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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

16 - The Archaeological and Genetic Correlates of Amazigh Linguistics

from Part VI - Linguistic Aspects of Migration and Identity


This chapter is written in response to that of Christopher Ehret in this volume, aiming to show how the linguistic ‘family tree’ he sketches for the Tamazight, or Berber, language family might relate to the history of Amazigh peoples. This is, of course, a tall order. Any more than an impressionistic correlation between historical linguistics and archaeological evidence is going to fall straight into a series of perfectly well-known pitfalls: that language change does not necessarily imply massive invasions has been constantly repeated, not least by Colin Renfrew, while the various processes by which new languages or their variants may be diffused have been thoroughly theorised, a subset of the diffusion versus acculturation debate.

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