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Dime language: Wikis


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Spoken in Ethiopia
Region Debub (South) Omo Zone
Total speakers 6,501 total; 4,785 monolinguals (1998)
Language family Afro-Asiatic
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 dim

Dime is an Afro-Asiatic language spoken in the northern part of the Selamago district in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region of Ethiopia, around Mount Smith. [1] Dime divides into at least two dialects, which include Us'a and Gerfa. It has six case suffixes, in addition to an unmarked nominative. It is overwhelmingly suffixing, but uses prefixes for demonstratives. Phonologically, it is noteworthy for having velar and uvular fricative phonemes.[2] The basic word order is SOV (Subject Object Verb), as in other Omotic languages, indeed as in all the languages of the core of the Ethiopian Language Area.

The language, as well as the Dime people themselves, reportedly decreased in numbers over the 20th century due to predation from their neighbors the Bodi, and both are in danger of extinction.[3] Further, because the Dime language still lacks a writing system and there are no local schools to promote the use of the language, it is even more threatened.[2]


  1. ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. "Dime: A language of Ethiopia", Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  2. ^ a b Mulugeta Seyoum. 2008. A Grammar of Dime. Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT. ISBN: 9789078328520
  3. ^ Harold Fleming, "A grammatical sketch of Dime (Dim-af) of the Lower Omo", Omotic Language Studies, Richard Hayward (editor), p. 495. London: SOAS.

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