Aasáx

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A language of Tanzania

Alternate Names
Aasá, Asá, Asak, Asax, Assa, “Dorobo” (pej.), Il Konono, Lamanik, “Ndorobo” (pej.)
Population

350 (1999 J. Carr), decreasing. Some Assa with some knowledge of Aasáx, but most now use Maasai [mas] or Swahili [swh] or both.

Location

North, central Maasai steppe, Landenai, Ndovu Okutu, Lolbeni villages. Reportedly in Lemelebo, Landrobo, Naitomani districts.

Language Maps
Language Status

8b (Nearly extinct).

Language Use

Aasáx is being lost due to language shift. In 1999, it was reportedly spoken in central Massai Steppe. It was dependent on and absorbed into Maasai [mas] and nearby Bantu groups. Because of stigmatization, Aasáx speakers may identify themselves as Maasai. Smith (in Blackburn n.d.) mentions the number of about 100 people who have some knowledge of the language; this statement has yet to be verified. (Sommer 1992). Also use Maasai [mas] and Swahili [swh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 0%.
Other Comments

Ethnonym: Assa. Lamanik and Il Konono apparently are identifications of ancestry and not the language. In some districts the Assa are nomadic.