn#t meet current GA criteria.YobMod 06:43, 8 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well I wanted to point this out here first so any watching users could see what could be done. Isn't there an effort to keep this GA?--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 16:26, 8 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With nearly a year since the ladt talk page post, and a not so active project, i doubt it. I would {{GA request}} at the top of this page, and wait a reasonable time - if no one comes forth with a plan to improve, then reassess.YobMod 16:45, 8 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good article reassesment[edit]

See Wikipedia:Good article reassessment/Nobiin language/1.

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Nobiin language/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article is a GA already. --Meno25 01:34, 6 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Last edited at 01:34, 6 January 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 01:22, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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Possibly illegal forms in examples[edit]

In the subsection Vowels in section Phonology, example forms like bálé seem to directly contradict the legal phonotactics rules listed right above. Can someone address this? Is this a typo, or is the phonotactics wrong? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 159.118.173.88 (talk) 03:38, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]