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Switch-reference and Omotic-Cushitic language contact in Southwest Ethiopia

Abstract : Africa has up until now been considered a continent where switch-reference systems are extremely rare. This study shows that there is a confined area in the South of Ethiopia where many Omotic languages and a few Cushitic languages have fully grammaticalised switch-reference systems on dependent (co-)subordinate non-final verbs, so-called converbs. The paper describes in detail the switch-reference system of Kambaata (Cushitic) and gives an overview of the distribution of switch-reference systems in Ethiopia in general. It is argued that switch-reference marking in Cushitic languages is the result of contact with neighbouring Omotic languages.
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Contributor : Yvonne Treis <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 29, 2012 - 3:55:23 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 1:01:24 AM
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Yvonne Treis. Switch-reference and Omotic-Cushitic language contact in Southwest Ethiopia. Journal of Language Contact, Brill Online Books and Journals edition 2012, 5 (1), pp.80-116. ⟨10.1163/187740912X624469⟩. ⟨hal-00713224⟩

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