Abstract/Details

Language death in Mesmes: A sociolinguistic and historical-comparative examination of a disappearing language


2004 2004

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Abstract (summary)

Mesmes is a recently extinct language within the Peripheral West Gurage subgroup of the Ethio-Semitic Gurage cluster in southwestern Ethiopia. While Leslau (1979) and Hetzron (1972 and 1977), among many others, have examined the history of this cluster, little is known about the Mesmes language. The Mesmes speakers completed a shift to Hadiyya (a Cushitic language) roughly sixty years ago. This thesis considers the social history of the Mesmes in relation to the shift and death of their language and also examines the comparative evidence linking Mesmes with the Gurage cluster and, more specifically, with the Peripheral West Gurage subgroup. Due to contact with Hadiyya, Mesmes has undergone externally-induced changes evidenced in a wordlist (Bender 1971) and a previously unpublished text. The documentation of the Mesmes-Hadiyya contact situation and its effects aids in understanding and identifying processes affecting language contact, language death and historical-comparative studies in general.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Linguistics
Classification
0290: Linguistics
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics; Ethiopia
Title
Language death in Mesmes: A sociolinguistic and historical-comparative examination of a disappearing language
Author
Ahland, Michael Bryan
Number of pages
146
Publication year
2004
Degree date
2004
School code
2502
Source
MAI 43/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Advisor
Edmondson, Jerold A.
University/institution
The University of Texas at Arlington
University location
United States -- Texas
Degree
M.A.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
1421234
ProQuest document ID
305060343
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305060343
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