A Grammar of Gawwada

(forthcoming)
ISBN 978-3-89645-493-5

A Grammar of Gawwada

– a Cushitic Language of South-West Ethiopia

Author: Mauro Tosco. Series edited by: Hans-Jürgen Sasse †, Mauro Tosco.

Series: Cushitic and Omotic Studies Volume 8

4th quarter 2021
398 pp.
2 col. maps, 2 col. tree models, 1 col. graph, 5 b/w graphs, 1 vowel chart, 31 sonagrams, 3 col. figures, numerous tables and charts, selected Gawwada texts: proverbs, riddles and folktales
Text language(s): English
Format: 160 x 240 mm
670 g
Paperback
Price is not fixed yet.

Gawwada is a member of the so-called Dullay dialect cluster and is spoken in South-West Ethiopia (administratively, a part of the “Southern Peoples, Nations, and Nationalities Regional State;” SPNNR).

Within Dullay a Western and an Eastern group of dialects can be opposed; the former is basically made up of Ts’amakko (ISO 639-3 tsb) and Gawwada, and, geographically, spans the two banks of the Weyt’o river; the Eastern dialects occupy the highlands to the east and north of Gawwada; Harso, Dobaze, and the other dialects (grouped under Gawwada in ISO 639-3) are representative of the Eastern group.

Dullay has gained wider acceptance in the linguistic literature and will be retained here, although it must be stressed that none of these denominations bears any meaning to the speakers themselves.

In this book, Gawwada is used for the dialect spoken in the town of Gawwada and in the neighboring villages. The village lies at an approximate elevation of 1,650 meters; its approximate location is 5°25’ N, 37°14’ E, around 40 km westwards of Konso, and a dozen kilometers north of the main road leading from Konso to Jinka and the Omo valley.

In Ethiopia, Gawwada was until recently used as a cover term for all the Dullay-speaking groups except the Ts’amakko, who live on the western bank of the Weyt’o river. Although linguistically unwarranted, the division of the Dullay-speakers between Gawwada and Ts’amakko division reflects well the cultural and economic cleavage between the inhabitants of the highlands, with their economy centered around agriculture, and the Ts’amakko, pastoralists and political allies of the Omotic Hamar and Banna, from whom they have been heavily influenced culturally.

The Dullay dialects are not endangered. Bi- and multilingualism involves first of all Amharic, then Konso and other Konsoid varieties. The Dullay dialects are not usually written.


A dictionary of Gawwada is going to be published by the same author.

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