Koman
Geographic
distribution
Ethiopia–Sudan border region
Native speakers
50,000
Linguistic classificationNilo-Saharan?
Proto-languageProto-Koman
Subdivisions
Glottologkoma1264

The Koman languages are a small close-knit family of languages located along the Ethiopia–Sudan border with about 50,000 speakers. They are conventionally classified as part of the Nilo-Saharan family. However, due to the paucity of evidence, many scholars treat it as an independent language family. Among scholars who do accept its inclusion within Nilo-Saharan, opinions vary as to their position within it.

Koman languages in Ethiopia are in close contact with the Omotic Mao languages. In Ethiopia, some Koman-speaking groups also consider themselves to be ethnically Mao.[1]

Internal classification

The Koman languages are:

The poorly known Shabo language (600 speakers) shows strong Koman influence, and it has been suggested (on little evidence) that it may be a Koman language. Gule is generally classified as Koman, but the evidence is as yet insufficient.

Otero (2019)

Otero's (2019: 28) internal classification of Koman:[2]

External classification

Dimmendaal (2008) notes that mounting grammatical evidence has made the Nilo-Saharan proposal as a whole more sound since Greenberg proposed it in 1963 but that such evidence has not been forthcoming for Songhay, Gumuz, and Koman: "very few of the more widespread nominal and verbal morphological markers of Nilo-Saharan are attested in the Coman languages plus Gumuz ... Their genetic status remains debatable, mainly due to lack of more extensive data." (2008:843) And later, "In summarizing the current state of knowledge, ... the following language families or phyla can be identified: ... Mande, Songhai, Ubangian, Kadu, and the Coman languages plus Gumuz." (2008:844) However, Ahland (2010) reports that with better attestation, both Koman and Gumuz do appear to be Nilo-Saharan, and perhaps closest to each other.

Reconstruction

Proto-Koman has been reconstructed by Lionel Bender (1983)[3] and Otero (2019).[2]

Numerals

Comparison of numerals in individual languages:[4]

Language 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Komo (1) ɗɛ́ dìʃ dɔɡɔ̀n bùsʼ káná ɡɪ ɗɛ́ (? + 1) káná á sʊ (? + 2) káná á dìʃ (? + 3) káná á dɔɡɔ̀n (? + 4) kʼɔ́ʃ kʼɔ̀lɔ̀
Komo (2) ɗe(d) / ɗɛʔ (SIL) suʔin / sʊʔ (SIL) dícin / dǐʃǐn (SIL) dōɡɔne(n) / dɔ̄ɣɔ́n (SIL) busín / bʊ̀sʼín (SIL) kɛnɡɪɗe / kàːnaɡǐɗɛ́ (SIL) kɛnnɛsɔ / kàːnàsʊʔ (SIL) kɛnnɛdiʃ / kàːnàdɪʃ (SIL) kɛnnɛdɔɡɔn / káːndɔ̀ɡɔ̀n (SIL) kɔʃinkwolo / kʼɔ́ʃkʼɔ̀lɔ̀ (SIL)
Gwama (Kwama) (1) sóndò /sɛ́ːnɛ́ /sɛ́ːsʼkìn sùjá twásɛ̀n béːsʼìn kúːmùtʼ kúbà-sèːn ('takes/lends/brings one') kúbá-sùjá ('takes/lends/brings two') kúbà-twásɛ̄n ('takes/lends/br. three') kúb-béːsʼín ('takes/lends/brings four') kʼúːzí (lit: 'fingers')
Gwama (Kwama) (2) sɛ́ɛ́kʼín swíjá twàsɛ́n béésʼín kómòtʼ kúpà-sɛ́n (litː ? + 1) kúpà-swíjá (litː ? + 2) kúpà-twàsɛ̄n (litː ? + 3) kúpà-béésʼín (litː ? + 4) kʼoosʼi
Kwama (Asosa) (3) seːko ~ se:ndo / ʔāˈsɛ́n~ ʔāsɛ́l (SIL) siːya / ˈsíjá (SIL) twazan ~ twasan / ˈtʷāsán (SIL) mbisiːna ~ beːsen / bēːsīn (SIL) kʷʊmbut ~ kombɔt / ˈkʰūːmùt (SIL) kʊmpasɛnde / ˈkōbāsín (SIL) kʊmpa-siːya / kōbə̄ˈsìa (SIL) kʊmpa-twasən / kōbə̄ˈtʷàsɪn (SIL) kʊmpa-n-beːsina / kōˈbeːéːsīn (SIL) kʊʃʊmbiːt ~kwuːzia / ˈkūːzi (SIL)
Opuuo (Tʼapo) (3) ɗɛ̄n~dɛ̄ (contraction) sʊ̄kʼá tùsù ʍàn mùtá-kʼʊ̄j (litː 'be.full-hand') kān-ɪ́-ɗɛ̄, contraction, (lit: five-ASC-one / five-ASC-one) kān-ɪ́-sʊ̄kʼá (litː' five-ASC-two') kān-ɪ́-tùsù (litː' five-ASC-three') kān-ɪ́-ʍàn (litː' five-ASC-four') kʼʊ̄j-ā-sʊ̄kʼ-ɛ́n (litː 'hand-LOC-two- 3N.POSS')
Opuuo (Shita) (4) ɗán / ɗíán sùkʼá tùsú hwán mùtá-kʼʷèj (litː 'one hand') kánè-ɗéé kánè-sùkʼá kánè-tùsú kánè-hʷán mútá-kʼʷùjá-sùkʼén ('two hands')
Opuuo (Shita) (5) diʃeɗe ʃuka / cuka tuʃu / tusu hwan / ŋwan mutaːkwei (one hand) ? kane-ɗe kane-ʃuka kane-tūʃū kane-hwān muta-kweya-ʃuka-yen (two hands) ?
Uduk (Twampa) (1) ɗéʔ súʔ kʷārā dòŋ(ɡ)òn múd̻èɗ (lit: 'hand closed') múd̻èɗ pé ɗéʔ (5+ 1) múd̻èɗ pé súʔ (5+ 2) múd̻èɗ pé(ŋ) kʷārā (5+ 3) múd̻èɗ pé dòŋ(ɡ)òn (5+ 4) ʼkúmèɗ
Uduk (2) ɗe suʔ kwara doŋon mudheɗ (lit: hand closed) (mudheɗ) peɗe (5+ 1) (mudheɗ) pesuʔ (5+ 2) (mudheɗ) pekwara (5+ 3) (mudheɗ) pedoŋon (5+ 4) kumeɗ

See also

References

  1. ^ Küspert, Klaus-Christian (2015). "The Mao and Komo Languages in the Begi–Tongo area in Western Ethiopia: Classification, Designations, Distribution". Linguistic Discovery. 13 (1). doi:10.1349/PS1.1537-0852.A.447.
  2. ^ a b Otero, Manuel Alejandro. 2019. A Historical Reconstruction of the Koman Language Family. Doctoral thesis. Department of Linguistics, University of Oregon.
  3. ^ Bender, Lionel. 1983. "Proto-Koman Phonology and Lexicon." Afrika und Übersee 66: 259–298.
  4. ^ Chan, Eugene (2019). "The Nilo-Saharan Language Phylum". Numeral Systems of the World's Languages.
  • Colleen Ahland, 2010. "The Classification of Gumuz and Koman Languages" presented at the Language Isolates in Africa workshop, Lyons, December 4, 2010
  • Lionel Bender, 2000. "Nilo-Saharan". In Bernd Heine and Derek Nurse, eds., African Languages: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
  • Gerrit Dimmendaal, 2008. "Language Ecology and Linguistic Diversity on the African Continent", Language and Linguistics Compass 2/5:842.