Xamtanga language

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Xamtanga
Xamir
Pronunciation ˈχamtaŋa
Native to Ethiopia
Region North Amhara Region
Native speakers
210,000 (2007 census)[1]
Afro-Asiatic
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xan
Glottolog xamt1239[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Xamtanga (also Agawinya, Khamtanga, Simt'anga, Xamir, Xamta) is a Central Cushitic language spoken in Ethiopia by the Xamir people.

Sound system[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Front Central Back
High i ɨ u
Mid vowel ə
Low vowel a

The central vowels /ɨ ə a/ have fronted and backed allophones, depending on the adjacent consonant(s).

Consonants[edit]

Labial Coronal Postalveolar
or palatal
Velar Uvular Glottal
Plain Labialized Plain Labialized
Plosives and
affricates
Voiceless t t͡ʃ k q
Voiced b d d͡ʒ ɡ ɡʷ
Ejective t͡ʃʼ kʷʼ
Fricatives Voiceless f s ʃ χ χʷ h*
Voiced z
Ejective
Nasals m n ŋ ŋʷ
Lateral l
Tap ɾ
Semivowels j w
  • /h/ is found only word-initial in loanwords, and may be glottal [h] or pharyngeal [ħ].
  • /t/ is alveolar before the vowel /i/, dental otherwise.
  • /q/ can be ejective [qʼ], and in some cases the ejectives appear to be in free variation with the voiceless plosives.

Phonological processes[edit]

Gemination[edit]

In positions other than word-initial, Xamtanga contrasts geminate and non-geminate consonants. With most consonants, the difference between a geminate and a non-geminate is simply one of length, but the cases of /b t q/ are more complex. When not word-initial, non-geminate /b/ is realized as a bilabial [β] or labiodental fricative [v], and /t/ and /q/ are realized as affricates: [tθ qχ]. Their geminate equivalents may be realized as prolonged [bː tː qː], or can simply be short [b t q].

In word-initial position, geminate consonants do not occur, and /b t q/ are realized as plosives.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ethiopia 2007 Census
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Xamtanga". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • D.L. Appleyard (1987). "A Grammatical Sketch of Khamtanga—I". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 50 (2): 241–266. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00049028. 
  • D.L. Appleyard (1987). "A Grammatical Sketch of Khamtanga—II". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 50 (3): 470–507. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00039471. 
  • Appleyard, David L. (1988) "A Definite Article in Xamtanga", African Languages and Cultures 1/1, pp. 15–24.
  • Appleyard, David L. (2006) A Comparative Dictionary of the Agaw Languages (Kuschitische Sprachstudien – Cushitic Language Studies Band 24). Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
  • Chloé Darmon, L'agäw xamtanga : une langue couchitique en contact avec l'amharique, In Pount. Cahiers d'études : Corne de l'Afrique - Arabie du Sud, 4, pp. 169–195, 2010