Hobyót language

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Pronunciation [həwbjʉːt]
Native to Oman, Yemen
Native speakers
100 in Oman  (1998)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 hoh
Glottolog hoby1242[2]

Hobyót (also known as Hewbyót or Hobi) is an endangered Semitic language spoken in a small area of Oman and neighboring Yemen.[3] It is spoken by the Hobyót people, with numbers of less than one hundred speakers.

General Info[edit]

Hobyót (ISO 639-3) is a Modern South Arabian language, a subgroup of the semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. There are six official Modern South Arabian languages; the other five are Mehri, Soqotri, Bathari, Harsusi, and Jibbali. While Hobyót is linguistically similar to Mehri and Jibbali, there are currently no known dialects of Hobyot.[4] Of all the Modern South Arabian languages, Hobyót is the least studied. Linguists first came across Hobyót in the field in 1984. [5] Furthermore, it is difficult for linguists to record and produce a clear linguistic description of Hobyót, as it is hard to come by in pure form. Even native speakers of Hobyót incorporate Mehri into their everyday speech. There are about 100 Hobyòt speakers in Oman and, when linguists doing fieldwork in Yemen inquired about the number of speakers, their informants guessed a speaking population of under 400 speakers.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hobyót at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Hobyot". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  4. ^ Lonnet, Antoine. 1985. "The Modern South Arabian Languages in the P.D.R. of Yemen." Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Vol.15
  5. ^ Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude. 2013. "Mehri and Hobyót spoken in Oman and in Yemen." Sciences de l'Homme et de la Societe HAL.
  6. ^ Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude. 2013. "Mehri and Hobyót spoken in Oman and in Yemen." Sciences de l'Homme et de la Societe HAL.


Nakano, Aki'o. 2013. Hobyót (Oman) Vocabulary with example texts.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Arnold, Werner. 1993. “Zur Position des Hóbyót in den neusüdarabischen Sprachen.” Zeitschrift Fur Arabische Linguistik
  • Donohue, Mark. 1998. "Fieldwork Reports 16.” Foundation for Endangered Languages
  • Elie, Serge D. 2012. "Cultural Accommodation to State Incorporation in Yemen: Language Replacement on Soqotra Island." Journal of Arabian Studies 2, no. 1
  • J.C.E., Watson. “Yemen Language Situation.” Encyclopedia Of Language And Linguistics, 14-Volume Set
  • Kaye, Alan S. 2003. “Semitic Linguistics in the New Millenium.” Journal Of The American Oriental Society 123, no. 4
  • Liebhaber, Sam. 2010. "Rhythm and Beat: Re-evaluating Arabic Prosody in the Light of Mahri Oral Poetry." Journal of Semitic studies 55, no. 1
  • Morris, Miranda. 2012. “The Mehri Language of Oman.” Journal Of The American Oriental Society 132, no. 3
  • Peterson, John E. 2004. "Oman's diverse society: Southern Oman." The Middle East Journal 58, no. 2

External Links[edit]

Hobyót at Endangered Languages Project