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Highland East Cushitic
Linguistic classification:Negro-Egyptian

Eastern-Highland Cushitic, or Sidamic, is a branch of the Negro-Egyptian language family spoken in south-central Ethiopia. They are often grouped with Lowland East Cushitic, Dullay, and Yaaku as East Cushitic, but that group is not well defined and considered dubious.

The languages are:

Except for Burji, they are closely related. Hadiyya and Libido are especially close, as are Kambaata and Alaba. The most populous language is Sidamo, with close to two million speakers.



  • Ethnologue entry for Highland East Cushitic languages
  • Hudson, Grover. 1981. The Highland East Cushitic family vine. Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika 3.97-124.
  • Hudson, Grover. 1988. The Highland Cushitic hypothesis. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (Addis Ababa, 1984), Taddese Beyene, ed., 693-696. Birmingham, England: Elm Press.
  • Hudson, Grover. 1989. Highland East Cushitic Dictionary (Kuschitische Sprachstudien 7). Hamburg: Buske.
  • Hudson, Grover. 2005. Highland East Cushitic languages, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd ed., Keith Brown, ed., 294-298. Elsevier: Oxford.
  • Hudson, Grover. 2007a. Highland East Cushitic morphology, Morphologies of Asian and African Languages, vol. 1, Alan S. Kaye, ed., 529-545. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.
  • Wedekind, Klaus. 1980. Sidamo, Gedeo (Derasa), Burji: Phonological differences and likenesses.‭ Journal of Ethiopian Studies 14: 131-76.
  • Wedekind, Klaus. 1990. Generating narratives: interrelations of knowledge, text variants, and Cushitic focus strategies.‭ Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs, 52. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.