C. H. Armbruster (1874-1957) was a civil servant in the Anglo-Sudan
government and a linguist specialising in African languages. After visiting
Ethiopia on diplomatic missions in 1906 and 1907 Armbruster published this
three-volume reference work on colloquial, spoken Amharic between 1908 and
1920. Armbruster's study of Amharic was one of the first to be written in
English, and exemplifies the shift among linguists away from the formal,
classics-based style of earlier reference grammars towards a focus on
colloquial speech and communication. His examples are drawn from direct
knowledge of the contemporary language, unlike similar works of the period
which were often based on centuries-old Ethiopian Orthodox biblical texts.
Volume 1 is devoted to grammar. Armbruster provides an extensive discussion
of the phonetics and phonology of the language and their relation to
Amharic script together with explanations and examples of verb
conjugations, syntax and sentence formation.