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A Grammar of Dime

This book presents the first comprehensive study of Dime, an endangered Omotic language spoken by about 5400 speakers in south-west Ethiopia. The study presents analysis of the phonology, morphology and syntax of the language as well as a sample of ten texts and an extensive word list.

Seyoum Mulugeta
23 April 2008
Full text in Leiden University Repository

The author identifies a number of interesting comparative and typological phenomena. These include a series of uvular and velar fricatives which have not been reported in related languages. Dime has a two-way grammatical gender distinction and a special plural-agreement, both manifested on modifying categories.

Rather than inflecting the same base pronoun-forms for various cases, as is common in other Omotic languages, Dime uses distinct subject pronoun sets that are formally different from object, dative and other pronoun types. Phrasal word-order is flexible; there is also a degree of flexibility in marking grammatical morphemes such as number, definiteness and case which may be marked either on the head noun or on the modifier or on both. Sentence-type distinction between interrogative and declarative clauses is partly expressed through morpheme reduction on the verb. That is, in the declarative, person-agreement morphemes are obligatory whereas these must be dropped in the interrogative.

These and a number of other issues discussed in the study make the work interesting for specialists on Omotic and Afroasiatic studies as well as to general linguists interested in language typology. 


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