Tsamai

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Bago S’aamakk-Ulo, Cule, Kuile, Kule, S’amai, Tamaha, Tsamakko, Tsamako, Ts’amay
Population

18,000 (2007 census). 5,300 monolinguals.

Location

Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Omo area, lowlands west of Lake Chamo.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

The Tsamai say Gawwada [gwd] is difficult to understand. Possibly related to Birale [bxe]. The most aberrant variety in the Dullay classification. Lexical similarity: 56%–73% with Gawwada [gwd] dialects, 61% with Bussa [dox], 31% with Konso [kxc].

Typology

SOV

Language Use

1,200 L2 speakers. Positive attitudes. Many Tsamai are now shifting to Konso [kxc] or Hamar [amf].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 3%.
Writing
Unwritten.