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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Who lives in Ethiopia, where and who is the governor?
Author:Mantel-Nie'cko, JoannaISNI
Periodical:Africana Bulletin
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Ethiopian-Semitic languages
Abstract:Between 1931 and 1994, four constitutions were enacted in Ethiopia. Their Amharic version provides a suitable corpus of data for an analysis of words denoting cultural indicators of social identity. Focus is on words which answer the following questions: Who lives in Ethiopia? What is the name of 'all the people' living in the country? What is the name of the division(s) within 'all the people'? Where do 'all the people' live? What is the name of the division(s) of the whole 'where'? Who governs all (or parts of) Ethiopia? Who are the governed? Questions concerning the historical continuity and change of words-indicators occurring in the constitutions to denote the territory and citizens of Ethiopia are more difficult to answer. On the one hand the constitutions, especially those of 1987 and 1994, can be seen to reflect the advanced globalism of political systems and forms of social lif e, in view of the numerous semantic changes within the lexical inventory of Amharic and the many European loanwords and neologisms, all vividly illustrated in the changing names of the Ethiopian country, its citizens and territorial divisions. On the other hand, these drastic changes in the constitutions reflect a transformation of the governing group's vision of the State. They say nothing about the consciousness of the governed. Notes, ref.