International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 328

Full Length Research Paper

Determining the genetic classification of Ganta within the Ometo group

Hirut Woldemariam    
Department of Linguistics, Institute of Language Studies, Addis Ababa University, Piazza, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 September 2013
  •  Published: 31 December 2013


Numerous speech varieties exist in the Southwest part of Ethiopia. In most cases, membership of the speech varieties to the different linguistic genetic groups is blurred. The situation with Ganta is one such a case. There was no study done so far on Ganta except an MA thesis that deals with a brief description of the language prepared under the supervision of the author. However, there is a tendency among scholars as well as regional authorities to consider Ganta as one of the speech varieties known by the common denominator “Gamo”, a language classified under the North Ometo subgroup of the Omotic language family along with Wolaitta, Dawuro, Gofa and many others (cf: Bender, 1975; Brenzinger, 1999:35). This paper contests the earlier consideration of Ganta as a member of the North Ometo subgroup and argues that Ganta should be reclassified under the East Ometo subgroup along with Haro, Zayse, Zergula, Ganjule, etc. The claim is made here mainly on ground of comparative morphology. The study will add to the body of knowledge available to linguists about the Ometo speech varieties and their classification. 
Key words: Ganta, East Ometo subgroup, linguistic genetic groups.