Dime language

Dime or Dima 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 and reduplication. Phonologically, it is noteworthy among the Omotic languages for having velar and uvular fricative phonemes.[3] 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.

Native toEthiopia
RegionDebub (South) Omo Zone
Native speakers
570 (2007 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3dim

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.[4] According to Ethiopian census figures, the 1994 census reported 6293 speakers of the Dime language in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region alone;[5] in the 2007 census, only 574 speakers were reported for all of Ethiopia.[6] 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.[3]


  1. ^ a b Dime at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dime". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Seyoum, Mulugeta (2008). A grammar of Dime (Ph.D. thesis). Leiden University. hdl:1887/12833.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  4. ^ Fleming, Harold (1990). Richard Hayward (ed.). Omotic Language Studies. London: SOAS. p. 495.
  5. ^ 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region, Vol. 1, part 1, Table 2.14
  6. ^ Central Statistical Agency. "Ethiopia - Population and Housing Census 2007 Report, National". International Household Survey Network.

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