Argobba and Amharic: Putting a Stop to a Quandary

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Getahun Amare (2017)
  • Publisher: The Learned Press
  • Journal: Macrolinguistics (issn: 1934-5755, eissn: 1934-5755)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.26478/ja2017.5.6.3
  • Subject: Argobba | Ethio-Semitic | comparative | morpho-syntax | root | cognate | endangered | Language and Literature | P

This paper aims at producing and analyzing substantial linguistic data to point up differences between Argobba and Amharic. The paper argues against prior studies (Bender, 1976; Bender and Fulas, 1978; Zelealem, 1994; Leslau, 1997) which consider Argobba as a dialect of Amharic. There are also a few works which suggest that Argobba is an independent language of its own (Waldron, 1984; Wetter, 2006).These works, however, have not produced concrete linguistic evidence to substantiate their claim. This brings about the relation between Amharic and Argobba not to be comprehensible. This study, thus, intends to make this hazy issue to come to an end by providing comparable grammatical facts from both languages. The paper also provides counter examples which challenge the claims in Hudson (1997). The paper presents concrete linguistic facts that clearly show that Argobba and Amharic are not dialects of one another, but independent sister languages. It is strongly believed that this will finish off the problem about the relation between the two languages and brings the full picture of Argobba as an independent language in Ethio-Semitic subfamily.
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