The Omo River in southern Ethiopia is the largest Ethiopian river outside the Nile Basin. Its course is contained within the boundaries of Ethiopia, it empties into Lake Turkana on the border with Kenya; the river is the principal stream of the Turkana Basin. The Omo River forms through the confluence of the Gibe River, by far the largest total tributary of the Omo River, the Wabe River, the largest left-bank tributary of the Omo at 8°19′N 37°28′E. Given their sizes and courses one might consider both the Omo and the Gibe rivers to be one and the same river but with different names; the whole river basin is sometimes called the Omo-Gibe River Basin. This river basin includes part of the western Oromia Region and the middle of the Southern Nations and People's Region, its course is to the south, however with a major bend to the west at about 7° N 37° 30' E to about 36° E where it turns south until 5° 30' N where it makes a large S- bend resumes its southerly course to Lake Turkana. According to materials published by the Ethiopian Central Statistical Agency, the Omo-Bottego River is 760 kilometers long.
In its course the Omo-Bottego has a total fall of about 700 m from the confluence of the Gibe and Wabe rivers at 1060 m to 360 m at lake-level, is a rapid stream in its upper reaches, being broken by the Kokobi and other falls, navigable only for a short distance above where it empties into Lake Turkana, one of the lakes of the Gregory Rift. The Spectrum Guide to Ethiopia describes it as a popular site for white-water rafting in September and October, when the river is still high from the rainy season, its most important tributary is the Gibe River. The Omo-Bottego River formed the eastern boundaries for the former kingdoms of Janjero, Garo; the Omo flows past the Mago and Omo National Parks, which are known for their wildlife. Many animals live near and on the river, including hippopotamuses and puff adders; the first archaeological discoveries in the area were by a French expedition. The most significant finds were made between 1967 and 1975, by an international archaeological team; this team located a number of different items, including the jawbone of an Australopithecus man, estimated at some 2.5 million years old.
Archeologists have found fossil fragments of Olduwan hominids from the early Pleistocene era and up to the Pliocene era. Quartz tools have been located with some of the homo sapiens remains found on the riverbanks; the lower valley of the Omo is believed by some to have been a crossroads for thousands of years as various cultures and ethnic groups migrated around the region. To this day, the people of the Lower Valley of the Omo, including the Mursi, Nyangatom, Dizi and Me'en, are studied for their diversity. Italian explorer Vittorio Bottego first reached the Omo river on 29 June 1896 during his second African expedition, dying during this expedition on 17 March 1897; the Omo river was renamed Omo-Bottego in his honour. Herbert Henry Austin and his men reached the Omo delta on 12 September 1898, found that an Ethiopian expedition, led by Ras Wolda Giyorgis, had planted Ethiopian flags on the northern shore of Lake Turkana on 7 April, as well as having plundered the locals and reduced them to poverty.
Lieutenant Alexander Bulatovich led a second Ethiopian expedition which reached the lake August 21, 1899, was destructive. Despite this, the Frenchmen in the party mapped for the first time many of the meanders of the Omo River delta; this rendition of the Omo River remained in use until the 1930s when Italian colonial cartographers made a new and more accurate rendition of the river and its delta. The entire Omo river basin is important geologically and archaeologically. Several hominid fossils and archaeological localities, dating to the Pliocene and Pleistocene, have been excavated by French and American teams. Fossils belonging to the genera Australopithecus and Homo have been found at several archaeological sites, as well as tools made from quartzite, the oldest of which date back to about 2.4 million years ago. Because of this, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980; when they were discovered, it was thought that the tools might have been part of a so-called pre-Oldowan industry more primitive than what was found in the Olduvai Gorge.
Research has shown that the crude looks of the tools were in fact caused by poor raw materials, that the techniques used and the shapes permit their inclusion in the Oldowan. There are several power stations and dams in the Omo River basin which are named after the Gilgel Gibe River and Gibe River, which are tributaries of the Omo River. Despite the somewhat confusing naming they are native power stations and dams located on the Omo River; the Gilgel Gibe II Power Station is a hydroelectric power station on the Omo River with a power output of 420 Megawatt. The power station receives water from a tunnel entrance 7°55′27″N 37°23′16″E on the Gilgel Gibe River in a run-of-river scheme; the tunnel entrance is sitting downstream of the Gilgel Gibe I Dam on the Gilgel Gibe River with which it forms a hydroelectric cascade. The Gibe III Hydroelectric dam is a 243 m high roller-compacted concrete dam with an associated hydropower plant on the Omo River in Ethiopia, it is the largest hydropower plant in Africa with a power output of about 1870 Megawatt, thus more than doubling total installed capacity in Ethiopia from its 2007 level of 814 MW.
A controversy has ensued with several NGOs forming a campaign to oppose it. According to Terri Ha
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'
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