179,000 in Ethiopia (2010 UNSD). L2 users: 4,380 in Ethiopia. 88,200 monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 223,380 (as L1: 219,000; as L2: 4,380).
Benishangul-Gumuz, Amhara, Oromia regions: Metemma area on Sudan border south through Gonder and Metekel zones; along Blue Nile south into Wellaga and Didessa valley up to Neqemt-Gimbi road; southwest of Addis Ababa, Welqite area villages (possibly 1,000).
Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, Metemma. Noticeable dialect differences, and not all dialects are inherently intelligible. Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma form a distinct dialect subgroup.
Tonal, 2 tones plus downstep; large consonant inventory (38 for Southern Gumuz and 39 for Northern Gumuz); AVO and SV but word order is variable depending on discourse context; verbs are highly polysynthetic:verb affixes show person (number of subject, first plural inclusive and exclusive, A versus S bound pronominals, Northern Gumuz has O bound pronominals in addition to A and S), direction, mood, middle voice, aspect,uncertainty, pluractional, reciprocal, tense, incorporated prepositions (dative, comitative and locative); verbs are divided into two templates: future and nonfuture; external possession constructions via noun incorporation; simple verb roots plus verbal classifiers form complex verbal stems; nouns are mostly transnumeral or general and not typically marked for number; N-N collocations exhibit construct form (cf. Creissels 2009); inherently possessed nouns; relator nouns; marked nominative alignment with a split system.