The glottal stop in Harari
The article deals with the problem of the phonetic status of the glottal stop in Harari (Southern Ethiopian Semitic). Special attention is paid to the opposition between the glottal stop and zero, which is the key aspect of the problem under investigation. The behavior of the glottal stop in various positions in a word is analyzed, minimal pairs illustrating the contrast between the glottal stop and other consonants (as well as 0) are presented, and the paradigmatically significant oppositions are investigated.
The prefix conjugation of all South Ethio-Semitic languages contains an innovative prefix *l(V)- or its traces. However, its distribution along the various subtypes of the prefix conjugation paradigms varies. Its appearance in the jussive positive and negative paradigms seems to be shared by all South Ethio-Semitic languages. On the contrary, the fate of the prefix *l(V)- in the imperfect paradigm differs from one subgtoup to another.
Its grammatical value is not stabile, either: in some languages it is restricted to 1st sg., in others it appears both in sg. and pl. of the 1st person.
The presentation offers an overview of the various patterns of employment of the innovative personal prefix *l(V)- in South Ethio-Semitic. Some of the collected isoglosses can plausibly be considered as a result of a common innovation introduced at a certain stage of the development of a certain language subgroup. Still, one cannot fail to notice a number of isoglosses that contradict each other, which can be explained either in terms of an independent parallel development or of language contact. Special attention is given to the most important factors that excersized influence upon the development of the SES systems of verbal personal prefixes. It turns out that some of these factors are present in languages from other branches of Ethio-Semitic and Semitic, which demonstrate similar shifts in their systems of verbal prefixes.
In conclusion, a coherent and convincing reconstruction of the evolution of the prefix conjugationn in South Ethio-Semitic is offered.
A review of a recently published grammar of Tigre (North Ethio-Semitic) by David Elias.
In Tigre, as elsewhere in Ethio-Semitic, one finds alongside the causative prefix ʔa- (which has cognates in all Ethio-Semitic languages and beyond) another causative marker, namely, the prefix ʔat-, which is an internal Ethio-Semitic development. The aim of the present contribution is to highlight the functions of the prefix ʔat- in Tigre and to explore its relationship to the prefix ʔa-.
A bibliography for Ethio-Semitic, Cushitic and Omotic linguistics for the years 2014-2015.
An Arabic-Ethiopian Glossary by al-Malik al-Afḍal by Maria Bulakh and Leonid Kogan is a detailed annotated edition of a unique monument of Late Medieval Arabic lexicography, comprising 475 Arabic lexemes (some of them post-classical Yemeni dialectisms) translated into several South Ethiopian idioms and put down in Arabic letters in a late-fourteenth century manuscript from a codex in a private Yemeni collection. For many languages involved, the Glossary provides the earliest written records, by several centuries pre-dating the most ancient attestations known so far. The edition, preceded by a comprehensive linguistic introduction, gives a full account of the comparative material from all known Ethiopian Semitic languages. Detailed indices ensure the reader’s orientation in the lexical treasures revealed from the Glossary.
The article evaluates the aims and methods of creation of the so-called “Arabic-Ethiopic Glossary”, a 14th century word list compiled by order of the Yemenite sultan of the Rasulid dynasty al-Malik al-Afḍal al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAlī. It claims that the Glossary was created with a purely scientific aim of recording a little-known language, that its compilers were likely unaware of the linguistic diversity of the recorded material (hence the name “Ethiopic” in the title), and that the informants were in all probability Ethiopian slaves who, as is well known, were present in South Arabia since Antiquity.
The volume contains eleven essays which cast a look on the past, present, and future of Gəʿəz (Classical Ethiopic) philological and linguistic studies on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the achievement of the Lexicon linguae Aethiopicae by August Dillmann, published in 1865. Most of the essays were presented at a conference convened by the ERC-project TraCES at the University of Hamburg in November 2015. On the one hand, they focus on the significance and importance of the Lexicon and of its author who was one of the greatest orientalists of the nineteenth century. Dillmann’s Lexicon has marked in-depth the development of Ethiopian and oriental studies. It still remains an indispensable tool for the analysis of Gəʿəz style and phraseology, even though it has been surpassed by Wolf Leslau’s Comparative Dictionary of Geʿez (1987), with respect to etymology and number of entries. On the other hand, the essays define more precisely which are (besides the obvious updating) the challenges posed by manuscripts, text editions, and epigraphic evidence emerged since 1865, with regard to Gəʿəz language, orthography, lexicon and lexicography as well as digital humanities and corpus linguistics. The contributors are Maria Bulakh, Wolfgang Dickhut, Andreas Ellwardt, Serge A. Frantsouzoff, Martin Heide, Susanne Hummel, Manfred Kropp, Eugenia Sokolinski, Agostino Soldati, Cristina Vertan, Stefan Weninger, and Alessandro Bausi, who is also the editor of the volume.