Berta languages

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Ethiopia, Sudan
Linguistic classification: Nilo-Saharan?
  • Berta
ISO 639-3: wti
Glottolog: bert1248[1]

The Berta languages, or Wetawit, traditionally considered dialects of a single language, are Gebeto (Berta proper), Fadashi, and Undu. They are either a small family (or language isolate) of their own, or a primary branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family.

Berta 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").


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Berta". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.