Sokna language

Sokna (also Sawknah, Sukna; native name: Tasuknit[3]) is a presumably extinct Eastern Berber language which was spoken in the town of Sokna (Isuknan) and the village of Fuqaha in northeastern Fezzan in Libya. According to Václav Blažek (1999), Sokna was also spoken in the oasis of Tmessa.[4]

Native toLibya
Extinct(date missing)[1]
  • Sokna
  • Fezzan (Foqaha, Tmessa)
Language codes
ISO 639-3swn

The most extensive and recent materials on it are Sarnelli (1924)[5] for Sokna and Paradisi (1963)[6] for El-Fogaha. Both articles report that the language was spoken only by a handful of old people at the time, so it is generally presumed to be extinct.

Aikhenvald & Militarev (1984) and Blench (2006) consider Sokna and Fezzan to be separate languages. Blench lists Tmessa and Al-Foqaha as dialects of Fezzan.


  1. Sokna at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. Endangered Languages Project data for Sawknah.
  3. Linguasfera: Tamazic (Berber)(catalan) Llengües, Literatures i Cultures del Món, [LLCM], Retrieved the 27 October 2015
  4. Václav Blažek, "Numerals: Comparative-etymological Analyses of Numeral Systems and Their Implications : Saharan, Nubian, Egyptian, Berber, Kartvelian, Uralic, Altaic and Indo-European Languages", in: Filozofická Fakulta: Opera Universitatis Masarykianae vol. 332, p. 57, Facultas Philosophica - Masarykova Univerzita Brno, 1999 (ISBN 9788021020702)
  5. Sarnelli, Tommaso. 1924. "Il dialetto berbero di Sokna: Materiali lessicali, testi manoscritti in caratteri arabi, con trascrizione e traduzione", in Supplemento all'Africa Italiana.
  6. Paradisi, Umberto. 1963. "Il linguaggio berbero di El-Fogaha (Fezzan)". Istituto Orientale di Napoli XIII. 93-126.

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