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Alaba-K’abeena language

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Title: Alaba-K’abeena language  
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Subject: Proverb, Sidamo language, Jiiddu language
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Alaba-K’abeena language

Native to Ethiopia
Region Rift Valley southwest of Lake Shala
Native speakers
280,000  (2007 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 alw
Glottolog alab1254[2]

Alaba-K'abeena (Alaaba, Alaba, Allaaba, Halaba), also known as Wanbasana, is a Highland East Cushitic language spoken in Ethiopia in the Great Rift Valley southwest of Lake Shala. The literacy rate of native speakers in their language is below 1%, while their literacy rate in second languages is 8.6%; Alaba-K'abeena is taught in primary schools. It has an 81% lexical similarity with Kambaata.[3] However Fleming (1976) classifies K'abeena (also transliterated "Qebena") as a dialect of Kambaata, and Blench (2006) classify both as dialects of Kambaata. The 2007 census in Ethiopia lists Alaba and Qebena as separate languages.[4]

A collection of over 400 proverbs in this language has been published with English translations.[5]


  1. ^ Alaba-K'abeena at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Alaba-K'abeena". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ M. Paul Lewis, ed. 2009. "Alaba-K’abeena", Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  4. ^ 2007 Census
  5. ^ Gertrud Schneider-Blum. 2009. máakut(i) t'awá shuultáa - Proverbs Finish the Problems. Sayings of the Alaaba (Ethiopia). 114 pp. (Verbal Art and Documentary Literature in African Languages vol.28). Rüdiger Köppe.


  • Joachim Crass. 2005. "Das K'abeena, Deskriptive Grammatik einer hochlandostkuschitischen Sprache", Cushitic Language Studies, 23. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
  • Gertrud Schneider-Blum. 2007. "A Grammar of Alaaba, A Highland East Cushitic Language of Ethiopia", Cushitic Language Studies, 25. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.

External links

  • "Map of Alaba", LL-MAP website

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