Monday, 10 June 2013

The Standard Somali Grammar and Pareto Principle

In October 2012 Somali language speakers celebrated the fortieth anniversary of written Somali. Since 1972 Somali has been used as a medium instruction, for judiciary and public administration. Research into Somali – modernisation and the grammar of the language, and the use of Somali for fiction writing— constitute the most seminal but least-celebrated aspect of Somali Studies. This essay contends that Somali is easy to learn partly because the Pareto Principle is operating in the Somali grammar. Pereto Principle, also known as 80/20 Principle, was named after Vilfredo Pareto, the Italian economist. The Pareto Principle “asserts that a minority, a small number, of causes inputs or efforts usually leads to a majority of the results, outputs or rewards, so most of the outputs result from a very small part of the causes or inputs.” Applied to standard Somali grammar, the verb and adjective, 20% of Somali grammatical categories, constitute 80% of written and spoken Somali because use of tenses affects both grammatical categories.

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