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The K’abeena language is listed in the Ethnologue as [alw] Alaba-K’abeena language, a Highland East Cushitic language spoken in Central Ethiopia. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the sociolinguistic situation in K’abeena, with respect to language attitudes, language vitality, and the community’s desire for possible future language development. Both Alaba and K’abeena are officially recognized in Ethiopia as separate ethnic groups and languages, although the two varieties are very closely related. The communities may therefore wish to undergo separate language development efforts.
This study used sociolinguistic questionnaires to investigate language use and language attitudes of the K’abeena speakers. Currently the language is vital, but many speakers are multilingual and speak either Amharic, Oromo or West-Gurage, depending on location. All speakers seem to have a positive attitude towards their language and appreciate any language development efforts.