Languages

Berta

Fact corner

Introduction

The Berta language is spoken by the group of the same name (Bertha or Berta people) in Sudan and Ethiopia, and is generally classified as a branch of Nilo-Saharan. It has the typical word order Subject Verb Object. It is a tonal language. It has significantly influenced some of the Eastern Jebel languages. The Arabic name "Beni-Shangul" (as in the Ethiopian province of Benishangul-Gumuz) derives from a Berta expression (with bele "mountain" misanalyzed as Arabic beni "sons".)

The verb

Person and tense are marked with suffixes.

Unlike many other Nilo-Saharan languages Berta doesn't have inclusive, exclusive, or dual form of pronouns.

Sample verb: Ɵiŋ-

Present Perfect
Sg.1 Ɵiŋlɪ́ɪ̀ Ɵiŋali
Sg.2 Ɵiŋŋó Ɵiŋaŋo
Sg.3 Ɵiŋné Ɵiŋane
Pl.1 Ɵiŋŋàa Ɵiŋaŋa
Pl.2 Ɵiŋχátú ƟiŋaƟatu
Pl.3 Ɵiŋmérée Ɵiŋamere

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