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Title: The Origin of Amharic
Written By: Girma Awgichew Demeke
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Afroasiatic Linguistics 28
Description:

There are basically two hypotheses on the origin of Amharic: it may be a
descendent of a common Proto-Ethiosemitic language or it may have evolved
as a Semitic-based pidgin, which became a creole and eventually developed
into a full-fledged language. While the first hypothesis is commonly
accepted in Semitic Studies, the second hypothesis, first proposed in the
beginning of the 1980s, became quite popular very recently and even entered
Amharic textbooks.

Girma A. Demeke’s present work thoroughly examines the arguments that seem
to suppose the origin of Amharic as a pidgin. Based on chronological,
historical, geographical, and linguistic grounds, Girma clearly
demonstrates that the pidgin hypothesis is blatantly implausible. Not only
the linguistic data on Amharic provide strong arguments against the pidgin
hypothesis but also the relationship between Amharic and the remaining
Ethiosemitic languages in general, and Argobba in particular, do not
support it.

Girma’s study on the origin of Amharic also discusses controversial issues
about the origin of the Ethiosemitic language group, which is of particular
interest for Semitic Studies, History and Anthropology. The book
incorporates most of the accessible historical documents with regard to
Amharic and the language situation in former Ethiopia, which also shed some
light on the Ethiopian history in general. The book is very recommendable
for all readers interested in the history of Ethiosemitic languages and
their speakers. (Dr. Ronny Meyer, Associate Professor, Department of
Ethiopian Languages and Literature Addis Ababa University).

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Genetic Classification
Subject Language(s): Amharic
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783895866890
Pages: 356
Prices: Europe EURO 132.00