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Hara (/hɑɹə/, native: fòhàřàà /ɸòhàɽàː/) is a South Semitic language.





Consonant phonemes
Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex/
Palatal Velar Labiovelar Glottal
Nasal m n ~ ɳ² ɲ ŋ ŋʷ
Stop tenuis p t ʈ c ~ tʃ k ʔ
voiced¹ b d ɖ ɟ ~ dʒ ɡ ɡʷ
implosive ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ ɠʷ
Fricative voiceless ɸ (θ) s ʃ (x) h
voiced β (ð) (z) (ɣ)
Approximant l ɽ ~ ɻ j ɰ w
Tap ɾ


¹ In native words, tenuis and voiced stops are in complementary distribution, with voiced stops occuring after nasals (which are always homorganic) and tenuis stops occuring otherwise. However, the distinction has been phonemized due to the introduction of loanwords.

² /n/ is pronounced [ɳ] before retroflex stops.

³ Phonemes in brackets exclusively occur in loanwords.


Vowel phonemes
  Front Central Back
High i, iː u, uː
Mid e, eː o, oː
Low a, aː

Diphthongs do not exist in native words.

Nasals can be syllabic.

A long vowel consists of two moras. A syllabic nasal is considered a mora.


A mora can have either a high tone or low tone. High tone is considered the default/unmarked form.

Tones are usually not indicated in writing. In this article, a low tone is indicated with a grave accent (à).







When a prefix ending in a nasal is attached to a word, the following mutations occur:

  • Tenuis stop > voiced
  • /N/ + /t, ɾ/ > /nd/
  • /N/ + /ɽ, l/ > /ɳɖ/
  • /N/ + /p, β/ > /mb/
  • /N/ + /k, ɰ/ > /ŋɡ/
  • /N/ + /c, j/ > /ɲɟ/
  • /N/ before vowel > /ɲ/ (before front vowels), /ŋ/ (otherwise)
  • /N/ before /h/ or /ʔ/ > /ŋ/
  • /N/ + /w/ > /ŋʷ/
  • /N/ + nasal > geminated nasal


When a geminating prefix is attached to a word, the following consonants mutate:

  • /ɸ, β/ > /pː/
  • /ɾ, h, ʔ/ > /tː/
  • /ɽ, l/ > /ʈː/
  • /ɰ/ > /kː/
  • /j/ > /cː/
  • /w/ > /kʷː/

Before a vowel, the gemination is replaced with /t/.


In leniting environments, the following mutations occur:

  • /p/ > /β/
  • /t/ > /ɾ/
  • /l/ > /ɽ/
  • /c/ > /j/
  • /k/ > /ɰ/
  • /kʷ/ > /w/

Palatalization and Labialization

Palatalization and labialization only affect native velar consonants. In such environments, the affected consonants is replaced with its palatal or labiovelar counterpart respectively.

  • Palatalization:
    • /ŋ/ > /ɲ/
    • /k/ > /c/
    • /ɡ/ > /ɟ/
    • /ɠ/ > /ʄ/
    • /ɰ/ > /j/
  • Labialization:
    • /ŋ/ > /ŋʷ/
    • /k/ > /kʷ/
    • /ɡ/ > /ɡʷ/
    • /ɠ/ > /ɠʷ/
    • /ɰ/ > /w/




Case in nouns is marked by final vowel:

  • -u: Nominative
  • -a: Accusative
  • -i: Genitive

Case endings are dropped after nouns whose stems end in a long vowel.

A few nouns have long case endings (i.e. -uu for nominative, -aa for accusative, and -ii for genitive).


With the exception of a few common nouns, plural is marked with the suffix -aar-, inserted between the stem and case ending.


The definite article is -ràà attached after the case ending.

Genitive phrase

A genitive phrase can be formed simply by putting the posessor in the genitive case.

Alternatively, the posessor can be preceded with the particle (which becomes in the accusative, in the genitive). This particle can be used on its own, completely replacing the posessee.


Negation of nouns is accomplished with the prefix lee-.

Noun derivation

Various prefixes and suffixes are used to derive nouns.

Derivational prefixes include:

  • fo-: for languages - e.g. fòhàřàà "Hara language"
  • sa-: for peoples - e.g. sàhàřàà "Hara people"
  • me-: for lands - e.g. mèhàřàà "land of the Hara"

Derivational suffixes include:

  • -aay-: nisba suffix


Adjectives are declined similarly to nouns and agree with the modified noun in number and case.

Personal pronouns

Independent subject Clitic
Imperfect subject Perfect subject Non-subject
Singular 1 nii n(i)- -éé -nii
2M ndaa t(i)- -aqáá -qaa
2F ndii t(i)-ii- -ayíí -yii
3M huu y(i)- -óó -huu
3F haa y(i)-ii- -áá -haa
Plural 1 niinaa n(i)-uu- -anáá -naa
2M ndumuu t(i)-uu- -aqumúú -qumuu
2F ndiinaa t(i)-aa- -ayináá -yinaa
3M humuu y(i)-uu- -oomúú -humuu
3F hiinaa y(i)-aa- -eenáá -hinaa


Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1)

Other resources