A grammar of Sidaama (Sidamo), a Cushitic language of Ethiopia

by Kawachi, Kazuhiro, Ph.D., STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO, 2007, 841 pages; 3268817


The present study describes the grammatical structure of Sidaama, a Highland East Cushitic language spoken in the south-central part of Ethiopia. Sidaama is spoken by over 1,800,000 people, but there has been relatively little research on the language.

Chapter 1 (introduction) gives background information on the Sidaama language and the Sidaama people, briefly reviews previous studies, and discusses the methodology used in the present study.

Chapters 2-5 use basic linguistic theory (Dixon 1997, Dryer 2006) to describe the phonology and morphosyntax of Sidaama, and Chapter 6 examines the event integration patterns (Talmy 1991, 2000b) as one property of semantic structuring in this language.

Chapter 2 (phonology) lists the phonemes, the consonant clusters, and the geminates, describes suprasegmentals (syllables and moras, pitch accent, intonation, and pause), and presents morphophonemic rules.

Chapter 3 (parts of speech) describes characteristics of parts of speech. The topics discussed in this chapter include types of nouns and verbs, similarities between adjectives and nouns and between adjectives and verbs, various pronominal forms, and clitics.

Chapter 4 (morphology) discusses reduplication of verb roots, suprafixes on nouns and adjectives, and suffixes on nouns, adjectives, and verbs. It also examines the ordering relationship of the suffixes.

Chapter 5 (syntax) discusses four topics on the syntax of Sidaama. The first section looks into grammatical relations in terms of how they are coded and in what constructions they occur. The second topic of Chapter 5 is word order. The third section of Chapter 5 discusses two types of external possessor construction, the oblique possessum external possessor construction and the dative possessor external possessor construction. The fourth section examines the structures of relative clauses and the types of elements that can be relativized.

Chapter 6 (semantics) examines the semantic structure of Sidaama, which shows characteristics of a verb-framed language, in terms of how it expresses different types of events, using Talmy's (1985, 1991, 2000b) typological framework of event integration. It investigates how the schematic and the non-schematic components of the five types of events (motion, state change, realization, temporal contouring, and action correlating) appear morphosyntactically in this language.

AdvisersMatthew S. Dryer; Leonard Talmy
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsLinguistics; Modern language
Publication Number3268817

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