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Agaw languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Central Cushitic
EthnicityAgaw people
Ethiopia and central Eritrea
Linguistic classificationAfro-Asiatic

The Agaw or Central Cushitic languages are spoken by small groups in Ethiopia and, in one case, Eritrea. They form the main substratum influence on Amharic and other Ethiopian Semitic languages.

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  • ✪ Bilen / ብሊና / Blin / Bilin / North Agaw / Bogo / Beleni: The Bilen Lanuage (Central Cushitic)
  • ✪ Agaw people
  • ✪ Awngi / አወነጊ / 'Awŋi: The Awngi Language (Central Cushitic)




The Central Cushitic languages are classified as follows (after Appleyard):

  • Awngi (South Agaw) spoken southwest of Lake Tana, much the largest, with over 350,000 speakers
(Kunfal, spoken west of Lake Tana, is poorly recorded but most likely a dialect of Awngi)[2]
  • Northern Agaw:
  • Bilen–Xamtanga:
(dialects Qwara – nearly extinct, spoken by Beta Israel formerly living in Qwara, now in Israel; Kayla – extinct, formerly spoken by some Beta Israel, transitional between Qimant and Xamtanga)

There is a literature in Agaw but it is widely dispersed: from fascinating mediaeval texts containing passages in the Qimant language, now mostly in Israeli museums, to the modern, flourishing and topical in the Bilen language, with its own newspaper, based in Keren, Eritrea. Much historical material is also available in the Xamtanga language, and there is a deep tradition of folklore in the Awngi language.

See also



  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Agaw". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Joswig/Mohammed (2011)
This page was last edited on 23 February 2019, at 20:41
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