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1. a native or inhabitant of Nubia, an ancient region of NE Africa
2. the language spoken by the people of Nubia



the language of the Nile Nubians, spoken in the northern Sudan and in Egypt by 1.5 million people (1970, estimate). Nubian belongs to the Chari-Nile branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages. The Nubian hill dialects of Kordofan (Midobi, Birked) and the languages of the Nubians in the Darfur region are related to Nubian.

Nubian consists of two dialect groups: Mahass-Fadija and Dongola-Kenuzi. Nubian and Meroitic are practically the only two ancient languages of Africa—with the exception of the Hamito-Semitic languages of Africa—that developed a writing system. When Nubia adopted Christianity, a Nubian alphabet (with written records dating from the eighth through 14th centuries) was devised from the Coptic alphabet. This first Nubian alphabet was later replaced by a writing system based on Arabic script. The ancient Nubian language is directly ancestral of the modern dialect of Mahass-Fadija.

Nubian is an inflectional language; it is characterized by internal inflection and suffixation. Most stems are monosyllabic. Nouns have three cases. Sandhi is common. The usual word order is subject-object-verb. Nubian grammar and, especially, vocabulary have been heavily influenced by Arabic.


Lepsius, R. Nubische Grammatik Berlin, 1880.
Zyhlarz, E. Grundzüge der nubischen Grammatik im christlichen Frühmittelalter. Leipzig, 1928.


References in periodicals archive ?
As the first Nubian culture to acquire complex pharaonic religious culture and express it unequivocally in art, A-Group has caused considerable difficulty for Egyptologists and Nubiologists alike.
The UK's Guardian newspaper quoted Adul Raouf Mohammed, a Nubian store manager, as saying the song's reference was "insulting in any culture".
The high frequency of Leishmania DNA--positive samples in the Nubian mummies (12.
And because the Nubian language was an unwritten one for most of that time, its civilization is often seen through an Egyptian filter.
The Nubian and successive Muslim governments in Egypt maintained an uneasy truce for seven centuries, during which bands of Arabs infiltrated into the southern areas of the Nubian kingdoms as merchants, miners, pilgrims or nomads.
They have now been classified as Naja nubiae or Nubian spitting cobras,'' said Dr Wuster.
His Highness Sheik Saad Al-Abdalla Al Salem Al-Sabah, Crown Prince of Kuwait, is said to be the mystery buyer of the brown Anglo Nubian goats called Tyegronon Atom and Tyegronon Zealand.
Beautiful and vengeful best describes the lead character Paris Hightower in 'A Breath Away From Sleep' by Edward Nubian James.
Cathexis cites the following behaviors -- heretofore considered unremarkable by psychiatrists -- as evidence of Napoleon's borderline personality disorder: his frequent screaming fits when his wife Josephine refused to spoon-feed him at state dinners; his reckless impulsiveness, evidenced by reports that the diminutive commander snuck up behind his lieutenants with a tiding crop and a croissant and delivered what he called "les tromps de la guerre;" his fear of being abandoned and unloved, which predictably enough caused lifelong bedwetting and an urge to control everybody, everywhere, all the time; and his periodic delusions of grandeur, during which he repeatedly claimed to be a 6'8" Nubian goat herder sent to France on a secret mission for the Sun God.
The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced the release of the first 60 Nubian Ibexes on last Thursday into the Wadi Rum nature reserve in Jordan, as part of the Nubian Ibex Reintroduction and Release Programme of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
An older Nubian man, Haj Nasser Al-Nouby, explains that many of them now host tourists for work, whether in the summer or winter.
Over the course of the twentieth century, the Nubian people were resettled several times to make way for dams on the river Nile.