Lexical-Functional Grammar, a 2011 PhD Thesis by Nazareth Amlesom, Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies
University of Bergen
Part of the Abstract:
The primary goal of this thesis is to describe and analyze applicative constructions
in Tigrinya. An applicative construction is characterized by a verb that bears an
affix for an argument that either has a semantic role that is not normally entailed by
the lexical meaning of the base verb or is specified as a peripheral argument. The
choice of an applicative expression is motivated by semantic and discourse factors. Applicatively expressed arguments are associated with referents that possess
high semantic prominence and discourse salience. The applicative phenomenon is
viewed as a morphosyntactic strategy that introduces a core object function that is
salient in the discourse event described by the verb. The theoretical motivation of
this study is to explore the conditions that trigger object marking in Tigrinya so as
to examine the semantic, functional and discourse properties of objects. The main
theoretical framework used in this research is Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG).
This formalism assumes that the different linguistic information pertaining to functional, semantic and discourse structures can be modeled as interrelated parallel
Refugees and citizens:
refugees’ ambivalence towards
homeland politics, a 2019 article by Milena Belloni, University of Antwerp, Belgium
This article revisits ambivalence as a protracted state which does not simply develop as a result of the
migration experience but stems from overlapping levels of normative inconsistency. Drawing from my
ethnography of Eritreans’ everyday life in the homeland and abroad, I analyse their attitudes of patriotism
and disenchantment through an ambivalence lens. Their ambiguous attitudes are arising from national and
transnational Eritrean state policies and are further complicated by their role as “political refugees” in host
countries. My informants’ ambivalence stems from them embodying more than one role (i.e. patriots, family
breadwinners, refugees from and citizens of their homeland), from contradictory expectations pertaining to
the same role (i.e. young citizens in Eritrea) and from clashing implications of being members of two different
social systems (i.e. the destination country and the country of origin). Thus, Eritreans’ political loyalties and
actions are characterized by a state of ambivalence throughout their migration process. Despite its peculiar
characteristics, this case study sheds light on the complexity of ambivalence, as more than a temporary
condition, for migrants and refugees in particular. In the current scenario of emigrant states’ transnational
governance, protracted ambivalence is likely to mark the attitudes of an increasing number of people on the
move as both refugees from and citizens of their country of origin.
Introducing Haji Jabir's award winning Arabic novels
Haji Jaber is an Eritrean novelist, born in the coastal city
of Massawa in 1976. He escaped with his family to Jeddah while he was breast
feeding, to escape Ethiopian atrocities. He grew up and studied in Jeddah. As
an immigrant in Saudi Arabia it was difficult for his family to find him a
school but at last, he was able to get private education. He has published so
far four novels: Samrawit (2012), winner of the Sharjah Award for Arab
Creativity in 2012, Fatma's Harbour (2013), The Game of the Spindle (2015),
which was longlisted for the 2016 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and Black Foam (2018)
which won the prestigious ‘Katara Prize’ In the category of the published Arabic
novel. Eritrea is vividly present in his novels.
Samrawit (2012) is about discovering Eritrea after a long
immigrant life in Jeddah, it is about the author’s or at times the main
character’s first his interaction with the Eritrean Embassy there. It was about
‘home coming’. His first emotion-laden travel to Asmara and Massawa. Though the
author had no personal memories about Eritrea, his collective memories are rich
taken from his family who talked about the country daily. His mother’s longing
to Zewditu, her close friend in Massawa. The main character falls in love with
an Eritrean girl, Samrawit who lives abroad but was visiting Eritrea the same
time he was there, he is being a Muslim and she being a Christian had its
challenges. Samrawit is about this journey.
His second novel, Fatma's Harbour (2013) is about the main
character from Ghinda who lives in Asmara and falls in love with a secondary
school student who fails her exams deliberately to avoid Sawa and who lives at
the old street of ‘Mersa Fatma’ meaning Fatma’s harbour. The street is close to
Enda Mariam. Through the main character, the author takes us to youth life in
Asmara, the Asmara University refusal to go to Kemtawi Maatot in 2001, the
measures taken by Eritrean government, life in the national service in Sawa, the
kidnapping by the Rashaida (what the author calls the Shifta), life in Shegerb refugee
camp in Sudan with its old refugees of the 1960s and the new one. All those
events are beautifully narrated in the journey of the main character in search
for his lover. The novel was translated to Italian under the title’ La fuga della picola Roma’.
His third novel, The Game of the Spindle, centers around the main character, who is a
charming girl who had lost her both parents in the struggle and who lives with her
grandmother who excels in spinning yarn and telling stories. The story centers
in the newly formed Archives Department, where the charming girl is employed.
The archives department aim is to digitalize documents written by fighters during
the liberation. The folders are marked by three colors, BROWN which are
considered public, YELLOW which are regarded semi-confidential and RED which
are strictly confidential. People are recruited to this department after a lot
of scrutiny. The beginners are given only the BROWN files and as their loyalty is
tested their gradually deal with the confidential files. The main character
starts with the BROWN ones, but quickly finds them boring and uses her beauty
to get to the RED files. The Red files
get edited by the president of the state. She starts manipulating the stories
in the files, re-writing them as she would tell the story. It is in those RED
files she discovers a stunning history about her parents and about the
Black Foam follows a group of Ethiopian Jews, the “Falash
Mura”, who are driven by poverty and desperation, emigrate to Israel in search
of a better life. Amongest them is Dawoud, who changed his name to “Dawit” so
that western NGOs can take him to Europe but fails. Upon learning that Falasha Jews
are being transported to Israel, he invents a new identity, changing his name
and history, so that he can travel to Israel alongside the Falasha Jews.
However, on arrival, he faces the trials and suffering experienced by
dark-skinned immigrants in the country.
Tigre Studies in the 21st Century , RAINER VOIGT, ed. / Tigre-Studien im 21. Jahrhundert, Studien zum Horn von Afrika, 2 (Köln: Rüdiger Köppe, 2015). xi, 241 p
A Review of the book;
At the 3rd International Enno Littmann Conference held at the Freie Universität in Berlin
on April 1–4, 2009, under the heading ‘Tigre, Aksum and More’, a special panel was devoted to the T gre language and literature and to Tigre society. The present volume, carefully edited by Rainer Voigt, who was also the organizer of the conference, contains the papers presented on this panel in which scholars from Eritrea also actively participated. It is doubtless to their presence that we owe a refreshing first in Ethiopian and Eritrean studies, namely: abstracts of the articles also in Tigre. This language is described by the editor in the Introduction as the third largest Ethiopic-Semitic language after Amharic and Tigriñña; this is true only if we adopt the new trend in Ethiopian studies, and consider what used to be the Gurage dialect cluster with nearly 3,000,000 speakers or more, as a distinct group of several separate languages.
Aspects of Tigrinya Literature (until 1974) by Hailu Habtu, a M.Phil. thesis, School of Oriental
and African Studies, University of London, 1981
This dissertation aims to study the origin and development of Tigrinya as a written language-a topic that has
so far received little scholarly attention. As time and the
easy accessibility of all the relevant material are limiting
factors,this investigation is necessarily selective.
Chapter One takes stock of all available writing in the
Tigrinya language frcm its beginning in the middle of the last
century up to 1974.
Chapter Two briefly investigates the development of written Tigrinya to serve varying functions and ends and the general
direction that its development took.
Chapter Three provides a glimpse of the breadth and variety
of literature incorporated in the Eritrean Weekly News published
in Asmara by the British Information Services frcm 1942 to 1952.
The E W N represented the sudden birth and development of a
secular writing and provided a tradition and a reservoir of literature on which Tigrinya fiction later drew.
Chapters Four, Five and Six deal with Tigrinya fictional literature on the basis of selected themes v. g. historical and political themes (Chapter Four), prostitution and approbation against
dissolute life (Chapter Five), and education and success
Günter Schröder on what is the real population in Eritrea and why it is kept as confidential:
Günter Schröder, who is a German scholar with extensive research on Eritrea in particular and in the Horn of Africa in general and this is his take on what is the real population and why does the government doesn’t publish actual surveys done or conduct a population census. Based on available data and on population growth, he estimates the resident population to be 3.2 million and explains the distubing population trends.
How Eritrea's regime policies causing large scale exodus of mainly young men impact on gender distribution and
population growth in the country
Günter Schröder, who is a German researcher with extensive research on Eritrea in particular and in the Horn of Africa in general and this is his take on how the large scale exodus of mainly young men impact on gender distribution and population growth in the country. This is part of his engagement with EriMedrek.
Eritrea regime's social engineering impact on ethno-demographic balance of population
Günter Schröder, who is a German researcher with extensive research on Eritrea in particular and in the Horn of Africa in general and this is his take on Eritrea's regime social engineering impact on ethno-demographic balance of population. This part of his engagement with EriMedrek. On this part he explains that the average population growth in the country was 12 % but the corresponding population growth in the Central Region was 20 % that shows more and more people have migrated to Asmara, but there has been a big original population loss in the Northern Red Sea Zone (NRZ), and Southern Red Sea Zone (SRZ) corresponding respectively to 30 % and 20 %. In case of NRZ the Tigrait speaking population has emigrated to Sudan and the Afar in the SRZ have emigrated to the Afar Region in Ethiopia. This population loss was compensated by the settlement of the Tigrinya speaking highlanders in those areas. The biggest population growth has been in Gash-Barka (36 %) mainly due to the government schemes of settling Tigrinya speaking highlanders in the region. Watch the video here:
From 4 villages to a UNESCO World Heritage Site This is the first part of pictorial books about Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, covering the period 1890 -1938. On the 8th of July, 2017, Asmara was included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. UNESCO, described Asmara as a Modernist City of Africa and added, “Located at over 2,000 m above sea level, the capital of Eritrea developed from the 1890s onwards as a military outpost for the Italian colonial power. After 1935, Asmara underwent a large scale programme of construction applying the Italian rationalist idiom of the time to governmental edifices, residential and commercial buildings, churches, mosques, synagogues, cinemas, hotels, etc.” This pictorial book takes you through that journey on how Asmara developed from four villages to a modernist city, with explanatory captions in Italian, English Arabic and Tigrinya.
- There is lack of transparency in the process of elections - The incumbent President has a better chance of cheating - The loser does not acknowledge defeat even if the country is on fire - Some times one can never make it to the presidency if one has a smaller social base, as people are more liable to elect persons from their own social base, but for some the only goal in life is to be a president, all or none - The opposition wants to rule, in the first free elections, instead of building up on their achievements and prepare for the next elections
RIVALRY, ANTAGONISM AND WAR IN THE NATION- & STATE-BUILDING PROCESS: THE H FACTOR IN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN ERITREA AND ETHIOPIA, an article by Uoldelul Chelati Dirar
Märäb Mällaš is deﬁ nitely the toponym which has enjoyed the
greatest favour thanks also to the homonymous title of Perini’s book. However,
the very adoption of those two toponyms speak volumes about dominant
perceptions of land and polities. In fact both denominations and particularly
Märäb Mällaš reﬂ ects a geographical position which betrays the location of the
observant and, therefore his/her perception of space and power relations from a
perspective strongly inﬂ uenced by the Ethiopian polity taken as a main
reference and Təgrəñña and or Amharic languages as main medium of
communication. I wonder if this representation of space and polities would
equally satisfy an Afar, Təgre, Kunama, Nara or Beni Amer speaker. Would it
accommodate his/her perception of spatial and political hierarchies? It seems
to me that dominant narratives on Eritrea and on Eritrean-Ethiopian relations
implicitly assume Eritrean Təgrəñña-speaking highlanders as their main object
and by so doing tend to fall in the common mistake of confusing the part for
the whole. Until now historiographic analyses of pre-colonial balances of power
in the region have failed in taking into adequate consideration narratives from
the Western lowlands and, to a certain extent, also those from the Eastern
lowlands of what is today the State of Eritrea. They have remained marginal
both in colonial and post-colonial literature.
Within this perspective a ﬁ rst crucial step to be taken in
order to draft a fair and It seems to me that dominant narratives on Eritrea
and on Eritrean-Ethiopian relations implicitly assume Eritrean Təgrəñña-speaking
highlanders as their main object and by so doing tend to fall in the common
mistake of confusing the part for the whole. Until now historiographic analyses
of pre-colonial balances of power in the region have failed in taking into
adequate consideration narratives from the Western lowlands and, to a certain
extent, also those from the Eastern lowlands of what is today the State of
Eritrea. They have remained marginal both in colonial and post-colonial