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Sidamo language

Sidamo language

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Sidamo is an Afro-Asiatic language
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

, belonging to the Cushitic
Cushitic languages
The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken in the Horn of Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. They are named after the Biblical character Cush, who was identified as an ancestor of the speakers of these specific languages as early as AD 947...

 branch, part of the Highland East Cushitic
Highland East Cushitic languages
Highland East Cushitic or Sidamic is a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken in south-central Ethiopia. They are often grouped with Lowland East Cushitic, Dullay, and Yaaku as East Cushitic, but that group is not well defined and considered dubious.The languages are:*Burji...

 group. It is spoken in parts of southern Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...


The term Sidamo has also been used by some authors to refer to larger groupings of East Cushitic
East Cushitic languages
The Lowland East Cushitic languages comprise two dozen languages of the Cushitic family within Afro-Asiatic. They are spoken mainly in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and by Cushitic groups in northern Kenya....

 and even Omotic
Omotic languages
The Omotic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic family spoken in southwestern Ethiopia. The Ge'ez alphabet is used to write some Omotic languages, the Roman alphabet for some others. They are fairly agglutinative, and have complex tonal systems .-Language list:The North and South Omotic...


Sidamo vocabulary has been influenced by Ge'ez
Ge'ez language
Ge'ez is an ancient South Semitic language that developed in the northern region of Ethiopia and southern Eritrea in the Horn of Africa...

 and Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

, and has in turn influenced Oromo
Oromo language
Oromo, also known as Afaan Oromo, Oromiffa, Afan Boran, Afan Orma, and sometimes in other languages by variant spellings of these names , is an Afro-Asiatic language, and the most widely spoken of the Cushitic family. Forms of Oromo are spoken as a first language by more than 25 million Oromo and...



  • Abebe Gebre-Tsadik (1982) "Derived nominals in Sidamo," B.A. thesis, Addis Ababa University. Addis Ababa.
  • Abebe Gebre-Tsadik. 1985. "An overview of the morphological structure of Sidamo verbs," The verb morphophonemics of five highland east Cushitic languages, including Burji. Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 2. Cologne: Institut für Afrikanistik. Pages 64–81.
  • Anbessa Teferra (1984) "Sidamo verb morphology," B.A. thesis, Addis Ababa University. Addis Ababa.
  • Anbessa Teferra. 2000. "A grammar of Sidaama," Doctoral dissertation. Jerusalem, Israel: The Hebrew University.
  • Cerulli, Enrico
    Enrico Cerulli
    Enrico Cerulli was an Italian scholar of Somali and Ethiopian studies, a governor and a diplomat.-Biography:...

     (1938) La Lingua e la Storia del Sidamo (Studi Etiopici II). Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente.
  • Cohen, Marcel
    Marcel Cohen
    Marcel Samuel Raphaël Cohen was a French linguist. He was an important scholar of Semitic languages and especially of Ethiopian languages. He studied the French language and contributed much to general linguistics.- Life :...

    (1927) "Du verbe sidama (dans le groupe couchitique)," Bulletin de la Société de la Linguistique de Paris 83: 169-200.
  • Gasparini, Armido (1978) Grammatica Practica della Lingua Sidamo. Awasa (Mimeographed: 127 pp.).
  • Kawachi, Kazuhiro (2007) "A grammar of Sidaama (Sidamo), a Cushitic language of Ethiopia," Doctoral dissertation. State University of New York at Buffalo.
  • Moreno, Martino Mario (1940) Manuale di Sidamo. Milan: Mondadori. (This is apparently available at least in parts on the Rosetta Project site.)


  • Gasparini, Armido (1983) Sidamo-English dictionary. Bologna, Italy: E.M.I.
  • Hudson, Grover (1989) Highland East Cushitic Dictionary (Kuschitische Sprachstudien 7). Hamburg: Buske.
  • Sileshi Worqineh and Yohannis Latamo (1995) Sidaamu-Amaaru-Ingilizete Afii Qaalla Taashsho [Sidaama–Amharic–English Dictionary]. Awasa: Sidaamu Zoone Wogattenna Isporte Biddishsha [Sidaama Zone Sports and Culture Department].

Bible translations

  • British and Foreign Bible Society (1933) St. Mark’s Gospel in Sidamo. London.
  • Ethiopian Bible Society (1984) HaÌro GondoÌro [New Testament of Sidamo]. Addis Ababa.

External links