The objective of this study was to determine the degree of intelligibility of Af-Maay to Somali university student speakers (n=21) of Af-Maxaa in the United States by implementing a perceived intelligibility test. The investigator aimed to test whether time spent in the United States, language contact with Af-Maay speakers, native Somali dialect, or the region of origin in Somalia affected the intelligibility of Af-Maay. The one-sample t-test showed that Af-Maay is partially intelligible to speakers of Af-Maxaa; t(21)=4.623, p=.000. This appears to agree with Crystal's (1987) Type 5 language-dialect relationship category, where there is a partial intelligibility due to the overlapping history between Af-Maay and Af-Maxaa speakers. The results of the Pearson's correlation coefficient revealed statistically significant associations between the participants' level of understanding of Af-Maay and Standard Somali, their association with Af-Maay speakers, and their time spent in the United States. These results imply that there is a combination of linguistic and non-linguistic factors influencing the intelligibility of Af-Maay.


Karen Lybeck

First Committee Member

Harry Solo

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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