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A Descriptive Study of the Modern Wolaytta Language
Author: Motomichi WAKASA
Publisher: The University of Tokyo
Publication date: 2008
ISBN: xxxx
Number of pages: 1140

Format / Quality: pdf-zipped
Size: 4,16MB
Wolaytta is one of the main languages of the Ometo group of the Omotic family, which belongs to the Afroasiatic language phylum. It is spoken in the southwest part of Ethiopia. This thesis describes the language inclusively and at the same time in detail. Chapter 0 mainly explains the methodology used in this thesis, and chapter 1 deals with backgrounds of the Wolaytta language, such as its names, its genetic affiliation, its neighboring languages, its population, etc. Chapter 2 discusses the phonology of Wolaytta. The main conclusions are the following: Wolaytta has 29 consonant phonemes, including voiced glottalized consonants, which have been analyzed as consonant clusters. It also has 5 vowel phonemes, which can be combined to form long vowels and diphthongs. Although apparent tonal phenomena of the language are very complicated, they are explained by “tonal prominences”, which are determined lexically and are realized with higher pitch, and “tonal groups”, in which all tonal prominences but the first one are ignored. Chapter 3 deals with the grammatology of Wolaytta. Although the language has not been written until relatively recently, it is sometimes written with the Ethiopic script and the Latin alphabet. This chapter discusses that ordinary native Wolaytta people do not necessarily write their language following the “norms”, although the deviation is not completely disordered.

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