El Molo language

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El Molo
Native to Kenya
Region Lake Turkana
Ethnicity 2,800 (2009 census)[1]
Native speakers
8 (1994)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 elo
Glottolog elmo1238[2]

El Molo is a possibly extinct language belonging to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It was spoken by the El Molo people on the southeastern shore of Lake Turkana, in northern Kenya. It was thought to be extinct in the middle part of the 20th century, but a few speakers were found in the later 20th century.[1] However, it may now be truly extinct, as the eight speakers found in a survey published in 1994 were over 50.[citation needed] Most of the El Molo population have shifted to the neighboring Samburu language.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d El Molo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "El Molo". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Heine, Bernd. 1980. Elmolo. In Heine, Bernd (ed.), The Non-Bantu Languages of Kenya, 173-218. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer.
  • Heine, Bernd. 1972/73. Vokabulare ostafrikanischer Restsprachen, 1: Elmolo. Afrika und Übersee 56. 276-283.
  • Scherrer, Carol. 1974. Effects of western influence on Elmolo, 1973-74. (Discussion papers from the Inst. of African Studies (IAS), 61.) Nairobi: University of Nairobi.
  • Tosco, Mauro. 2012. What Terminal Speakers Can Do to Their Language: the Case of Elmolo. In Corriente, Federico and Gregorio del Olmo Lete and Vicente, Ángeles and Vita, Juan-Pablo (eds.), Dialectology of the Semitic Languages. Proceedings of the IV Meeting on Comparative Semitics, Zaragoza, 131-143. Sabadell (Barcelona): Editorial AUSA.

External links[edit]