Chapter in:Grammatical and Sociolinguistic Aspects of Ethiopian Languages
Edited by Derib Ado, Almaz Wasse Gelagay and Janne Bondi Johannessen †
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society 48] 2021
► pp. 1–12
The languages of Ethiopia
Aspects of the sociolinguistic profile
This book is part of the research work supported by the project Linguistic Capacity Building, tools for the inclusive development of Ethiopia (LCB), which has been working on the development of resources and training of human power involved in linguistic work. The works in this volume are papers presented at different international conferences including the 46 th North Atlantic Conference on Afroasiatic Linguistics, Long Beach, California from 1–3 June 2018 and the 20 th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Mekele, Ethiopia from 1–5 October 2018 with support from the LCB project. The researches focus on different languages in all the three language families in the Afro-Asiatic phyla, namely Cushitic and Omotic and a Nilotic language from the Nilo-Saharan phyla. This volume also included two papers on Ethiopian sign language, for which there are no prior publications in any of the microlinguistic fields.Ethiopia is home to more than 85 varieties of languages. There have been a lot of grammatical descriptions and other linguistic works produced as PhD dissertations and MA theses, mainly at Addis Ababa University. Nevertheless, most of the works by PhD students and staff remain unpublished. This volume is a contribution towards dissemination of linguistic research on Ethiopian languages conducted mostly by staff and PhD students in Ethiopian universities. We believe that such collective volumes give access to dissemination of research on Ethiopian languages while building the capacity of the linguists involved.In this introductory section, we present the genetic classification, geographical distribution, population and functions of the major Ethiopian languages. We also provide a brief overview on language and identity in contemporary Ethiopia. Then we give a short overview of this book: the individual chapters and the reviewers.
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