Suri

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A language of Ethiopia

Alternate Names
Churi, Dhuri, Eastern Suri, Shuri, Shuro, Surma
Population

26,900 (2007 census), increasing. 18,700 monolinguals.

Location

Southwest Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR), toward Sudan border; west of Mizan Teferi.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Chai (Caci, Cai), Tirmaga (Cirma, Dirma, Terema, Terna, Tid, Tirima, Tirma, Tirmagi). Lexical similarity: 81% with Mursi [muz].

Typology

SVO

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 2%. Literacy rate in L2: Below 5%. Not used as a medium of instruction in the schools, after-school Suri literacy classes teach some school subjects in Suri. Radio programs. Dictionary. Bible portions: 2007.
Writing
Ethiopic script, used until 2009. Latin script, used since 2009, official usage.
Other Comments

‘Suri’ is an ethnonym for speakers of the Tirmaga, Chai and Baale (see Kacipo-Balesi) speech varieties. Tirmaga and Chai speakers can understand each other, but Baale [koe] is a separate language (Dimmendaal and Yigezu 1998). Dama is the Me’en [mym] name for Suri. Traditional religion, Christian.