Berta language

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Berta
Gebeto
Native to Sudan, Ethiopia
Region Benishangul-Gumuz
Ethnicity Berta people, Wetawit
Native speakers
190,000 all Berta in Ethiopia  (2007 census)[1]
22,000 (undated) in Sudan
Language codes
ISO 639-3 wti (all Berta languages)
Glottolog bert1248[2]

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.

Pronouns[edit]

The pronouns of Berta are as follows:

Topic Postverbal subject Postverbal object
I àl(ì) -lɪ́ɪ̀ -ɟì
you (sg.) (à)ŋɡó -ŋó -ŋɡó
he, she, it ɲìnè -né ɲìnè, -né
we χàtâŋ -ŋàa χàtâŋ
you (pl.) χàtú χátú χàtú
they mèrée mérée mèrée

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Berta at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Berta". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.