Midob
Meidob
Native toSudan
RegionNorth Darfur
EthnicityMidob
Native speakers
93,000 (2022)[1]
Dialects
  • Uurti
  • Shalkota
  • Kaageddi
Language codes
ISO 639-3mei
Glottologmido1240

Midob (also spelt Meidob) is a Nubian language spoken by the Midob people of North Darfur region of Sudan. As a Nubian language, it is part of the wider Nilo-Saharan language family.

Apart from in their homeland of Malha, North Darfur, Midob speakers also live in the Khartoum area (primarily in Omdurman and the Gezira region) and Jezirat Aba.[2] The Midob people call their language tìd-n-áal, literally "mouth of the Midob", and themselves tìddí (singular), tìd (plural). There are an estimated 50,000 Midob speakers in two main dialects, Urrti and Kaageddi. Rilly (2010:162) lists the dialects of Urrti, Shalkota, and Torti. Only Uurti has been described in detail.

Recent research on Midob has been done by Thelwall (1983) and Werner (1993). Both studies concerned the Urrti dialect.

Phonology

The following tables show the phonological consonants and vowels without phonetic variations and without more recent Arabic loans.

Vowels

i, ii   u, uu
e, ee ə, əə o, oo
  a, aa  

Note: All vowels occur long and short. The mid central vowel ə only appears in Midob, not in other Nubian languages.

Consonants

Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ g  
Fricative f s ʃ   h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ  
Approximant w l j    
Trill r

Tone

Midob is a tonal language with two registers: High and Low. Tone is both lexical and grammatical.

Lexical tone
àadí we (exclusive)
áadí stick
àadì light
Grammatical tone
you (sgl obj)
him, her

Grammar

Midob is an agglutinative language, like the other Nubian languages. The default word order is SOV.

Verb

The verbs consist of:

verbal stem ( + extension ) + tense/aspect.

The stem is not altered. Extensions modify or add meaning to the verb like negation, intention, affirmation, completed action, plurality of subject–object or action, durative, habitual and sometimes can be combined (especially negation).

Tense and aspect

Midob has two basic tenses (Perfect and Continuous) plus Intentional. There are sets of suffixes for indicative, subjunctive and two question forms (to ask for a fact, i.e. "When/Why..." and to verify a fact, i.e. "Did you...").

Sets of personal endings:

  Indicative Subjunctive Question1 Question2
Perfect x x x x
Continuous   x x x x
Intentional x

References

  1. ^ Midob at Ethnologue (27th ed., 2024) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Rilly, Claude. 2010. Le méroïtique et sa famille linguistique. Leuven: Peeters Publishers. ISBN 978-9042922372