|Native to||Sudan, Ethiopia|
|Ethnicity||Berta people, Wetawit|
|190,000 all Berta in Ethiopia (2007 census)
22,000 (undated) in Sudan
|ISO 639-3||wti (all Berta languages)|
Berta, AKA Wetawit, is spoken by the Berta (also Bertha, Barta, Burta) in Sudan and Ethiopia. It is a language isolate which has been also included as branch of the proposed Nilo-Saharan language family. It has the typical word order subject–verb–object. It is a tonal language. It has significantly influenced some of the Eastern Jebel languages. The Arabic name "Beni-Shangul" (as in the Ethiopian province of Benishangul-Gumuz) derives from a Berta expression (with bele "rock/stone" misanalyzed as Arabic beni "sons"). Berta has several dialects (some quite divergent) including: Bake, Dabuso, Gebeto, Mayu, and Shuru. Fadashi and Undu are divergent enough to be considered separate languages, in which case the dialect name Gebeto may be used for the rest of Berta.
The pronouns of Berta are as follows:
|Topic||Postverbal subject||Postverbal object|
|he, she, it||ɲìnè||-né||ɲìnè, -né|
- Torben Andersen. "Aspects of Berta phonology". Afrika und Übersee 76: pp. 41–80.
- Torben Andersen. "Absolutive and Nominative in Berta". ed. Nicolai & Rottland, Fifth Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium. Nice, 24–29 August 1992. Proceedings. (Nilo-Saharan 10). Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. 1995. pp. 36–49.
- M. Lionel Bender. "Berta Lexicon". In Bender (ed.), Topics in Nilo-Saharan Linguistics (Nilo-Saharan 3), pp. 271–304. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag 1989.
- E. Cerulli. "Three Berta dialects in western Ethiopia", Africa, 1947.
- Susanne Neudorf & Andreas Neudorf: Bertha - English - Amharic Dictionary. Addis Ababa: Benishangul-Gumuz Language Development Project 2007.
- A. N. Tucker & M. A. Bryan. Linguistic Analyses: The Non-Bantu Languages of North-Eastern Africa. London: Oxford University Press 1966.
- A. Triulzi, A. A. Dafallah, and M. L. Bender. "Berta". In Bender (ed.), The Non-Semitic Languages of Ethiopia. East Lansing, Michigan: African Studies Center, Michigan State University 1976, pp. 513–532.
- "Map of the Berta language", LL-MAP website
- World Atlas of Language Structures information on Berta
- Website maintained by the language community, including published literature and an online dictionary
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