5th November, 2018
To develop the Tigrinya language as an expressive vibrant modern language the linguist has to depend on Ge’ez as the standard language. One can postulate that today’s Tigrinya language is the development of old Ge’ez language but with some marked idiosyncratic innovations that has taken place most vividly in its 3rd person singular and plural independent pronouns, (a common linguistic feature that has affected Ge’ez itself).The suffixed pronouns, both object and possessive follow common Semitic forms.
To make it full fledge working language,all the primary and secondary schools in the State must use it as a medium of instruction up to a higher level. For the project to be successful the State needs to make a concerted effort in establishing a Tigrinya Language Academy sooner than later.
The Universities of Tigray can also play a prominent role in its formation by producing qualified Tigrinya language teachers in the field of linguistics. Initially, the Universities may advertise for the service of professional linguists who have some knowledge in the field of Semitic languages. The local media should also play a positive role in its establishment by explaining the urgency of the scheme to the population as a whole. To ask the public to take charge by supporting it both financially and materially.The Tigray diaspora as well as Tigrinya language philologists, generous individual persons as well as the local and international voluntary organisations should also be approached to play their part in making the exercise a success.
Once the TLA is established the experts should be entrusted to perform the following duties.
-To revive and refresh theoriginal Ge’ez consonantal and vowel writing systems that have undergone unnecessary modifications at some time in the past.
-To draft and determine a new writing system suitable for the modern Tigrinya and Tigre languages.
-To analyse and study the Ge’ez Cardinal vowel system.
-To differentiate the marked vowels from the unmarked vowels of the system.
-To identify the point and place of production of the short low front, long high back and the high central rounded vowels of the Ge’ez Cardinal system.
-To identify the phonetic graphemes (smallest phonetic symbols), that have merged with other graphemes.
-To revive the merged characters by reassigning their original phonetic values whenever possible.
-To drop and discard the new extra graphemes used in place of the older merged ones.
-To reintroduce and revive the wrongly articulated laryngeal consonants by their original Ge’ezphonetic values following the Tigrinya and Tigre phonological pronunciation practice.
-To reuse the original Ge’ez phonological pronunciation method when reading written Ge’ez texts in the church schools followingthe Tigrinya phonological pronunciation system.
-To tell the wider Tigrinya speaking community to drop allAmharicand foreign loan words such as the Proper Personal Names and Place Namesby instructing them to use Tigrinya or Ge’ez names only.
-To follow the Orthographical Representation Method of A. Dillmann, M. Cohen, W.Leslau and R. Hetzron in spelling Ge’ez and Tigryna words when using the Latin script.
It is advisable and accepted norm to follow using the English vowel pronunciation system when transcribing Semitic languages such as Ge’ez, Tigrinya and Arabic.
Concerted effort should also be made to guide the church schools of Tigray toadhere tothe recommended writing and phonological systems when teaching Ge’ez to their deacons orstudents. Priests should also be encouraged to stick to the original Ge’ez pronunciation practice when reading Ge’ez texts. Show them with examples how the meanings of metaphors and semantics of Ge’ez words are more easily revealed to the listener when the reader adheres to the original pronunciation system.
Encourage the Tigray community to form Tigrinya Language Societies and ask them to play their part in the development modernision and innovation of the Tigrinya Language. So that they be able to indicate the stress and consonantal gemination points of Ge’ez syntax and morphology and to study it how it is reflected in the Tigrinya language. And also, study and analyse its stem form of paradigms and its basic morphological categories to which the subject markers affix in the morpho syntactic stem paradigms and distinguish the types and moods of the “verbal-root class”, “tense class”, “derivational class” and “lexical classes” and their stem series of paradigmatic systems. Also, aim to produce a modern Tigrinya Language Dictionary by following the methodological practice of the highly developed Semitic language families such as Modern Standard Arabic and Hebrew. These two languages choose the root stemof words asthe ‘lexical entry’ in the Dictionary.Its gloss andmeaning is explained by the type of its affixes that attach to it. Affixes attach to the different stem forms as prefixes, infixes and suffixes in the stem series of paradigms in most Semitic Languages including Ge’ez Tigre and Tigrinya.
In Ge’ez, the prepositions, conjunctions, infinitives, causatives, nominatives and accusatives markers are found attached to the stem form of paradigms as prefixes, suffixes and infixes.