Tigré

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A language of Eritrea

Alternate Names
Khasa, Xasa
Population

1,050,000 in Eritrea (2006), increasing.

Location

Widespread except in south Red Sea area (Dankalia). Also in Sudan.

Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Algeden, Beni-Amir, Dahalik, Habab, Mansa’ (Mensa), Semhar, Senhit (Ad-Tekleis, Ad-Temariam, Bet-Juk, Marya Kayah, Mensa). Between dialects (except Dahalik) intelligibility is above 91% (Idris 2005); between Dahalik and the other dialects 24%–51% (Idris 2005a, 2005b). Lexical similarity: 71% with Ge’ez [gez], 64% with Tigrigna [tir] (Bender, 1971). Intelligibility of Dahalik undetermined, Tigre dialectical lexical similarity is 86%–97% (2005 S. Idris); 55%–60% with Dahalik and other Tigre dialects (2008 S. Idris ).

Typology

SOV

Language Use

All domains. All ages. Somewhat positive attitudes. Formerly they favored Arabic [arb]. Also use Arabic [apd] or [acq] and Tigrigna [tir].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Females: about 30%. Taught in primary schools. Fully developed. Bible: 1988.
Writing
Ethiopic script, used since 1889.
Other Comments

Spoken by some Beni-Amer called Lobot. Other ethnic groups are Ad Aha, Geden Sikta, Iddifer, and Teroa Beit Mushe. Believed by some to be the direct linguistic descendant of Ge’ez [gez]. Incorrectly called Ge’ez. Muslim, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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