Asa language

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EthnicityAsa people
Language codes
ISO 639-3aas

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

The Aramanik (Laramanik) people once spoke Asa, but shifted to Nandi (as opposed to Maasai).


  • wataka - all
  • buʕurita - burn
  • dah - claw
  • ga - cloud
  • ki=te - die
  • wa-t--dog
  • rakaš-dry
  • yatara -drink
  • haǯa-t -earth
  • ʔag- ~ ʔag-im- - eat
  • ila-t - - eye
  • ʔoreʔ-ek -far
  • maʔa - water



  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Aasax". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ "Aasáx". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  3. ^ "Towards a new classification of African languages", Linguistic Contribution to the History of Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Lyons
  4. ^
  • Petrollino, Sara & Maarten Mous, 2010, Recollecting Words and Expressions in Aasá, a Dead Language in Tanzania

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