Asa language

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Region Tanzania
Ethnicity Asa people
Extinct mid 20th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aas
Glottolog aasa1238[1]

The Asa (Aasá) language, commonly rendered Aasax, was spoken by the Asa people of Tanzania.[2] The language is extinct; ethnic Assa in northern Tanzania remember only a few words they overheard their elders use, and none have ever used it themselves. Little is known of the language; what is recorded was probably Aasa lexical words used in a register of Maasai, rather like the mixed language Mbugu.

Asa is usually classified as Cushitic, most closely related to Kw'adza. However, it might have retained a non-Cushitic layer from an earlier language shift, and might be best left unclassified.[3]


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Asax". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ "Aasáx - MultiTree". 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  3. ^ "Towards a new classification of African languages", Linguistic Contribution to the History of Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Lyons
  • Petrollino, Sara & Maarten Mous, 2010, Recollecting Words and Expressions in Aasá, a Dead Language in Tanzania

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