A Grammar of the Somali Language: With Examples in Prose and Verse, and an Account of the Yibir and Midgan Dialects

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 31, 2010 - Foreign Language Study - 238 pages
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Somali is one of the Cushitic family of languages spoken in the horn of Africa and the official language of Somalia. This practical grammar, published in 1905, was prepared by J. W. C. Kirk, who first learnt to speak the language during his service with Somali troops during the British Empire's failed attempt in 1902-1904 to wrest control of the region from the Dervish state under Muhammad Abdullah Hassan. His unique knowledge of the interior of the country and the different tribes making up the population meant that Kirk's insights were invaluable in advancing scholarly knowledge in the West. Perhaps as importantly, Kirk also records a number of literary examples with his translations of Somali stories and songs. Another appendix explores the dialects of the Midgan (or Madhiban) and Yibir, both minority tribes who kept their languages secret from mainstream Somali society.
 

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Contents

ORTHOGRAPHY
1
ACCIDENCE
10
B Adjectives
35
Comparison of Adjectives
42
Particles
73
P Interjections and Salutations
79
A Structure of a Simple Sentence
81
B The Parts or Speech
90
SYNTAX OF COMPOUND SENTENCES
123
Seasons months days
134
EXAMPLES OF PROSE AND VERSE
143
Somali Stories and Narrative 141
160
THE DIALECTS OF THE OUTCAST TRIBES
184
Index
215
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