Maay

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A language of Somalia

Alternate Names
Af-Maay, Af-Maay Tiri, Af-May, Af-Maymay, Rahanween, Rahanweyn
Population

1,860,000 in Somalia (2006).

Location

South, Gedo Region, Middle and Lower Shabeelle, Middle and Lower Jubba, Baay, and Bakool regions. Also in Ethiopia, Kenya, United States.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Af-Helledi. May be more than 1 language; dialects form a continuum. Within the Maay dialect continuum, at least two dialect groupings may be discerned, largely between the Digil clans (e.g, Wenle Weyn) and the Mirifle clans (based on Bay Bakool). The Digil consider themselves the “royal clan class” of the Maay-speaking Rahanweyn. Somali [som] is difficult or unintelligible to Maay speakers, except when learned through mass communications, urbanization, and internal movement. Different sentence structure and phonology from Somali. Af-Helledi is a Maay secret language used by hunters.

Language Development
Bible portions: 2006–2007.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Little travel. Muslim.