College of Arts and Sciences Poster Presentations


Linguistic Features of Maay Maay

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Michal Temkin Martinez


This poster provides a preliminary description of the linguistic features of Maay Maay, a language spoken in Eastern Africa and by hundreds of refugees in the Boise area. Maay Maay is characterized as an East Somali, Cushitic language within the Afro-Asiatic language family and, although it is spoken by over 1,860,000 people around the world, it is virtually undocumented in the linguistic literature. Over the course of a semester, our group met with a native speaker of Maay Maay to document the phonological, morphological, and syntactic features of the language. This analysis, along with recordings made by our group, serves the greater linguistic community by providing theoretical linguists with new language data to support their research. It will also serve the Maay Maay community in the diaspora by providing documentation and archiving of this language for future generations to access.

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