Hobyót language

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Pronunciation [həbjuːt, hoːbjoːt]
Native to Yemen, Oman
Native speakers
< 100 in Oman (1998)[1]
perhaps 400 in Yemen in 2007[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 hoh
Glottolog hoby1242[3]
Modern South Arabian Languages.svg

Hobyot (also known as Hewbyót or Hobi) is an endangered Semitic language spoken in a small area of Yemen and neighboring Oman.

Hobyot is a modern South Arabian language, a group of languages that are more closely related to Ethiopic languages than they are to Arabic. It is the least studied language of that group. There are no dialects of Hobyót, which is similar to the closely related languages Mehri and Jibbali.[4]

Linguists first mentioned Hobyot in 1981. A clear linguistic description of Hobyot is difficult, as many speakers mix Mehri into their speech around outsiders. There are about 100 Hobyot speakers in Oman, and speakers guess the population in Yemen is about 400.[2]


  1. ^ Hobyot at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  2. ^ a b Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude. 2013. "Mehri and Hobyót spoken in Oman and in Yemen." Sciences de l'Homme et de la Societe HAL.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Hobyot". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Lonnet, Antoine. 1985. "The Modern South Arabian Languages in the P.D.R. of Yemen." Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Vol.15


Nakano, Aki'o. 2013. Hobyót (Oman) Vocabulary with example texts.

Further reading[edit]

  • Arnold, Werner. 1993. “Zur Position des Hóbyót in den neusüdarabischen Sprachen.” Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik
  • Donohue, Mark. 1998. "Fieldwork Reports 16.” Foundation for Endangered Languages

External links[edit]