Tsamai

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A language of Ethiopia

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

19,200, all users. L1 users: 18,000 (2007 census). L2 users: 1,200. 5,300 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 20,000 (2007 census).

Location

Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: South Omo area, lowlands west of Lake Chamo.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

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

Typology

SOV.

Language Use

All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Hamer-Banna [amf], Konso [kxc]. Used as L2 by Ongota [bxe].

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

Latin script [Latn], used since 2017, in development.

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