2 maps, 3 diagrams, numerous tables and charts, appendix: Amharic-English / English-Amharic wordlists and writing exercises
Text language(s): Amharic, English
Amharic is one of the fifty most important languages in the world, in terms of number of speakers, and political, historical, and cultural importance. Its eighteen million or so speakers live mainly in Ethiopia, but as the result of emigration since the 1970s, hundreds of thousands in Amharic speakers now reside in Europe, the U.S., and Israel. Because of its importance as a Semitic, African, and Ethiopian language, Amharic more than other African languages has benefitted from the interest of linguists, who have written much on the language.
This book satisfies the need for a thorough book-length introduction to Amharic which includes an introduction to Amharic history and society (Part 1), a basic survey of the grammar including the writing system (Part 2), and lengthy Amharic-English and English-Amharic wordlists (Part 4). Amharic examples are fully presented in phonetic writing so knowledge of the Amharic writing system is not required, while much of the grammar and vocabulary are also presented in Amharic writing for those who want and expect it. For those who want to learn to read Amharic a thorough presentation of the Amharic writing system is provided, and as Part 3 a set of graded lessons to learn it, as a way to write English.
This is a book for adult learners of Amharic, for linguists, and students of Ethiopian history, society, phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, and writing system of this major language of Ethiopia.