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Jeddu [JDU]
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LotM Winner Typology Progressing 77 words
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Registered by [Deactivated User] on 18 August 2016
Language type A posteriori
Species Human/humanoid
About Jeddu A Bantu language spoken in far eastern Benishangul-Gumuz region, northwestern Ethiopia, by the Beddu people. The nearest Bantu languages are some 1000 km / 650 mi away in Uganda and Kenya.

Difficult to classify within Bantu due to extreme phonological, grammatical, and lexical restructuring under influence of Amharic (South Semitic), Awngi and Xamtanga (Agaw Cushitic), Gumuz (Komuz), and to a lesser extent Borna (North Omotic), Oromo (Lowland East Cushitic), and Berta (Berta).

Most likely a Northeastern Bantu language with a close connection to Great Lakes Bantu (Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Luganda, and more), judging from its pattern of noun classes and historical participation in Dahl's Law (voiced stop dissimilation), as well as shared lexical items and grammar.

Jeddu is written in three orthographies: a technical linguistic transcription system that is morphophonemic, a nontechnical romanization, and most excitingly, a variant of the Ge'ez syllabary, also used to write Amharic, Tigrinya, and others. I will be using the latter two on CWS, with IPA where needed, even though neither reflect tone or consonant gemination.

Unfortunately, literacy rates are low among the Beddu people due to lack of access to education, but because the Jeddu language is similar to Amharic phonetically, it is very straightforward to transfer knowledge of the Ge'ez script from one to the other, with the result that since its introduction, literacy rates have been rising.

Jeddu's noun class system and highly synthetic verbal morphology have become extremely fusional and complex due to the many phonological changes it has undergone. Stay tuned.
Sample of Jeddu[view] kätäma gërä ni mëbuzërä ko ǧëdu? / sälam käfëḳu ke käberä?

"How does one say 'city' in your language?" / "What is the word for 'hello'?" /
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Latest vocabulary
Language family relationships
Language treeBantu
 ⤷ Proto-Bantu
  ⤷ Northeast Bantu
   ⤷ Great Lakes Bantu
    ⤷  Jeddu
[view] About BantuThe Bantu languages are a large branch of the Niger-Congo languages, which began to expand across most of southern and eastern Africa at approximately 400 AD due to the development of iron metallurgy among the West African Proto-Bantu speakers. There...
Nasal m [m̥]1     n [n̥]2   ɲ      
Plosive p b   t̪ t̪ʼ         k kʼ (kʼʷ) (kʷ) g (gʷ)  
Fricative   f (v)   s (sʼ) z ʃ [ʒ]3 [ç]4     (h)
Affricate         t͡ʃ t͡ʃʼ d͡ʒ        
Lateral approximant       (l) [l̥]5          
Approximant           j w [w̥]6    
Trill       [r]7 [r̥]8          
Flap       ɾ [ɾ̥]9          
  1. word-final, allophone of /m̥/
  2. word-final, allophone of /n̥/
  3. free variation, allophone of /d͡ʒ/
  4. word-final, allophone of /j/
  5. word-final, allophone of /l̥/
  6. word-final, allophone of /w/
  7. geminate, allophone of /ɾ/
  8. geminate, word-final, allophone of /ɾ/
  9. word-final, allophone of /ɾ̥/
Close i   ɨ u
Near-close   [ɪ]1 [ʊ̈]2  
Close-mid e   [ɘ]3 o
Mid     ə  
Open-mid     [ɜ]4 [ʌ]5
Near-open     [ɐ]6  
Open a      
  1. adjacent to palatal, allophone of /ɨ/
  2. adjacent to /w/, allophone of /ɨ/
  3. free variation, allophone of /ɨ/
  4. free variation, allophone of /ə/
  5. adjacent to /w/, allophone of /ə/
  6. adjacent to palatal, allophone of /ə/
Below is the orthography for Jeddu. This includes all graphemes as defined in the language's phonology settings - excluding the non-distinct graphemes/polygraphs.
 JedduOrthography [edit]
Aa/a/Ää/ə/, [ʌ]1, [ɜ]2, [ɐ]3Bb/b/Čč/t͡ʃ/Ċċ/t͡ʃʼ/Dd/d̪/Ee/e/Ëë/ɨ/, [ɪ]4, [ɘ]5, [ʊ̈]6Ff/f/
Gg/g/Ǧǧ/d͡ʒ/, [ʒ]7GW gw/gʷ/8Hh/h/9Ii/i/Ḳḳ/kʼ/Kk/k/ḲW ḳw/kʼʷ/10KW kw/kʷ/11
Ll/l/12, [l̥]13Mm/m/, [m̥]14Nn/n/, [n̥]15Ňň/ɲ/Oo/o/Pp/p/Rr/ɾ/, [ɾ̥]16, [r]17, [r̥]18Ṣṣ/sʼ/19Ss/s/
Šš/ʃ/Ṭṭ/t̪ʼ/Tt/t̪/Uu/u/Vv/v/20Ww/w/, [w̥]21Yy/j/, [ç]22Zz/z/
✖ Unknown alphabetical order [change]
  1. adjacent to /w/
  2. free variation
  3. adjacent to palatal
  4. adjacent to palatal
  5. free variation
  6. adjacent to /w/
  7. free variation
  8. loan words only
  9. loan words only
  10. loan words only
  11. loan words only
  12. loan words only
  13. word-final
  14. word-final
  15. word-final
  16. word-final
  17. geminate
  18. geminate, word-final
  19. loan words only
  20. loan words only
  21. word-final
  22. word-final
Latest 8 related articles listed below.
LotM - Nov 16: Jeddu
Merryvember and congratulations to dendana and their Jeddu: ...
31-Oct-16 09:00
Jeddu grammar sketch
quick summary
03-Oct-16 02:49
Sound changes from Proto-Bantu
much change happened
27-Sep-16 06:13
Historical grammar of the Jeddu language
grammar from a diachronic perspective
27-Sep-16 06:11
Jeddu Dictionary Notes
what those cryptic letters mean
07-Sep-16 21:40
Typological information for Jeddu

Noun-relative clause orderRelative clause first
Definite articleAffix used
Primary writing systemEthiopic/Ge'ez

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