This article aims to describe the sociolinguistics of scripts used in multilingual Ethiopia with a focus in
Southern Ethiopia including the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS),
and Sidaama. It attempts to describe the challenges of competitively and divisively used scripts, Ethiopic
and Latin, thereby showing, with linguistic-based pieces of evidence, that Ethiopic can be used for all
languages in Southern Ethiopia in particular and Ethiopia in general. The methodology used is qualitative,
but numbers are also used to count graphemes and lines in the paragraphs, thereby showing an economy
of graphemes and words. Five languages: Amharic, Gurage, Konta, Sidaama, and Aari were chosen using
purposive sampling. To compare an economy of graphemes and words, Amharic and Guragetexts were
compared to one another. For Konta, Sidaama, and Aaritexts written in Ethiopic and Latin-based scripts
were compared for each language. It was found that the Ethiopic script is more economic than the Latinbased script. The study also showed that Ethiopic script can very well represent gemination and length. It
is suggested that a phonemic inventory of Ethiopian languages should be made and that Ethiopic phonetic
alphabet (EPA) needs to be prepared for consistent use of graphemes across Ethiopian languages.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.usurn:nbn:de:0000ejssls.v8i1

Published: 2021-06-30