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

Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region: Wolaytta 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 Baiso [bsw], Kachama-Ganjule [kcx].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 30%. Also taught as a major at the university level. Taught in primary schools in grades 1–4 as the medium of instruction, in grades 5–10 as a subject. Dictionary. NT: 1981–2010.
Writing

Ethiopic script [Ethi], primarily used by adults. Latin script [Latn], taught in school.

Other Comments

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