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This book closes the gap for beginners who want to study the Amharic language and had difficulties in finding the right grammar for this purpose: The first grammar of Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, was published by Hiob Ludolf in 1698. The Amharic grammar published by Praetorius in 1879 is based on Amharic religious texts and on scattered material, usually composed by missionaries. A milestone in the study of Amharic is Marcel Cohen´s Traite de langue amharique (1936), but this grammar, too is not completely suited for beginners since the author’s generalizations are at times aimed at linguists. The grammar that comes closest to the concept of a beginner’s grammar is that of C.H. Dawkin (1960), yet this grammar is extremely short, does not give examples and does not introduce the student to the intricacies of the language.
The new book gives all the grammatical forms and the sentences of the present grammar in Amharic script and in phonetic transcription. The illustrative examples have a free and a literal translation. This procedure should likewise prove to be useful for the Semitist as well as for the general linguist.