Oromo

Oromo Language

Oromo is an Afroasiatic language spoken as a first language by the Oromo people, who live in Ethiopia, Northern Kenya, and parts of Somalia. Oromo has many dialects, and some of them are not mutually intelligible. Oromo dialects can be divided broadly into the following 4 groups:

  • Boranaa-Arsii-Gujii Oromo 
  • Eastern Oromo
  • Orma
  • West-central Oromo

Phonology

Like most Ethiopian languages, Oromo uses ejective consonants, including the unusual implosive retroflex stop. Both vowel length and consonant length are distinctive in Oromo, and are marked by double consonants (e.g., DD) or double vowels (e.g., AA) orthographically. 

 

Semantics/Morphology

Oromo has two grammatical genders, masculine and feminine, and all nouns belong to one of these categories, with verbs, adjectives and pronouns matching the noun's gender.  

 

Syntax