Ethiopian history is notoriously a history abounded in mystifications, phantasms and de-Africanizations. A key aspect of these mystifying narratives is about the social origin of the so-called Ethiopic writing system. However, Ayele Bekerie’s Ethiopic is the first break with reproduction of flaw. In his book about the history and principles of Ethiopic system, Bekerie exploits his ideographical, syllographical, astronomical, grammatological and theological knowledge and argues that Ethiopic is part of the Ancient African societies’ philosophy. For the conservative Abyssinianists, Bekerie’s work is disconcerting, while for the few relatively liberal Ethiopianists it is disillusioning. Yet, for a critical Africologist, it is a step in the right direction. Yet, for non-Semitic scholars and peoples in the Horn of Africa it is a swerve between the former two, Abyssinianism and Ethiopianism. In other words, it is reification—a history book without human agents. Using theories in historical linguistics, discourse analysis, social semiosis and history of philosophy, this paper attempts to unveil these anomalies in Bekerie’s Ethiopic. Directions for future research are also pointed out.
Key words: Ayele, Bekerie, Ethiopic, Ge’ez, Oromo, Cush, writing, system.
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