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SPECIAL LANGUAGE USE BY WOMEN IN SOME HIGHLAND EAST CUSHITIC LANGUAGES: A DESCRIPTIVE AND COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS [Abstract ID: 0812-01]
The main aim of this paper is to describe and compare the unique system of women's speech in four Highland Cushitic languages. In many societies, the speech of women and men varies. The variation between women and men's speech may be trivial in some societies while in others the language difference between the two genders is significant and rigorous. The latter type of variation between women and men has been observed among genetically closely related Highland East Cushitic languages: Sidama, Hadiya, Kambata, Tambaro, Alaba and Kabena. Among these linguistic groups, the speech of women and men vary because of taboo. The social and cultural values that these societies held have affected the speech of women. In general, married women are not allowed to mention the names of their in-laws, the names of their husbands and his older siblings and the clan names of their husband. This system of in-laws language is referred to as ballisha in Sidama, ballissu in Kambata, Tambaro and Alaba, and balluwisha in Hadiya. This paper focuses on the last four languages and/or dialects. To avoid calling the taboo names, the women use various mechanisms or methods, such as ballisha terms, synonyms, initial sound or syllable substitution, circumlocutions, polite personal pronouns and teknonymy.