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A language of Ethiopia

ISO 639-3guk

Population  120,000 in Ethiopia (1994 census). 88,192 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 160,000. Ethnic population: 121,487 (1994 census).
Region  Metemma area on Sudan border south through Gondar and Gojjam; along Blue Nile and south into Wellaga and Didessa Valley up to Leqemt-Gimbi Road; southwest of Addis Ababa, villages around Welqite (possibly 1,000). Also in Sudan.
Language map  Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia, reference number 33
Alternate names   Bega, Bega-Tse, Debatsa, Debuga, Dehenda, Gombo, Gumis, Gumuzinya, Mendeya, “Shankilligna” , “Shankillinya” , “Shanqilla” , Sigumza
Dialects  Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, Metemma. There are noticeable dialect differences, and not all dialects are inherently intelligible. Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma form a distinct dialect subgroup.
Classification  Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Gumuz
Language use  4,379 L2 speakers. Limited comprehension of Eastern Oromo [hae].
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 6.2%. NT: 2003.
Writing system  Ethiopic script. Latin script.
Comments  Connections between villages for intermarriage and trade. SVO; verb affixes show person, number of subject, first plural inclusive and exclusive; tonal, 3 tones. Traditional religion, Muslim, Christian.

Also spoken in:


Language name   Gumuz
Population  40,000 in Sudan.
Region  North, east of Er Roseires, Famaka and Fazoglo areas on the Blue Nile; north along Ethiopia border.
Language map  Sudan
Alternate names  Debatsa, Deguba, Dehenda, Gombo, Gumis, Mendeya, Shankillinya, Shanqilla
Dialects  Disoha (Desua), Dakunza (Degoja, Dukunza, Gunza, Ganza, Dukuna, Dugunza), Sai, Sese (Saysay), Dekoka, Dewiya, Kukwaya, Gombo, Jemhwa, Modea.