Dizin language

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Native toEthiopia
Native speakers
34,000 (2007 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mdx

Dizin (often called “Dizi” or “Maji” in the literature) is an Omotic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by the Dizi people, primarily in the Maji woreda of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region, located in southwestern Ethiopia.[3] The 2007 census listed 33,927 speakers.[4] A population of 17,583 was identified as monolinguals in 1994.[5]

The language has basic SOV (subject–object–verb) word order, tones, and is largely suffixing. Phonologically, "Features of the Dizin sound system include glottalized consonants, syllabic nasals, lengthened vowels, three phonemic tone levels and contour tones. Western Dizin has phonemic retroflex consonants. The glottal stop is analyzed as phonemic word initially before nasals, but not phonemic elsewhere". (Beachy 2005:iv)

Dizin, together with the Sheko and Nayi languages, is part of a cluster of languages variously called "Maji" or "Dizoid".


  1. ^ Ethiopia 2007 Census
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dizin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ The 1994 Population and Housing census of the SNNPR Region: Volume I, Part I, Table 2.15. According to Table 2.16, Dizin is second to Amharic in the number of speakers in the woreda's towns of Maji, Jeba and Tum.
  4. ^ Ethiopia 2007 Census
  5. ^ Raymond G. Gordon Jr., ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.


  • Allan, Edward. 1976. Dizi. In The Non-Semitic Languages of Ethiopia, M. Lionel Bender, ed., pp. 377–392. East Lansing, Michigan: African Studies Center, Michigan State University.
  • Beachy, Marvin Dean. 2005. An overview of Central Dizin phonology and morphology. M.A. thesis, University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Breeze, Mary. 1988. Phonological features of Gimira and Dizi. In Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst and Fritz Serzisko (eds.), Cushitic – Omotic: papers from the International Symposium on Cushitic and Omotic languages, Cologne, January 6–9, 1986, 473–487. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag.
  • Muldrow, William. 1976. Languages of the Maji area. In Language in Ethiopia, ed. by Bender, Bowen, Cooper, and Ferguson, pp. 603–607. Oxford University Press.

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