By Hellenthal, Anneke Christine
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Additional resources for A Grammar of Sheko (Omotic)
M. Mous and dr. Azeb Amha, aimed at a comparative overview of the way Omotic languages distinguish between declaratives and interrogatives. The subproject on Sheko, as a representative language of the understudied Majoid languages, aimed at providing a detailed analysis of Sheko grammar, including an investigation of sentence types. I went to Ethiopa for two fieldwork periods. During both stays, I took courses of a month in Amharic, which I used as a meta-language when necessary. I tried to speak Sheko when possible.
3 Dialects Sheko is considered one language by all speakers. The main dialects of the Sheko language are usually referred to with place names. People commonly recognize three variants: - Sheko (Sheko wäräda, spoken around Sheko town) - Tepi (around Tepi town, in Yeki wäräda) - Guraferda (Guraferda wäräda) 36 Formerly, dialects called Bulla and Dorsha or Daanyir were reported (Conti Rossini 1937; Straube 1963; SIL 2002), but according to my informants these do not exist, cf. Aklilu (1988:vi). ‘Daanyir’ is a Majangir clan with many people from Sheko origin, according to Unseth (1998).
First of all, interrogatives do not have a modal marker, unlike their declarative counterparts. Dropping off a grammatical element which is obligatorily present in the declarative is one of the divergent ways in which Omotic languages mark interrogatives. Secondly, falling intonation marks clauses with a simple negative verb and negative copula as interrogative, and is optionally present in other clauses. Additionally, the form of the indirect stance marker indicates interrogativity if it is present.