Gamo

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Gemu
Population

1,110,000 (2007 census), increasing. 600,000 monolinguals.

Location

Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Gamo-Gofa zone.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Dache. Lexical similarity: 79%–91% with Gofa [gof], 82%–87% with Dorze [doz], 73%–80% with Dawro [dwr], 79%–89% with Wolaytta [wal], 49% with Koorete [kqy], 44% with Male [mdy].

Typology

SOV; derived nouns formed by suffixation of verbs; passives; case suffixes; postpositions; tonal

Language Use

Everyday rural life. Neutral attitudes.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 18%. Church-based literacy program started 2007. Taught in primary schools. NT: 2011.
Writing
Ethiopic script, used in Church literature. Latin script, official usage.