Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox church with its headquarters in Asmara, Eritrea. Its autocephaly was recognised by Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria after Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Tewaḥido is cognate to Arabic tawhid. According to the Orthodox Encyclopedia article on the Henoticon: around 500 bishops within the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem refused to accept the "two natures" doctrine decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, thus separating themselves from the future Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches; this separate Christian communion came to be known as Oriental Orthodoxy. Oriental Orthodox Churches, which today include the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, are referred to as "Non-Chalcedonian"; these Churches themselves describe their Christology as miaphysite, but outsiders incorrectly describe them as "monophysite".
Tewahedo Orthodoxy is a major ethnoreligious group in the largest Christian group there. Christianity has been the majority religion since the 4th century and remains still the largest population, they spoke Ge'ez, which belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. However, the language is now extinct, has been limited to liturgical use since the 10th century. Tewahedo now speak Tigrinya. Most adhere to the Tewahdo Orthodox Church. Tewahdo is a religion as well for the adherent of Eritrean Tewahdos; the Eritrean Orthodox Church claims its origins from Philip the Evangelist. It became the state church of the Kingdom of Aksum under Ezana in the 4th century through the efforts of a Syrian Greek named Frumentius, known in the church as Abba Selama, Kesate Birhan; as a boy, Frumentius had been shipwrecked with his brother Aedesius on the Eritrean coast. The brothers managed to be brought to the royal court, where they rose to positions of influence and converted Emperor Ezana to Christianity, causing him to be baptised.
Ezana sent Frumentius to Alexandria to ask the Patriarch, Athanasius of Alexandria, to appoint a bishop for Axum. Athanasius appointed Frumentius himself, who returned to Axum as Bishop with the name of Abune Selama. For fifteen centuries afterward, the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria always named a Copt to be Abuna "metropolitan bishop" of the Ethiopian Church. Little else is known of church history down to the period of Jesuit influence, which broke the connection with Egypt. Union with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria continued after Arab conquests in Egypt. Abu Saleh records in the 12th century that the patriarch sent letters twice a year to the kings of Abyssinia and Nubia, until Al Hakim stopped the practice. Coptic patriarch Cyril II sent Severus as bishop, with orders to suppress the practice of polygamy and to enforce observance of canonical consecration for all churches; these examples show the close relations of the two churches concurrent with the Middle Ages.
Early in the 16th century the church was brought under the influence of a Portuguese mission. In 1439, in the reign of Zara Yaqob, a religious discussion between Abba Giyorgis and a French visitor had led to the dispatch of an embassy from Ethiopia to the Holy See. In 1507 Matthew, an Armenian, had been sent as Ethiopian envoy to Portugal to ask aid against the Adal Sultanate. In 1520 an embassy under Rodrigo de Lima landed in Ethiopia. An account of the Portuguese mission, which remained for several years, was written by the chaplain, Francisco Álvares. Ignatius of Loyola wished to essay the task of conversion, but this did not happen. Instead, the pope sent out João Nunes Barreto as Patriarch of the East Indies, with Andrés de Oviedo as bishop. After repeated failures, some measure of success was achieved under Susenyos I, but not until 1624 did the Emperor make a formal declaration of communion with Pope Urban VIII. Susenyos made the Catholic Church the official state church, but was met with heavy resistance and, in 1632, had to abdicate in favour of his son, who promptly restored Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity as the official religion of the country.
He expelled the Society of Jesus in 1633, in 1665 Fasilides ordered all Jesuit books be burned. In the 1920s the Italian colonial power in Eritrea started the first attempts to found a separate Eritrean Orthodox Church; until the Orthodox Church in Eritrea was part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, with a strong link to Aksum in Tigray as the traditional centre of the Church structure. This was, against the interest of the colonizer: Eritrea as a separate colony was supposed to have a church independent from the neighbor's influence, in order to be integrated into the colonial system; the separate Eritrean Church was short-lived. When it was still not established, the Italians invaded Ethiopia in 1935, formed a unified territory, Africa Orientale Italiana, encompassing Eritrea and Italian Somalia. Eritrea was unified with the northe
Geʽez is an ancient South Semitic language of the Ethiopic branch. The language originates from the region encompassing southern Eritrea and northern Ethiopia regions in the Horn of Africa. Today, Geʽez is used only as the main language of liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo churches, the Ethiopian and Eritrean Catholic churches, the Beta Israel Jewish community. However, in Ethiopia, Amharic or other local languages, in Eritrea and Ethiopia's Tigray Region, Tigrinya may be used for sermons. Amharic, Tigrinya and Tigre are related to Geʽez; the closest living languages to Geʽez are Tigre and Tigrinya with lexical similarity at 71% and 68%, respectively. Some linguists do not believe that Geʽez constitutes a common ancestor of modern Ethiosemitic languages, but that Geʽez became a separate language early on from another hypothetical unattested language, which can be seen as an extinct sister language of Amharic and Tigrinya; the foremost Ethiopian experts such as Amsalu Aklilu point to the vast proportion of inherited nouns that are unchanged, spelled identically in both Geʽez and Amharic.
A /æ/ < Proto-Semitic *a. Geʽez is transliterated according to the following system: Because Geʽez is no longer a spoken language, the pronunciation of some consonants is not certain. Gragg writes "The consonants corresponding to the graphemes ś and ḍ have merged with ሰ and ጸ in the phonological system represented by the traditional pronunciation—and indeed in all modern Ethiopian Semitic.... There is, however, no evidence either in the tradition or in Ethiopian Semitic what value these consonants may have had in Geʽez." A similar problem is found for the consonant transliterated ḫ. Gragg notes that it corresponds in etymology to velar or uvular fricatives in other Semitic languages, but it was pronounced the same as ḥ in the traditional pronunciation. Though the use of a different letter shows that it must have had some other pronunciation, what that pronunciation was is not certain; the chart below lists /ɬ/ and /ɬʼ/ as possible values for ś and ḍ respectively. It lists /χ/ as a possible value for ḫ.
These values are tentative, but based on the reconstructed Proto-Semitic consonants that they are descended from. In the chart below, IPA values are shown; when transcription is different from the IPA, the character is shown in angular brackets. Question marks follow phonemes. In Geʽez, emphatic consonants are phonetically ejectives; as is the case with Arabic, emphatic velars may be phonetically uvular. Geʽez consonants have a triple opposition between voiceless and ejective obstruents; the Proto-Semitic "emphasis" in Geʽez has been generalized to include emphatic p̣. Geʽez has phonologized labiovelars, descending from Proto-Semitic biphonemes. Geʽez ś ሠ Sawt is reconstructed. Like Arabic, Geʽez merged Proto-Semitic š and s in ሰ. Apart from this, Geʽez phonology is comparably conservative. Geʽez distinguishes two genders and feminine, which in certain words is marked with the suffix -t; these are less distinguished than in other Semitic languages, in that many nouns not denoting persons can be used in either gender: in translated Christian texts there is a tendency for nouns to follow the gender of the noun with a corresponding meaning in Greek.
There are two numbers and plural. The plural can be constructed either by suffixing - by internal plural. Plural using suffix: ʿāmat – ʿāmatāt'year', māy – māyāt'water'. Internal plural: bet – ʾābyāt'house, houses'. Nouns have two cases, the nominative, not marked and the accusative, marked with final -a. Internal plurals follow certain patterns. Triconsonantal nouns follow one of the following patterns. Quadriconsonantal and some triconsonantal nouns follow the following pattern. Triconsonantal nouns that take this pattern must have at least one long vowel Noun phrases have the following overall order: noun - Adjectives and determiners agree with the noun in gender and number: Relative clauses are introduced by a pronoun which agrees in gender and number with the preceding noun: As in many Semitic languages, possession by a noun phrase is shown through the construct state. In Geʽez, this is formed by suffixing /-a/ to the possessed noun, followed by the possessor, as in the following examples: Possession by a pronoun is indicated by a suffix on the possessed noun, as seen in the following table: The following examples show a few nouns with pronominal possessors: Another common way of indicating possession by a noun phrase combines the pronominal suffix on a noun with the possessor preceded by the preposition /la=/'to, for' (Lambdin
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian churches. One of the few pre-colonial Christian churches in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has a membership of between 45 and 50 million people, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, it is a founding member of the World Council of Churches. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, having gained autocephaly in 1959; the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from the first half of the 4th century until 1959, when it was granted its own patriarch by Cyril VI, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. As one of the oldest Christian churches and a non-Chalcedonian church, it is not in communion with the Ethiopian Catholic Church. Ethiopia is the second country following only Armenia, to have proclaimed Christianity as state religion. Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one".
This word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one unified nature of Christ. The Oriental Orthodox churches adhere to a Miaphysitic Christological view followed by Cyril of Alexandria, the leading protagonist in the Christological debates of the 4th and 5th centuries, who advocated "mia physis tou theou logou sesarkōmenē", or "one nature of the Word of God incarnate" and a "union according to hypostasis", or hypostatic union; the distinction of this stance was that the incarnate Christ has one nature, but that one nature is of the two natures and human, retains all the characteristics of both after the union. Miaphysitism holds that in the one person of Jesus Christ and humanity are united in one nature without separation, without confusion, without alteration and without mixing where Christ is consubstantial with God the Father. Around 500 bishops within the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem refused to accept the dyophysitism doctrine decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, an incident that resulted in the first major split in the main body of the Christian Church.
The Oriental Orthodox churches, which today include the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Church of India, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, are referred to as "Non-Chalcedonian", sometimes incorrectly by outsiders as "monophysite". Monophysitism is a theology adopted by a 5th-century presbyter and archimandrite in Constantinople known as Eutyches and claims that Christ has "one single nature" where his divinity absorbed his humanity resulting in a "simple" mathematical "one" nature to which the Oriental Orthodox churches object. According to these, both natures in Christ are preserved after the union in "mia physis"—one nature. Tewahedo is a Ge'ez word meaning "being made one" or "unified"; this word refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one single unified nature of Christ. This is in contrast to the "two Natures of Christ" belief, held by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Oriental Orthodoxy is known as "non-Chalcedonian", sometimes by outsiders as "monophysite". However, these Churches themselves describe their Christology as miaphysite. Many traditions claim that Christian teachings were introduced to the region after Pentecost. John Chrysostom speaks of the "Ethiopians present in Jerusalem" as being able to understand the preaching of Saint Peter in Acts, 2:38. Possible missions of some of the Apostles in the lands now called Ethiopia is reported as early as the 4th century. Socrates of Constantinople includes Ethiopia in his list as one of the regions preached by Matthew the Apostle, where a specific mention of "Ethiopia south of the Caspian Sea" can be confirmed in some traditions such as the Roman Catholic Church among others. Ethiopian Church tradition tells that Bartholomew accompanied Matthew in a mission which lasted for at least three months. Paintings depicting these missions are available in the Church of St. Matthew found in the Province of Pisa, in northern Italy portrayed by Francesco Trevisan and Marco Benefial.
The earliest account of an Ethiopian converted to the faith in the New Testament books is a royal official baptized by Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven deacons: Then the angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he was on his way when he caught sight of an Ethiopian; this man was a eunuch, a high official of the Kandake Queen of Ethiopia in charge of all her treasure. The passage continues by describing ho
Geʽez known as Ethiopic, is a script used as an abugida for several languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia. It originated as an abjad and was first used to write Geʽez, now the liturgical language of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Beta Israel, the Jewish community in Ethiopia. In Amharic and Tigrinya, the script is called fidäl, meaning "script" or "alphabet"; the Geʽez script has been adapted to write other Semitic, languages Amharic in Ethiopia, Tigrinya in both Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is used for Sebatbeit, Meʼen, most other languages of Ethiopia. In Eritrea it is used for Tigre, it has traditionally been used for Blin, a Cushitic language. Tigre, spoken in western and northern Eritrea, is considered to resemble Geʽez more than do the other derivative languages; some other languages in the Horn of Africa, such as Oromo, used to be written using Geʽez, but have migrated to Latin-based orthographies. For the representation of sounds, this article uses a system, common among linguists who work on Ethiopian Semitic languages.
This differs somewhat from the conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet. See the articles on the individual languages for information on the pronunciation; the earliest inscriptions of Semitic languages in Eritrea and Ethiopia date to the 9th century BC in Epigraphic South Arabian, an abjad shared with contemporary kingdoms in South Arabia. After the 7th and 6th centuries BC, variants of the script arose, evolving in the direction of the Geʽez abugida; this evolution can be seen most in evidence from inscriptions in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia and the former province of Akkele Guzay in Eritrea. By the first centuries AD, what is called "Old Ethiopic" or the "Old Geʽez alphabet" arose, an abjad written left-to-right with letters identical to the first-order forms of the modern vocalized alphabet. There were minor differences such as the letter "g" facing to the right, instead of to the left as in vocalized Geʽez, a shorter left leg of "l", as in ESA, instead of equally-long legs in vocalized Geʽez.
Vocalization of Geʽez occurred in the 4th century, though the first vocalized texts known are inscriptions by Ezana, vocalized letters predate him by some years, as an individual vocalized letter exists in a coin of his predecessor Wazeba. Linguist Roger Schneider has pointed out anomalies in the known inscriptions of Ezana that imply that he was consciously employing an archaic style during his reign, indicating that vocalization could have occurred much earlier; as a result, some believe that the vocalization may have been adopted to preserve the pronunciation of Geʽez texts due to the moribund or extinct status of Geʽez, that, by that time, the common language of the people were later Ethio-Semitic languages. At least one of Wazeba's coins from the late 3rd or early 4th century contains a vocalized letter, some 30 or so years before Ezana. Kobishchanov and others have suggested possible influence from the Brahmic family of alphabets in vocalization, as they are abugidas, Aksum was an important part of major trade routes involving India and the Greco-Roman world throughout the common era of antiquity.
According to the beliefs of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the original consonantal form of the Geʽez fidel was divinely revealed to Henos "as an instrument for codifying the laws", the present system of vocalisation is attributed to a team of Aksumite scholars led by Frumentius, the same missionary said to have converted the king Ezana to Christianity in the 4th century AD. It has been argued that the vowel marking pattern of the script reflects a South Asian system, such as would have been known by Frumentius. A separate tradition, recorded by Aleqa Taye, holds that the Geʽez consonantal alphabet was first adapted by Zegdur, a legendary king of the Ag'azyan Sabaean dynasty held to have ruled in Ethiopia c. 1300 BC. Geʽez has 26 consonantal letters. Compared to the inventory of 29 consonants in the South Arabian alphabet, continuants are missing of ġ, ẓ, South Arabian s3, as well as z and ṯ, these last two absences reflecting the collapse of interdental with alveolar fricatives.
On the other hand, emphatic P̣ait ጰ, a Geʽez innovation, is a modification of Ṣädai ጸ, while Pesa ፐ is based on Tawe ተ. Thus, there are 24 correspondences of Geʽez and the South Arabian alphabet: Many of the letter names are cognate with those of Phoenician, may thus be assumed for Proto-Sinaitic. Two alphabets were used to write the Geʽez language, an abjad and an abugida; the abjad, used until c. 330 AD, had 26 consonantal letters: h, l, ḥ, m, ś, r, s, ḳ, b, t, ḫ, n, ʾ, k, w, ʿ, z, y, d, g, ṭ, p̣, ṣ, ṣ́, f, p Vowels were not indicated. Modern Geʽez is written from left to right; the Geʽez abugida developed under the influence of Christian scripture by adding obligatory vocalic diacritics to the consonantal letters. The diacritics for the vowels, u, i, a, e, ə, o, were fused with the consonants in a recognizable but irregular way, so that the system is laid out as a syllabary; the original form of the consonant was used when the vowel was the so-called inherent vowel. The resulting forms are shown below in their traditional order.
For some vowels, there is an eighth form for the diphthong -wa or -oa
Eritrea the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, Djibouti in the southeast; the northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of 117,600 km2, includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands, its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea, first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890. Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around 5 million. Most residents speak languages from the Afroasiatic family, either of the Ethiopian Semitic languages or Cushitic branches. Among these communities, the Tigrinyas make up about 55% of the population, with the Tigre people constituting around 30% of inhabitants. In addition, there are a number of Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic minorities. Most people in the territory adhere to Islam; the Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, was established during the first or second centuries AD.
It adopted Christianity around the middle of the fourth century. In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the Medri Bahri kingdom, with a smaller region being part of Hamasien; the creation of modern-day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent, distinct kingdoms and sultanates resulting in the formation of Italian Eritrea. After the defeat of the Italian colonial army in 1942, Eritrea was administered by the British Military Administration until 1952. Following the UN General Assembly decision, in 1952, Eritrea would govern itself with a local Eritrean parliament but for foreign affairs and defense it would enter into a federal status with Ethiopia for a period of 10 years. However, in 1962 the government of Ethiopia annulled the Eritrean parliament and formally annexed Eritrea, but the Eritreans that argued for complete Eritrean independence since the ouster of the Italians in 1941, anticipated what was coming and in 1960 organized the Eritrean Liberation Front in opposition.
In 1991, after 30 years of continuous armed struggle for independence, the Eritrean liberation fighters entered the capital city, Asmara, in victory. Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have never been held since independence. According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government's human rights record is among the worst in the world; the Eritrean government has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated. The compulsory military service requires long, indefinite conscription periods, which some Eritreans leave the country to avoid; because all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was ranked as having the second-least press freedom in the global Press Freedom Index, behind only North Korea. The sovereign state of Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, is an observer in the Arab League alongside Brazil, Venezuela and Turkey; the name Eritrea is derived from the ancient Greek name for the Red Sea.
It was first formally adopted with the formation of Italian Eritrea. The name persisted over the course of subsequent British and Ethiopian occupation, was reaffirmed by the 1993 independence referendum and 1997 constitution. At Buya in Eritrea, one of the oldest hominids representing a possible link between Homo erectus and an archaic Homo sapiens was found by Italian scientists. Dated to over 1 million years old, it is the oldest skeletal find of its kind and provides a link between hominids and the earliest anatomically modern humans, it is believed that the section of the Danakil Depression in Eritrea was a major player in terms of human evolution, may contain other traces of evolution from Homo erectus hominids to anatomically modern humans. During the last interglacial period, the Red Sea coast of Eritrea was occupied by early anatomically modern humans, it is believed that the area was on the route out of Africa that some scholars suggest was used by early humans to colonize the rest of the Old World.
In 1999, the Eritrean Research Project Team composed of Eritrean, American and French scientists discovered a Paleolithic site with stone and obsidian tools dated to over 125,000 years old near the Bay of Zula south of Massawa, along the Red Sea littoral. The tools are believed to have been used by early humans to harvest marine resources such as clams and oysters. According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations arrived in the region during the ensuing Neolithic era from the family's proposed urheimat in the Nile Valley. Other scholars propose that the Afroasiatic family developed in situ in the Horn, with its speakers subsequently dispersing from there. Together with Djibouti, northern Somalia, the Red Sea coast of Sudan, Eritrea is considered the most location of the land which the ancient Egyptians called Punt, first mentioned in the 25th century BC; the ancient Puntites had close relations with Ancient Egypt during the rule of Pharaoh Sahure and Queen Hatshepsut. This is confirmed by genetic studies of mummified baboons.
In 2010, a study was conducted on baboon mummies that were brought from Punt to Egypt as gifts by the ancient Egyptians. The scientists from the Egyptian Museum and the University of California used oxygen isotope analysis to examine hairs from two baboon mummies, preserved in the British Museum. One of the baboons had distorted isotopic data, so t
Amharic is one of the Ethiopian Semitic languages, which are a subgrouping within the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic languages. It is spoken as a first language by the Amharas and as a lingua franca by other populations residing in major cities and towns of Ethiopia; the language serves as the official working language of Ethiopia, is the official or working language of several of the states within the Ethiopian federal system. With 21,811,600 total speakers as of 2007, including around 4,000,000 L2 speakers, Amharic is the second-most spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic. Amharic is written left-to-right using a system that grew out of the Ge'ez script, called, in Ethiopian Semitic languages, Fidäl, "writing system", "letter", or "character" or abugida, from the first four symbols, which gave rise to the modern linguistic term abugida. There is no agreed way of romanising Amharic into Latin script; the Amharic examples in the sections below use one system, common, though not universal, among linguists specialising in Ethiopian Semitic languages.
Amharic has been the working language of courts, language of trade and everyday communications, the military, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church since the late 12th century and remains the official language of Ethiopia today. As of the 2007 census, Amharic is spoken by 21.6 million native speakers in Ethiopia and 4 million secondary speakers in Ethiopia. Additionally, 3 million emigrants outside of Ethiopia speak the language. Most of the Ethiopian Jewish communities in Ethiopia and Israel speak Amharic. In Washington DC, Amharic became one of the six non-English languages in the Language Access Act of 2004, which allows government services and education in Amharic. Furthermore, Amharic is considered a holy language by the Rastafari religion and is used among its followers worldwide, it is the most spoken language in the Horn of Africa. The Amharic ejective consonants correspond to the Proto-Semitic "emphatic consonants" transcribed with a dot below the letter; the consonant and vowel tables give these symbols in parentheses where they differ from the standard IPA symbols.
The Amharic script is an abugida, the graphemes of the Amharic writing system are called fidel. Each character represents a consonant+vowel sequence, but the basic shape of each character is determined by the consonant, modified for the vowel; some consonant phonemes are written by more than one series of characters: /ʔ/, /s/, /sʼ/, /h/. This is because these fidel represented distinct sounds, but phonological changes merged them; the citation form for each series is the consonant + ä form. The Amharic script is included in Unicode, glyphs are included in fonts available with major operating systems; as in most other Ethiopian Semitic languages, gemination is contrastive in Amharic. That is, consonant length can distinguish words from one another. Gemination is not indicated in Amharic orthography, but Amharic readers do not find this to be a problem; this property of the writing system is analogous to the vowels of Arabic and Hebrew or the tones of many Bantu languages, which are not indicated in writing.
Ethiopian novelist Haddis Alemayehu, an advocate of Amharic orthography reform, indicated gemination in his novel Fǝqǝr Ǝskä Mäqabǝr by placing a dot above the characters whose consonants were geminated, but this practice is rare. Punctuation includes the following: ፠ section mark ፡ word separator ። full stop ፣ comma ፤ semicolon ፥ colon ፦ preface colon ፧ question mark ፨ paragraph separator Simple Amharic sentencesOne may construct simple Amharic sentences by using a subject and a predicate. Here are a few simple sentences: Like most languages, Amharic grammar distinguishes person and gender; this includes personal pronouns such as English I, Amharic እኔ ǝne. As in other Semitic languages, the same distinctions appear in three other places in their grammar. Subject–verb agreementAll Amharic verbs agree with their subjects; because the affixes that signal subject agreement vary with the particular verb tense/aspect/mood, they are not considered to be pronouns and are discussed elsewhere in this article under verb conjugation.
Object pronoun suffixesAmharic verbs have additional morphology that indicates the person and gender of the object of the verb. While morphemes such as -at in this example are sometimes described as signaling object agreement, analogous to subject agreement, they are more thought of as object pronoun suffixes because, unlike the markers of subject agreement, they do not vary with the tense/aspect/mood of the verb. For arguments of the verb other than the subject or the object, there are two separate sets of related suffixes, one with a benefactive meaning, the other with an adversative or locative meaning. Morphemes such as -llat and -bbat in these examples will be referred to in this article as prepositional object pronoun suffixes because they correspond to prepositional phrases such as for her and on her, to distinguish them from the direct object pronoun suffixes such as -at'her'. Possessive suffixesAmharic has a further set of morphemes that are suffixed to nouns, signalling possession: ቤት bet'