Gemination in Amharic: Examination of the Duration of Amharic Consonants

  • Derib Ado Jekale


This study investigated the duration of Amharic consonants. Three native speakers were recorded reading geminate and nongeminate Amharic words prepared in a list and durations were extracted using Praat. The results showed that Amharic consonants can be twice as long as
singletons and word final consonants were found to be longer in word final position than in word medial position. Voiceless consonants were longer
than voiced consonants in both word medial and word final positions as both geminates and singletons. However, there was no statistically significant
differences between the duration of geminate voiced and voiceless consonants.


Download data is not yet available.


Alemayehu Haile. 1987. “Lexical Stress in Amharic.” Journal of Ethiopian Studies 6 (20): 19–45.
Baye Yimam. 2008. Modern Amharic Grammar ( ዘመናዊ የአማርኛ ሰዋስው ). 2nd edition. Addis Ababa: Elleni Printers, Private Ltd. Co.
Boersma, P., and D. Weenink. 2010. “2010. Praat: Doing Phonetics by computer[Computer Programme]. Version 5.1.43 Retrieved January 20, 2010.”
Praat: Doing Phonetics by computer[Computer Programme].
Derib Ado Jekale. 2011. “An Acoustic Analysis of Amharic Vowels, Plosives and Ejectives.” Addis Ababa University.
Falc’un, F. 1951. Le Système Consonantique Du Breton Avec Une Etude
Comparative de Phonétique Expérimentale. Rennes: Impremeries reunites.
Ladefoged, P., and I. Maddieson. 1996. The Sounds of the World’s Languages. Oxford: Blackwell.
Office of Population and Housing Census Commission (OPHCC). 1998. 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia, Results at Country Level. Vol. 1. Statistical Report. Addis Ababa: Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia.
Taddesse Amberbir. 2007. “Experimental Study on the Acoustic and Perceptual
Word Stress in Amharic Language.” In The 19th Annual Conference of the Institute of Language Studies, June 8-9, 2007. Addis Ababa.
Umeda, N. 1977. “Consonant Duration in American English.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 61 (3): 846–68.
Wedekind, A., and K. Wedekind. 1994. “Amharic Stress Beat Rules of Linguists, Poets and Singers. Which Beat Rules Which?” In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, edited by Bahru Zewdie, Richard Pankhurst, and Taddese Beyene., 749–64. Addis Ababa: Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University.
How to Cite
JEKALE, Derib Ado. Gemination in Amharic: Examination of the Duration of Amharic Consonants. Ethiopian Journal of Languages and Literature, [S.l.], v. 13, n. 1, p. 65 - 84, july 2017. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 feb. 2018.