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1. a member of a tall dark-skinned people inhabiting Somalia
2. the language of this people, belonging to the Cushitic subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages



(Somalis), a people living on the Somali Peninsula in Africa, in the Somali Democratic Republic, in neighboring parts of Ethiopia, in Kenya, in Djibouti, and in several other countries. They number about 4.9 million persons (1973, estimate) and speak Somali, a Cushitic language. The Somali are Sunni Muslims.

In the interior regions of the peninsula, elements of clan-tribal life have survived among the Somali. The main occupation is livestock raising (camels and cattle); agriculture is practiced chiefly in the Webi Shebeli and Juba river valleys. As a result of the national liberation struggle of the Somali in British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland, the sovereign Somali Republic was formed in 1960.


Rait, M. V. “Somaliitsy.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1959, no. 1.



the language of the Somali people. Somali is spoken in the Somali Democratic Republic, southern Djibouti, eastern Ethiopia (Ogaden), and northeastern Kenya by approximately 4.9 million people (1973, estimate). It belongs to the Cushitic group of Hamito-Semitic, or Afrasian, languages. The principal dialects are Isâk, Issa, Darod, and Hawiyya.

In Somali, vowels are opposed to one another on the basis of length, fronting, and tonal-stress pattern, which is also employed as a grammatical marker. There are many postdorsal consonants. Substantives and verbs constitute the basic word classes. Two genders and case forms are distinguished, often only by means of tone. Most substantives change gender in the plural; dependent members of the subject and object type are almost never connected. There are definite and indefinite articles. Government is preverbal; verbs are conjugated to express person, number, and tense. Object, and sometimes subject, pronouns are obligatory for the verb. In a number of archaic verbs, conjugation is of the prefixal-suffixal type, as in the Semitic languages. Inflection and word-formation are mainly suffixal.

The sentence must contain a “predicatizing” phrase particle, which logically accentuates one member of the sentence. Attributes are placed after dependent words. A writing system based on the Latin alphabet was introduced in 1973.


Zholkovskii, A. K. Sintaksis somali. Moscow, 1971.
Dolgopol’skii, A. B. Sravnitel’no-istoricheskaia fonetika kushitskikh iazykov. Moscow, 1973.
Bell, C. R. V. The Somali Language. London, 1953.
Moreno, M. M. II Somalo della Somalia. Rome, 1955.
Andrzejewski, B. W. The Declensions of Somali Nouns. London, 1964.
Abraham, R. C. Somali-English Dictionary. London, 1964.
Abraham, R. C. English-Somali Dictionary. London, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
On 16 September 2013, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the international community endorsed the Somali Compact (The Compact), which provides an overarching strategy setting out Somalia s peace-building and state-building priorities between 2014 and 2016.
The new report by Secure Fisheries, a part of the One Earth Future Foundation campaign group, warned the success in ending Somali piracy could be reversed if the growing illegal fishing is not stemmed.
Full investigations are still continuing and it is too early to give full update, but what I can confirm to you is that the male bomber was a German citizen of Somali origin who just came back (to Somalia) recently," the unnamed officer told Xinhua, noting that the suicide bomber had lived in the German city of Bonn before his return to Somalia.
Kenya's biggest selling Daily Nation newspaper said on Wednesday that the government has "frozen the accounts of 86 individuals and entities suspected to be financing terrorism in the country", including Somali remittance firms.
The Ministers, in the conclusion of their meeting which addressed by the Somali President and Prime Minister, issued statement commending the achievements of the Somali government and referring to the challenges facing it as well as the recommendations and the decisions related to the support of the Somali government and people .
He valued the Yemeni support for the Somali people during the civil war, especially hosting thousands of Somali refugees, affirming that such attitude will not be forgotten by the Somali people.
He pointed out that RCO is keen to contribute to the reconstruction efforts in Somalia, and direct the donations of the leadership and the citizens in development projects that benefit all segments of the Somali people, noting that RCO has dug 10 artesian wells that serve more than 102,000 people across Somalia.
The officials discussed Egypt's role in "the educational field," and the Somali ambassador pointed out that a "large number of the current [Somali] governmental officials received their education in Egypt," the statement read.
Mohammed Abdulla Al-Naj'i, the lone Yemeni in one of the huddled circles, sat and listened to his Somali friends.
The field study took place between January and April 2011 and centred on the understanding of the role played by social media in the migratory trajectory of Somali refugees in France.
CARDIFF was turned into a festival of Somali poetry, drama, dance and song yesterday, as National Theatre Wales' ' spectacular De Gabay production took over the city.
In a talk this week at Oxford University, CEO of Dahabshiil Abdirashid Duale called for faster progress towards interconnectivity in the Somali territories' burgeoning telecoms sector.