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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 ?
I want to thank the entire government of the UAE, for everything they do for the Somalian community; they have helped a lot of Somalians throughout the years," Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the former Prime Minister of Somalia, and current Senator of the Upper House told Khaleej Times on Monday evening, at the Somalian Embassy.
At the end of the visit, Ambassador Al Othman thanked the Somalian President for visiting the UAE Training Centre in Mogadishu and for his efforts in strengthening relations between the two countries.
Another member of the Somalian community, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "The motion is outrageous.
The visit here this week of the new Somalian presidenta[bar] represents a significant change in the security and political situation on the ground in Somalia and our relationship with that country.
He said the US Navy had captured 15 pirates, all of whom are believed to be Somalian, and is holding them on board the aircraft carrier.
The Somalian cave fish (Phreatichthys andruzzii) has an inner timekeeper set by food rather than sunlight that ticks out a roughly 47-hour day, scientists from Italy, Germany and Spain report online September 6 in PLoSBiology.
provide three square meals for impoverished Somalians.
Listening: Prime Minister David Cameron meets members of the Somalian community and the Muath Trust in Camp Hill.
But I had many friends, a Zimbabwean, Somalians and Scottish women.
MV Rak Africana, registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadine, is still said to be in the Somalian waters but all the Indians on board are safe.
As Somalian children growing up in Yemen, neither had problems integrating.