Kussummiya phonology

  • Wondwosen Tesfaye Addis Ababa University


The article provides a descriptive account of the phonology of Kussummiya spoken in southwest Ethiopia. It is basically a qualitative study in that linguistic data are collected from native speakers by using elicitation technique. The collected data are organized and analyzed categorically. The findings of the study show that Kussummiya has 21 attested consonant phonemes and five short and five long vowel phonemes which is a typical feature of Cushitic vowel system. All consonant phonemes geminate and they occur only in word medial position. Consonant gemination and vowel length are phonemic. Consonant cluster occur in word medial position with a maximum of two non-identical consonants. Some of the phonological processes identified in words or across words are: insertion, deletion, devoicing, spirantisation, assimilation and metathesis.


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Author Biography

Wondwosen Tesfaye, Addis Ababa University

Wondwosen Tesfaye is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He received his PhD in Linguistics from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2006. He is currently a researcher in the Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures. He has national and international teaching experiences in linguistics; he authored the grammar of Diraytata (2006), the grammar of Mosittacha (2015) and published several articles in international journals and conference proceedings. His research interest includes formal linguistics, documentation of endangered languages and dictionary making. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of ZENA-LISSAN (Journal of the Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures).

Wondwosen can be contacted at: wondwosen.tesfaye@aau.edu.et