A Note on Transcription and Translation
In my 2010 grammar, I retained Johnstone’s very inconsistent transcription. In this volume, I have adhered to a much more rigorous system, though there is still some slight variation. My own transcription of the consonants is phonemic, though I allow for some small variation in the transcription of vowels, including epenthetic (non-phonemic) ǝ, allophonic a/ɛ, and allophonic final -ǝ́h, -īh, and -ēh. In citing Mehri words from other published sources and from Johnstone’s own manuscripts, I have usually altered the transcription to match my own, unless there is some specific reason not to.
A consonant in parentheses (e.g., (t)śɛ́mǝh in text 3:12 or (ð-)ṣ́ǝfōr in text 59:4), unless otherwise noted, indicates that it is not present in the Arabic-letter manuscript and is not pronounced; I include the parenthetical consonant as an aid to comprehension. Word stress is marked (with an acute accent) only when it falls on a short vowel within a polysyllabic word. See further on stress in § 2.3.
For the benefit of those using Johnstone’s Mehri Lexicon, I note the following differences between my transcription and his:
In earlier works, including my 2010 grammar of Mehri and my 2014 grammar of Jibbali, I used the symbol ź or ẓ́ instead of ṣ́, primarily to facilitate use and comparison with Johnstone’s dictionaries.
The translations of the texts are all my own, though there is naturally much similarity with the translations found in Stroomer (1999), nearly all of which came from Johnstone’s manuscripts.