Silt'e language

Silt'e Language

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Silt'e language

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Silt'e (ስልጥኘ or የስልጤ አፍ ) is a Semitic language spoken in central Ethiopia, mainly within the Silte Zone, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region and by speakers of the language (today called Silt'e), who have settled in Ethiopian cities, especially Addis Ababa.

Speakers and dialects

Dialects of the language include: Azernet-Berbere, Silti, Wuriro, Ulbareg and Wolane.

Sounds and orthography

Consonants and vowels

Silt'e has a fairly typical set of consonants for an Ethiopian Semitic language. There are the usual ejective consonants, alongside plain voiceless and voiced consonants and all of the consonants, except and , can be geminated, that is, lengthened. However, Silt'e vowels differ considerably from the typical set of seven vowels in languages such as Amharic, Tigrinya and Ge'ez. Silt'e has the set of five short and five long vowels, that is typical of the nearby Eastern Cushitic languages, which may be the origin of the Silt'e system. There is considerable allophonic variation within the short vowels, especially for a; the most frequent allophone of , , is shown in the chart. All of the short vowels may be devoiced preceding a pause.

The charts below show the phonemes of Silt'e. For the representation of Silt'e consonants, this article uses a modification of a system that is common (though not universal), among linguists who work on Ethiopian Semitic languages, but differs somewhat from the conventions of the......
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