Wolaytta

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Borodda, Ometo, Ualamo, Uba, Uollamo, “Walamo” (pej.), Wallamo, Welamo, Wellamo, Wolaita, Wolaitta, Wolataita, Wolayta, Wollamo
Population

1,710,000 (2007 census). 1,000,000 monolinguals. L2 users: 89,800.

Location

YeDebub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch State, North Omo zone, Lake Abaya area.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication).

Dialects

Zala. Dorze [doz], Melo [mfx], and Oyda [oyd] may be dialects of Wolaytta. Lexical similarity: 79%–93% with Gamo [gmv], 84% with Gofa [gof], 80% with Dawro [dwr] and Dorze [doz], 48% with Koorete [kqy], 43% with Male [mdy].

Typology

SOV.

Language Use

Also use Amharic [amh]. Used as L2 by Aari [aiw], Baiso [bsw], Basketo [bst], Chara [cra], Kachama-Ganjule [kcx], Oyda [oyd].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 30%. NT: 1981–2010.
Writing

Ethiopic script [Ethi].

Other Comments

Geographic names: Balta, Borodda, Ganta, Otschollo, Uba. Traditional religion, Christian.