“Ex Uno Plura”: the uneasy road of Ethiopian languages toward standardization

  title={“Ex Uno Plura”: the uneasy road of Ethiopian languages toward standardization},
  author={Graziano Sav{\`a} and Mauro Tosco},
Abstract The history of Ethiopia has witnessed a constant struggle between centralizing forces and regional powers. Since 1991 the pendulum has swung clearly toward a policy of “ethnic federalism.” Nevertheless, to date only a few of the about eighty ethnic groups of Ethiopia have implemented the right to fully develop their own language and use it in education and administration, as enshrined in the new federal constitution. Actually, only Oromo (the second or possibly even the first language… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

This paper is focused on the development of language policy in Ethiopia from the reign of Haile Selassie 1 (1930-1974) until the present day. After the Federal Constitution was introduced in 1994,
The Ethiopian Language Policy: A Historical and Typological Overview
This paper describes the Ethiopian language policy from the historical and typological perspectives. In the historical overview, the different covert and overt language policies so far encountered
Politics and Power in Southern Ethiopia: Imposing, Opposing and Calling for Linguistic Unity
Abstract In 2018 there were demands for the creation of new regional states in Ethiopia by ethnolinguistic groups seeking greater self-determination. Two examples of this were the Sidama and Wolaita,
Becoming Amazigh: standardisation, purity, and questions of identity
ABSTRACT The status of Amazigh/Berber language and identity in Morocco has provoked multiple debates in recent years, including a debate on unifying the three main Amazigh varieties (Tashelhit,
African Linguistics in Asia and Australia
Asian and Australian institutions with a research focus on African languages are of fairly recent vintage. Japan has a strong academic infrastructure devoted to African linguistics, based in several
African Linguistics in Eastern Africa
  • A. Lusekelo
  • History
    A History of African Linguistics
  • 2019


Multilingualism and Nation Building: Language and Education in Eritrea
This paper focuses on language choice in the newest nation in the Horn of Africa within a broader context of language policy in multilingual states. Pre-colonial and post-colonial language policies
Church and state in Ethiopia, 1270-1527
The thirteenth century ushered in an active development in both Church and State in the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia, The process had already started in the Zagwe period, but it was considerably
Onesimos Nasib's Pioneering Contributions to Oromo Writing
Linguists tell us that the Oromo language also referred to as afaan Oromoo or Oromiffaa with its more than 20 million speakers is the second most widely spread indigenous language in Africa. More
The Oromo orthography of Shaykh Bakri Saṗalō
Description et historique du systeme d'ecriture Oromo (Ethiopie) mis au point par le Cheikh Bakri Sapalo (1895-1980).
Trends in Oromo lexicon and lexicography
  • Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 19(2), 155–168.
  • 1989
K’äbena orthography
  • Lissan: Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, Addis Ababa University 19(2), 211–231.
  • 2005
Mother tongue literacy as a means of preserving a language — a case study from Konso
  • 2005