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Lexicostatistical comparison of Omotic languages

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Abstract

The taxonomy of the Omotic language family is thoroughly analyzed. The hypotheses of “West Cushitic” <i>vs. </i>a “Cushomotic” super-branch, <i>vs</i>. separating Omotic as the sixth branch of Afroasiatic (Fleming) are compared. Earlier classifications of the Omotic family are presented, followed by the author’s version based on S.A. Starostin’s variant of glottochronology. According to the latter the North/South Omotic disintegration can be dated to the beginning of the 5th mill. BC. Borrowings can be distinguished from inherited lexicon, though often one can only speculate on the direction of borrowing. Nilo-Saharan parallels were also taken into account. The numbers of cognates common to Omotic and other Cushitic branches on the one hand are contrasted with those common to Omotic and the other Afroasiatic families on the other. It seems most natural to see in Omotic an independent member of the Afroasiatic macro-phylum.1. Internal classification<br />2. Phonetic correspondences<br />3. Basic lexicon<br />4. Etymological comments

References

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