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Avatime landscape

Avatime is spoken by about 15,000 people in 8 villages in the South-East of Ghana. It is a Kwa language, part of the Niger-Congo language family. Within Kwa, it belongs to the Ghana-Togo Mountain languages. It is also called Siyase or Sideme by its speakers. All speakers are also fluent in Ewe, the lingua franca of the area. Avatime is a tone language with three distinctive level tones. It has ATR-based vowel harmony, an elaborate noun class system, and it uses prefixes on the verb to mark various aspect and mood categories as well as subject agreement. Constituent order is SVO and serial verb constructions are frequently used. Most Avatime people are subsistence farmers. The main staples are cassava, maize, yams and rice. Avatime is known for a tradition of rice cultivation and there used to be many traditions attached to this crop. However, in the last decades, rice cultivation has become less common.

Selected Publications

  • Defina, Rebecca. in press. Tense, aspect, and mood in Avatime. Afrika und Übersee.
  • Van Putten, Saskia. 2014. Information structure in Avatime. PhD dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen.
  • Schuh, Russell G. 1995. Aspects of Avatime phonology. Studies in African Linguistics 24(1). 31–67.
  • Schuh, Russell G. 1995. Avatime noun classes and concord. Studies in African Linguistics 24(2). 123–149.

Link to Glottolog

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