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Verbs table

gloss layer 1 sg imprf 2 sg imprf 3 sg m imprf 3 sg f imprf 1 pl imprf 2 pl imprf 3 pl imprf 1 sg pst 2 sg pst 3 sg m pst 3 sg f pst 1 pl pst 2 pl pst 3 pl pst 1 sg pst neg 2 sg pst neg 3 sg m pst neg 3 sg f pst neg 1 pl pst neg 2 pl pst neg 3 pl pst neg
eat lexeme ganšiša agašiša ašiša abašiša anašiša amašiša anašiša manša makša maša mabša manša mamša manša hilgaša hilgiša hilaša hilbəša hilləša hilmiša hilliša
eat prefix 1 ga a a a a a a ma ma ma ma ma ma ma hil hil hil hil hil hil hil
eat prefix 2 n ga zero ba na ma na n k zero b n m n ga gi a mi li
sleep lexeme anʔiʔiš akʔiʔiš aʔiʔiš abʔiʔiš anʔiʔiš amʔiʔiš anʔiʔiš
sleep prefix 1 a a a a a a a ma ma ma ma ma ma ma hil hil hil hil hil hil hil
sleep prefix 2 n k zero b n m n n k zero b n m n ga gi a mi li

Kwama notes

  • Leyaw's (2005) description is preliminary, and so a complete picture of the inflectional system cannot be given here. What is shown here illustrates the range of subject marking patterns in the different TAM paradigms.
  • In addition, there appear to be lexically specified differences, at least in the imperfect. Note the distinction between the 1sg forms here. Also, Leyaw gives the imperfect paradigm of 'eat' in two different versions in different places in the description; the one not shown here has what appear to be prefixed subject pronouns. Likewise, there are relative forms which show prefixed or suffed subject markers apparently determined by the verb lexeme (§3.14), but it is not clear how this relates to the variation seen in the imperfect.


Leyew, Zelealem. 2005. Gwama, a Little-known Endangered Language of Ethiopia: A Sketch of its Grammar and Lexicon. Ms, Addis Ababa University. Online at: