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Compounding in Qafar

  • R. J. Hayward (a1)

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The language described in this chapter is spoken by at least three million people who call themselves Qafar, though earlier European writers and travelers usually referred to them as Danakil. The Qafar inhabit that vast tract of land which stretches from the Red Sea coast south and west as far as the scarplands of the Ethiopian Plateau, an area generally referred to as the Danakil Depression. With the exception of narrow belts of luxuriant jungle along the banks of rivers, such as the Awash and the Mille, which descend into the Depression, the country is largely desert; though even quite short spells of rain can bring grass and other transient plant life back into some parts. Although Qafar living in large coastal towns such as Djibouti and Assab and those on the Red Sea coast who live by fishing have clearly abandoned past oralism as a way of life, the majority of Qafar remain pastoralists, and pastoralism is strongly reflected in the lexicon of their language.

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Compounding in Qafar

  • R. J. Hayward (a1)

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