A Grammatical Sketch of Somali

ISBN 978-3-89645-045-6

A Grammatical Sketch of Somali

Author: Helena Dubnov. Series edited by: Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig †, Bernd Heine.

Series: GA Grammatical Analyses of African Languages Volume 20

104 pp.
8 tables
Text language(s): English
Format: 160 x 240 mm
190 g
€ 32.80

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Somali belongs to the East-Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language phylum. It is spoken by about 9 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibuti, and Northern Kenya. As the first language of the vast majority of the inhabitants of Somalia, Somali received substantial support by the Somali state after 1972 and it is nowadays used throughout every sector of public life. Modernisation and standardisation have reached a high level.

Following an introduction with general information on Somali, e.g. its distribution, dialects, status and orthography, the present grammatical sketch introduces the reader to Somali phonology, morphology and syntax. In the area of verbal morphology, attributive verbs and pre-verbs, which replace prepositions, represent specific Somali morphological peculiarities. The appendix provides a short socio-political text with an English translation and lexico-grammatical notes.

In addition to this grammar book, a textbook Lehrbuch des Somali is available in our programme, as well as a description of a southern Somali dialect (see the following links):

Accompanying material:


The last part of this book, “Bibliography”, is very impressive and it gives an evidence of a hard work which had been done by the author during the preparation of his work. It contains over 90 titles of publications of all sorts, [...]

Aleksandra Iwanczyk, Laura Lykowska in Studies of the Department of African Languages and Cultures, 35/2004, 43-46

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