LLR 10: Lexical Study of Dawuro

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Lexical Study of Dawuro
Dawit Bekele
Addis Ababa University
This study is concerned with description of lexical items which have roles since earlier in the political, economic and social activities in the Dawuro society which is a nationality living in the south-western part of Ethiopia (east Africa). More than one thousand five hundred lexical items became gathered during a field stay. They are described being classified into three major categories as those signifying traditional elements, political issues and honour. They are further sorted out in terms of their semantic properties as informative and descriptive. Informative ones are identified as to providing clues about certain entities in the past, and the descriptive ones are picked out with respect to meaning contacts they have with referents. Also the lexical items are grouped concerning their origins as indigenous and borrowed, and according to their forms as single and compound; besides, the compound ones are sorted regarding their nature of compounding.
Some linguistic changes have been detected while comparing between earlier and present uses, and also comparing between the two dialects of the language (ie. Mes’atsuwa and Gok’atsuwa). Changes in phonological, semantic and morphological features became recognized in this regard. Phonological changes are identified comparing forms between the two dialects, yet investigations on semantic and morphological changes focus in the Mes’atsuwa variant which is the main dialect of the study.
Different causes for the linguistic changes are also discussed briefly in the study. Factors such as contact between the dialects, contact with people of other language speakers, obsolescence of the earlier political system, attitudinal shift of the society, and introduction of new technological elements into the current society’s tradition are shown as reasons. It is suggested after all that such lexical heritages need to be reserved before they become extinct.
ISBN 9783862888351. LINCOM Language Research 10. 348pp. 2017.

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