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PhD Defence

A grammar of Hamar, a South Omotic language of Ethiopia

Thursday 10 November 2016
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


This study is the first-ever attempt at a comprehensive grammatical description of Hamar, a language spoken in South West Ethiopia by approximately 46.500 people. The study is based on 9 months of fieldwork carried out between 2012 and 2014 in Hamar territories. Language data was gathered from 14 native speakers in Hamar villages, and it amounts to 50 texts of varying lengths and genres. The grammar investigates the phonology, the morphology, the syntax and some pragmatic and discourse related features of Hamar and it is organized in 13 chapters followed by three appendices: appendix A and B consist of a selected lexicon of circa 1400 entries, appendix C includes three annotated Hamar texts. Hamar is a fascinating language and it has revealed unique typological features: the noun classification system of Hamar for instance is a rare example of ʻnon-fixedʼ gender system, i.e. a system in which gender is not an inherent property of nouns, but optional. The grammar is of interests to typologists but also to linguists interested in comparative Afro Asiatic studies: the grammar offers an overview of the classificatory issue of Hamar and South Omotic languages, and it includes an updated comparative list of South Omotic lexicon.


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  • Prof. M.P.G.M. Mous


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PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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