Opinions on Bench language

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Bench (Bencnon, Shenon or Mernon, formerly called Gimira ) is a Northern Omotic language of the "Gimojan" subgroup, spoken by about 174,000 people (in 1998) in the Bench Maji Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region, in southern Ethiopia, around the towns of Mizan Teferi and Shewa Gimira. It has three varieties: Benchnon, Shenon, and Mernon, which Blench (2006) considers to be distinct languages but which Rapold (2006) states are "...mutually intelligible...varieties of one and the same language".

In unusual variance from most of the other languages in Africa, Bench has retroflex consonant phonemes. The language is also noteworthy in that it has six phonemic tones, one of only a handful of languages in the world that have this many. Bench has a whistled form used primarily by male speakers, which permits communication over greater distances than spoken Bench. The whistle can be created using the lips or made from a hollow created with both hands. Additionally, this form of the language may be communicated via the 5-stringed krar.

In the image below, you can see a graph with the evolution of the times that people look for Bench language. And below it, you can see how many pieces of news have been created about Bench language in the last years.
Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Bench language has and the evolution of its popularity.

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