Omotic languages

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Omotic
Geographic
distribution
Ethiopia
Linguistic classificationAfro-Asiatic
  • Omotic
Subdivisions
  • North Omotic
  • South Omotic
  • ISO 639-5omv
    GlottologNone
    Omotic languages german.svg
    Omotic languages:
    Neighboring languages:

    The Omotic languages are group of languages spoken in southwestern Ethiopia. The Ge'ez script is used to write some of the Omotic languages, the Latin script for some others. They are fairly agglutinative and have complex tonal systems (for example, the Bench language). The languages have around 6.2 million speakers. The group is generally classified as belonging to the Afroasiatic language family, but this is disputed by some.

    Four separate "Omotic" groups are accepted by Glottolog 4.0 and Güldemann (2018): Ta-Ne-Omotic, Dizoid (Maji), Mao, and Aroid ("South Omotic").[1]

    Languages[edit]

    The North and South Omotic branches ("Nomotic" and "Somotic") are universally recognized, with some dispute as to the composition of North Omotic. The primary debate is over the placement of the Mao languages. Bender (2000) classifies Omotic languages as follows:

    Apart from terminology, this differs from Fleming (1976) in including the Mao languages, whose affiliation had originally been controversial, and in abolishing the "Gimojan" group.[clarification needed] There are also differences in the subclassification of Ometo, which is not covered here.

    Hayward (2003)[edit]

    Hayward (2003) separates out the Mao languages as a third branch of Omotic and breaks up Ometo–Gimira:

    Blench (2006)[edit]

    Blench (2006) gives a more agnostic classification:[2]

    Bosha† is unclassified; Ethnologue lists it as a dialect of Kafa but notes it may be a distinct language.

    Classification[edit]

    Omotic is generally considered the most divergent branch of the Afroasiatic languages. Greenberg (1963) had classified it as the Western branch of Cushitic. Fleming (1969) argued that it should instead be classified as an independent branch of Afroasiatic, a view which Bender (1971) established to most linguists' satisfaction,[3] though a few linguists maintain the West Cushitic position[4] or that only South Omotic forms a separate branch, with North Omotic remaining part of Cushitic. Blench (2006) notes that Omotic shares honey-related vocabulary with the rest of Afroasiatic but not cattle-related vocabulary, suggesting that the split occurred before the advent of pastoralism. A few scholars have raised doubts that the Omotic languages are part of the Afroasiatic language family at all,[5][6] and Theil (2006) proposes that Omotic be treated as an independent family.[7] However, the general consensus, based primarily on morphological evidence, is that membership in Afroasiatic is well established.[8][9][10]

    Glottolog[edit]

    Hammarström, et al. in Glottolog does not consider Omotic to be a unified group, and also does not consider any of the "Omotic" groups to be part of the Afroasiatic phylum. Glottolog accepts the following as independent language families.

    These four families are also accepted by Güldemann (2018), who similarly doubts the validity of Omotic as a unified group.[1]

    Reconstruction[edit]

    Bender (1987: 33-35)[11] reconstructs the following proto-forms for Proto-Omotic and Proto-North Omotic, the latter which is considered to have descended from Proto-Omotic.

    English gloss Proto-
    Omotic
    Proto-North
    Omotic
    ashes *bend
    bird *kaf
    bite *sats’
    breast *t’iam
    claw *ts’ugum
    die *hayk’
    dog *kan
    egg *ɓul
    fire *tam
    grass *maata
    hand *kuc
    head *to-
    hear *si-
    mouth *non-
    nose *si(n)t’
    root *ts’ab-
    snake *šooš
    stand (vb.) *yek’
    this *kʰan-
    thou (2.SG) *ne(n)
    water *haats’
    we (1.PL) *nu(n)
    ye (2.PL) *int-
    green *c’il-
    house *kyet
    left *hadr-
    elephant *daŋgVr
    sister, mother *ind
    armpit *šoɓ-
    boat *gong-
    grave *duuk
    vomit *c’oš-

    Comparative vocabulary[edit]

    Sample basic vocabulary of 40 Omotic languages from Blažek (2008):[12]

    Language eye ear nose tooth tongue mouth blood bone tree water eat name
    Basketo af waytsi sints ačči B ɪnts'ɨrs no·na suuts mεk'εts B mɪts B waːtse A moy- B sumsa
    Dokka af waytsi si·nts ačči ɨrs'ɪns no·na su·ts mik'әts mittse wa·tsi m- suntsa
    Male ’aːpi waizi sied‘i ’ači ’ɪndɪrsi daŋka sugutsi mεgεtsi mitsi waːtsi mo- sunsi
    Wolaita ayf-iya; A ayp'-iya haytta sir-iya acca; A acc'a int'arsa doona suutta; Ch maččamié mek'etta mitta hatta m- sunta
    Kullo ayp'-iya haytsa siid'-iya acc'a ins'arsa doona sutsa mek'etsa barzap'-iya hatsa m- sutta
    Cancha ayp'e hayts sire acc‘a ins‘arsa doona suts mek'etsa mits haats m- sunts
    Malo ’áɸe hʌ́je síd'e ’áčʰә ’irɪ́nts dɔ́nʌ sútsʰ mεk‘ɨ́ts‘ mɪ́ts ’átsә m- sʊns
    Gofa ayp'e haytsa siide acc'a intsarsa doona sutsa mek'etta mitsa hatse m- suntsa
    Zala ayfe (h)aytsa sid'e ačča int'arsa duna tsutsa mitsa hatsa maa-
    Gamu ayp'e haytsa siire acc'a ins'arsa doona suuts mek'ets mitsa hatse m- sunts
    Dache ayfe hayts'e siyd'e acé ɪntsεrs duna suts mek'ets šara hatse m- sunts
    Dorze ayp'e waye sire acc'a ins'arsa duuna suts mek'etsa mits haats m- sunts
    Oyda ápe, ayfe B haːye sid'e ’ač, pl. o·či iláns B doːna suts mεk'εts mɪns'a haytsi mu’- suntsu
    Zayse ’áaɸε waayέ kuŋké ’acc' ints'έrε baadέ súuts' mεk'έεte mits'a wáats'i m- č'úuč'e
    Zergulla ’aːɸe wai kuŋki ’ac'e ’insәre haː’e suːts nεkεtε mintsa waːtse m- suːns
    Ganjule ’áaɸε waašέ kuŋkε gaggo ints'úrε baadέ súuts' mεk'έtε mits'i waats'i m- ts'únts'i
    Gidicho ’áaɸε waašέ kuŋké gaggo ints'úrε baadέ súuts'i mεk'εte míts'i wáats'i m- ts'únts'i
    Kachama ’áaɸε uwaašέ kuŋkέ gaggo ints'úrε baadέ súuts'ε mέk‘έtee mits'i wáats'i m- ts'únts'i
    Koyra ’áɸε waayέ siid'ε gaggo ’únts'úrε ’áaša súuts' mεk‘έεte míts'e; Ce akka wáats'e múuwa súuntsi
    Chara áːpa wóːya sínt'u áč'a ’íns'ila noːná súːta mertá mítsa áːs'a ḿ-na sumá
    Bench ap (h)ay sint' gaš; san eyts' non sut mert inč so’ m’ sum
    She af ai sint' gaš ets' non sut mεrt enc so’ mma sum
    Yemsa aafa; kema odo siya a’ya terma noono anna mega i’o aka me suna
    Bworo aawa waaza šint'a gaša albeera noona ts'atts'a mak'әttsa mitta aatsa maa- šuutsa
    Anfillo aːfo waːjo šiːnto gaːššo εrɪːtso nɔːno ts'antso šaušo mɪːtso yuːro m šiːgo
    Kafa affo, aho wammo; kendo muddo gašo eč'iyo nono; koko dammo šawušo met'o ač'o mammo; č‘okko šiggo
    Mocha á·p̱o wa·mmo šit'ó gášo häč'awo no·no damo ša·wúšo mit'ó à·č'o ma̱·(hä) šəgo
    Dizi ab-u aːi sin-u ažu yabɪl εd-u yεrm-u us wɪč aːi m- sɪm-u
    Shako áːb aːy B sɪnt' áːč'u érb eːd yärm uːsu íːnču áːy m̥̀- suːm
    Nayi ’aːf B haːy si.n B acu B yalb eːdu yarbm ’uːs B incus B hai m- suːm
    Mao áːfέ wáːlέ šíːnt'έ àːts'ὲ ánts'ílὲ pɔ́ːnsὲ hándέ máːlt‘έ ’íːntsὲ hàːtsὲ hà míjà jèːškέ
    Seze aːb, áːwi wέὲ šíːnté háːts'έ, haːnsì jántsílὲ/ t'agál waːndè hámbìlὲ bàk‘ílí ’innsì háːns'ì máːmɔ́ nìːší
    Hozo abbi wεεra šini ats'i S wìntə́lә waandi hambilε bak‘ilε S ’íːnti haani maa iiši
    Dime ’afe, ’aɸe k'aːme nʊkʊ F baŋgɪl; ɪts; kәsɪl ’ɨdәm ’afe; B ’app- maχse; F dzumt k‘oss; F k‘ʊs ’aχe; B haːɣo naχe; B nәːɣ- ’ɨčɨn mɨze; F naːb
    Hamer api, afi k'a(ː)m- nuki ’ats' ’ad’ab ap- zum’i leːfi ak'- noko kʊm- nam-
    Banna afi k'ami nuki atsi adʌb/adɪm afa zump'i lεfi ɑhaka/haːk'a noko its-; kum- na(a)bi
    Karo afi k'ami nuki asi attәp' M ’apo mәk'әs lefi aka nuk'o isidi
    Ari afi k'ami nuki atsi; B kasel geegi adim afa zom’i lεfi ahaka noɣa; B nɔk'ɔ its- nami
    Ubamer a·fi ɣ/k'a·mi nuki atsi admi afa mək'əs ~ -ɣ- lεfí aɣa luk'a, luɣa ’its- na·mi
    Galila a·fi k'a·mi nuki ači admi afa mәk'әs lεfí aɣa/aháɣa lu·ɣa/lo·ɣa ič- la·mi

    See also[edit]

    Notes[edit]

    1. ^ a b Güldemann, Tom (2018). "Historical linguistics and genealogical language classification in Africa". In Güldemann, Tom (ed.). The Languages and Linguistics of Africa. The World of Linguistics series. 11. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 58–444. doi:10.1515/9783110421668-002. ISBN 978-3-11-042606-9.
    2. ^ Blench, 2006. The Afro-Asiatic Languages: Classification and Reference List
    3. ^ Hayward (2000:85)
    4. ^ Lamberti (1991), Zaborksi (1986)
    5. ^ I. M. Diakonoff (1998) Journal of Semitic Studies 43:209: "It is quite evident that cultural ties between Proto-Semitic and the African branches of the Afrasian macrofamily must have been severed at a very early date indeed. However, the grammatical structure of [Common Semitic] (especially in the verb) is obviously close to that of Common Berbero-Libyan (CBL), as well as to Bedauye. (Bedauye might, quite possibly, be classified as a family distinct from the rest of Kushitic.) The same grammatical isoglosses are somewhat more feebly felt between Semitic and (the other?) Kushitic languages. They practically disappear between the Semitic and the Omotic languages, which were formerly termed Western Kushitic, but which actually may not be Afrasian at all, like their neighbours the Nubian languages and Meroitic."
    6. ^ Newman (1980)
    7. ^ Rolf Theil (2006) Is Omotic Afro-Asiatic? pp 1–2: "I claim to show that no convincing arguments have been presented [for the inclusion of Omotic (OM) in Afro-Asiatic (AA)], and that OM should be regarded as an independent language family. No closer genetic relations have been demonstrated between OM and AA than between OM and any other language family."
    8. ^ Gerrit Dimmendaal (2008) "Language Ecology and Linguistic Diversity on the African Continent", in Language and Linguistics Compass 2/5:841: "Although its Afroasiatic affiliation has been disputed, the allocation of Omotic within this family is now well-established, based on the attestation of morphological properties that this family shares with other Afroasiatic branches."
    9. ^ Ehret, Christopher (2010-12-17). History and the Testimony of Language. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-94759-7.
    10. ^ Lecarme, Jacqueline (2003-01-01). Research in Afroasiatic Grammar Two. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 978-90-272-4753-7.
    11. ^ Bender, Lionel M. 1987. "First Steps Toward proto-Omotic." Current Approaches to African Linguistics 3 (1987): 21-36.
    12. ^ Blažek, Václav. 2008. A lexicostatistical comparison of Omotic languages. In Bengtson (ed.), 57–148.

    Sources cited[edit]

    • Bender, M. Lionel. 2000. Comparative Morphology of the Omotic Languages. Munich: LINCOM.
    • Fleming, Harold. 1976. Omotic overview. In The Non-Semitic Languages of Ethiopia, ed. by M. Lionel Bender, pp. 299–323. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University.
    • Newman, Paul. 1980. The classification of Chadic within Afroasiatic. Universitaire Pers Leiden.

    General Omotic bibliography[edit]

    • Bender, M. L. 1975. Omotic: a new Afroasiatic language family. (University Museum Series, 3.) Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University.
    • Blench, Roger. 2006. Archaeology, Language, and the African Past. AltaMira Press
    • Hayward, Richard J., ed. 1990. Omotic Language Studies. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.
    • Hayward, Richard J. 2003. Omotic: the "empty quarter" of Afroasiatic linguistics. In Research in Afroasiatic Grammar II: selected papers from the fifth conference on Afroasiatic languages, Paris 2000, ed. by Jacqueline Lecarme, pp. 241–261. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    • Lamberti, Marcello. 1991. Cushitic and its classification. Anthropos 86(4/6):552-561.
    • Zaborski, Andrzej. 1986. Can Omotic be reclassified as West Cushitic? In Gideon Goldenberg, ed., Ethiopian Studies: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference pp. 525–530. Rotterdam: Balkema.

    External links[edit]