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Encyclopedia > Ethiopic script

The Ge'ez language (or Gi'iz language) is an ancient language that developed in the Ethiopian Highlands of the Horn of Africa as the language of the peasantry. It later became the language of the Ethiopian imperial court and of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.

Ge'ez (ጌኤዝ)
Spoken in: Ethiopia [extinct]
Region: Ethiopia
Total speakers: Extinct
Genetic classification: Afro-Asiatic

  South Semitic
    North Ethiopian

Official status
Official language of: Liturgical language of the Tewahedo Church and Beta Israel
Regulated by:
Language codes
ISO 639-1
ISO 639-2 gez

Today Ge'ez remains the main language used in the worship services of the Ethiopian (and Eritrean) Orthodox Church, though Amharic (the main lingua franca of modern Ethiopia) has also been introduced in a few churches. The Ge'ez writing system, (or 'Fidel' as it is known in Ethiopia), forms the basis for most scripts used for writing the various languages of Ethiopia.

Ge'ez is also still in use by the Beta Israel Jewish community of Ethiopia for their scriptures and liturgy.

The language has been assigned the ISO 639 code gez and the SIL code GEE.


  Results from FactBites:
Abugida (233 words)
The name is derived from the first four characters of an order of the Ethiopic script used in some religious contexts (this order seems to correspond to the ancestral semitic character order (aleph, beth, gimel, daleth / ABCD /...).
The Ethiopic script is an abugida, although the vowel modifications in Ethiopic are not entirely systematic.
The largest single group of abugidas is the Brahmic family of scripts, however, which includes nearly all the scripts used in India and Southeast Asia.
AllRefer.com - Ethiopic (Language And Linguistics) - Encyclopedia (377 words)
Ethiopic[EthEop´ik] Pronunciation Key, extinct language of Ethiopia belonging to the North Ethiopic group of the South Semitic (or Ethiopic) languages, which, in turn, belong to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages (see Afroasiatic languages).
Ethiopic (also called Geez or classical Ethiopic) ceased to be a spoken tongue in Ethiopia some time before the 14th cent.
Although the script used for Ethiopic and other Semitic tongues of Ethiopia is syllabic rather than alphabetic, it seems to be derived from the alphabetic South Semitic writing of the Old South Arabian inscriptions, to which it shows many similarities.
  More results at FactBites »



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