Gumuz language

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Gumuz
B'aga
Native to Ethiopia, Sudan
Region Benishangul-Gumuz Region; Amhara Region; Blue Nile Province
Ethnicity Gumuz
Native speakers
180,000 in Ethiopia (2007 census)[1]
40,000 in Sudan (no date)[2]
Dialects
  • Northern
  • Southern
  • Yaso
Ethiopic, Latin (in Ethiopia)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 guk
Glottolog gumu1244[3]
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Gumuz (also spelled Gumaz) is a dialect cluster spoken along the border of Ethiopia and Sudan. It has been tentatively classified within the Nilo-Saharan family. Most Ethiopian speakers live in Kamashi Zone and Metekel Zone of the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, although a group of 1,000 reportedly live outside the town of Welkite (Unseth 1989). The Sudanese speakers live in the area east of Er Roseires, around Famaka and Fazoglo on the Blue Nile, extending north along the border.[2]

An early record of this language is a wordlist from the Mount Guba area compiled in February 1883 by Juan Maria Schuver.[4]

Varieties[edit]

Varieties are not all mutually intelligible. By that standard, there are two or three Gumuz languages. Grammatical forms are distinct between northern and southern Gumuz.[5]

Daats'iin, discovered in 2013, is clearly a distinct language, though closest to southern Gumuz.

Ethnologue lists Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma as Gumuz dialects, with Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma forming a dialect cluster.

Phonology[edit]

Gumuz has both ejective consonants and implosives. The implosive quality is being lost at the velar point of articulation in some dialects (Unseth 1989). There is a series of palatal consonants, including both ejective and implosive. In some dialects, e.g. Sirba, there is a labialized palatalized bilabial stop, as in the word for 'rat' [bʲʷa] (Unseth 1989).

Tones are high and low, with downstep.[6]

Grammar[edit]

Word order is AVO, with marked nominative case, though there is AOV order in the north, probably from Amharic influence .

In intransitive clauses, subjects in S–V order are unmarked, whereas those in V–S order are marked for nominative case.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ethiopia 2007 Census
  2. ^ a b Gumuz language at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gumuz". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Wendy James, et al., Juan Maria Schuver's Travels in North East Africa, 1880-1883 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1996), pp. 340-43
  5. ^ Ahland, Colleen Anne. 2004. "Linguistic variation within Gumuz: a study of the relationship between historical change and intelligibility." M.A. thesis. University of Texas at Arlington.
  6. ^ a b Colleen Ahland, 2012. "A Grammar of Northern and Southern Gumuz", Doctoral Dissertation, University of Oregon.

References[edit]

  • Ahland, Colleen Anne. A Grammar of Northern and Southern Gumuz. Doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon.
  • Dimmendaal, Gerrit J., 2000. "Number marking and noun categorization in Nilo- Saharan languages". Anthrolopological Linguistics 42:214-261.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ahland, Colleen Anne. 2004. "Linguistic variation within Gumuz: a study of the relationship between historical change and intelligibility." M.A. thesis. University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Colleen Ahland. 2011. Noun incorporation and predicate classifiers in Gumuz
  • Bender, M. Lionel. 1979. Gumuz: a sketch of grammar and lexicon. Afrika und Übersee 62: 38-69.
  • Unseth, Peter. 1985. "Gumuz: a dialect survey report." Journal of Ethiopian Studies 18: 91-114.
  • Unseth, Peter. 1989. "Selected aspects of Gumuz phonology." In Taddese Beyene (ed.), Proceedings of the eighth International Conference on Ethiopian Studies, vol. 2, 617-32. Addis Ababa: Institute of Ethiopian Studies.
  • Uzar, Henning. 1993. Studies in Gumuz: Sese phonology and TMA system. In Topics in Nilo-Saharan linguistics, edited by M.L. Bender. Hamburg: Helmut Buske: 347-383.
  • World Atlas of Language Structures information on Gumuz
  • Website maintained by the Gumuz language community with published literature in the language

External links[edit]