© Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes 2007, originally published by Oxford University Press 2007.Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes Oxford University Press
Copyright The Columbia University PressThe Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. The Columbia University Press
Amharic (ămhâr´Ĭk), language of Ethiopia belonging to the South Ethiopic group of South Semitic languages, which, in turn, belong to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages (see Afroasiatic languages). The official tongue of Ethiopia since the 14th cent., Amharic is spoken by about 20 million people in that country. Amharic employs a modification of the Ethiopic script (see Ethiopic). The earliest extant texts in Amharic go back to the 14th cent. Amharic has been considerably influenced in its grammar and vocabulary by the nearby Cushitic tongues.
See W. Leslau, Amharic Textbook (1968); C. A. Ferguson, The Ethiopian Language Area (1971); W. Leslau, Concise Amharic Dictionary (1980).