Maay Maay
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Af Maay commonly spelled Maay (also known as ''Af-Maay Maay'', ''Af-Maay-tiri'', ''Mai-Mai'', or ''Mai Terreh'') Mai-Mai is part of the Somali language of the
Cushitic The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa, with minorities speaking Cushitic languages to the north in Egypt and the Sudan, and to the south in K ...

Cushitic
branch of the
Afro-Asiatic Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family of about 300 languages that are spoken predominantly in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and parts of the Sahel. ...
family. It is one of the two major dialects of the
Somali language Somali (Latin: ; Wadaad writing, Wadaad: ; Osmanya: ๐’–๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’๐’‘๐’›๐’๐’˜ ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language belonging to the Cushitic languages, Cushitic branch. It is spoken as a mother tongue by Somalis in Greater ...
. It is mainly spoken in
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: ๐’ˆ๐’๐’‘๐’›๐’๐’˜๐’•๐’–; ar, ุงู„ุตูˆู…ุงู„, aแนฃ-แนขลซmฤl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
and adjacent parts of
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
and
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
. In Somalia, it is widely spoken in
South West The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directionsโ€”north, east, south, and westโ€”each separated by 90 degree ( ...
state,
Jubaland Jubaland ( so, Jubbaland, ar, , it, Oltregiuba), the Juba Valley ( so, Dooxada Jubba) or Azania ( so, Asaaniya, ar, ), is a Federal Member State in southern Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: ๐’ˆ๐’๐’‘๐’›๐’๐’˜๐’•๐’–; ar, ...
state and
Banadir Banaadir ( so, Banaadir, ar, ุจู†ุงุฏุฑ, it, Benadir) is an administrative region (''Administrative divisions of Somalia, gobol'') in southeastern Somalia. It covers the same area as the city of Mogadishu, which serves as the capital. It is bor ...
.


Overview

Somali linguistic varieties are divided into three main groups: Northern, Benadiri Somali, Benadir, and Maay. Northern Somali (or Northern-Central Somali) forms the basis for Standard Somali. Maay is principally spoken by the Digil and Mirifle (Rahanweyn) clans in the southern regions of
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: ๐’ˆ๐’๐’‘๐’›๐’๐’˜๐’•๐’–; ar, ุงู„ุตูˆู…ุงู„, aแนฃ-แนขลซmฤl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
, particularly in
South West The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directionsโ€”north, east, south, and westโ€”each separated by 90 degree ( ...
. Its speech area extends from the southwestern border with
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the ...

Ethiopia
to a region close to the coastal strip between Mogadishu and Kismayo, including the city of Baidoa. Maay is not mutually comprehensible with Northern Somali or Benadiri Somali, Benadir, and it differs considerably in sentence structure and phonology. It is also not generally used in education or media. However, Maay speakers often use Standard Somali as a lingua franca. It is learned via mass communications, internal migration, and urbanisation. Although past scholars have maintained the assumption that Maay is not mutually comprehensible with Northern Somali it was done so without it being tested for. A more recent study by Deqa Hassan tested the mutual intelligibility between Af-Maay and Af-Maxaa speakers (Northern Somali). The study found that Af-Maay is partially mutually intelligible to Af-Maxaa (Northern Speakers) and that intelligibility increases with increased understanding of Standard Somali. Which implies understanding of standard Somali (Northern Somali) increases the chance of understanding Af-Maay. This accounts for the most significant linguistic factor that ties both language variations together. Therefore Af-Maay is categorized as a Type 5 dialect for the overlapping common cultural history it shares with Af Maxaa speakers which explains its somewhat mutual intelligibility.


Grammar


Phonology


Consonants

A nasal consonant preceding a /n/ sound will always be realized as a [ล‹] sound. A [ษฃ] sound is an intervocalic allophone of /ษก/.


Vowels

Maay Maay exhibits significant amounts of epenthesis, inserting central or high-central vowels to break up consonant clusters. Vowel length is contrastive; minimal pairs such as ''bur'' 'flour' and ''buur'' 'mountain' are attested.


Words

Maay Maay is fairly agglutinative. It has complex verb forms, inflecting at least for tense/aspect and person/number of both subject and object. There is also a prefix indicating negation. In addition, verbs exhibit derivational morphology, including a causative and an Applicative voice, applicative. Nominal morphology includes a definiteness suffix, whose form depends on the gender of the head noun, and possessive suffixes.


Sentences

Maay Maay exhibits Word order, SVO and SOV word orders, apparently in fairly free variation. When the object is postverbal, the prefix ''maay'' appears on the verb. Within the noun phrase, the head noun is generally initial. Possessors, adjectives and some strong quantifiers follow the head noun. Numerals and the indefinite quantifier precede the head noun.


Poetry

Maay has retained a rich Somali literature, oral tradition and evocative poetry that differed from the more well known northern style. In southern Somalia the poet and reciter would be one and the same. British ethnologist Virginia Luling noted during her visit to Afgooye that poetry was to be conceived and recited simultaneously with no prior preparation. The poets or ''Laashin'' relied on their wit and memory to construct beautiful poems and entertain the audience. Geledi ''Laashins'' during Luling's 1989 stay in Afgooye sang about the ever present issue of land theft by the Somali government. The Sultan in these poems was asked to help the community and reminded of his legendary Geledi Sultanate_#Rulers, Gobroon forefathers of the centuries prior. The poem ''The law then was not this law'' was performed by the leading ''Laashins'' of Afgooye, Hiraabey, Muuse Cusmaan and Abukar Cali Goitow alongside a few others, addressed to the current leader Sultan Subuge. It evoked the memories of the mighty Geledi Sultanate of years prior and was a sharp contrast to their current situation. Here the richest selection of the poem:


References


External links


Cultural Orientation Resource Center
{{Authority control Omoโ€“Tana languages Somali language Languages of Somalia Languages of Ethiopia