World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

ǀXam language

Article Id: WHEBN0000712892
Reproduction Date:

Title: ǀXam language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tuu languages, Khoisan languages, South Africa, History of the Northern Cape, Motto
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

ǀXam language

Region South Africa, Lesotho
Extinct 19??
  • ǃKwi
    • ǀXam
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xam
Glottolog xamm1241[1]

ǀXam (/Kham) , or ǀXam Kaǃkʼe, is an extinct Khoisan language of South Africa, part of the ǃkwi language group. It is closely related to the Nǁng language, which still has a few speakers.

ǀXam words were used for the South African motto adopted on 27 April 2000,

ǃke e: ǀxarra ǁke

which is supposed to mean diverse people unite or, on a collective scale, Unity in Diversity. However, it is not known if that phrase would have been idiomatic in ǀXam. ǀXam is not one of the eleven official languages of South Africa because it is extinct and has no more speakers (mother or second tongue).

The pipe at the beginning of the name "ǀXam" represents a dental click, like the English interjection tsk, tsk! used to express pity or shame. The x represents the g sound of Afrikaans geel or Setswana tokologo; or the ch of Scottish Gaelic loch, Russian khikhikat, German Bach, or Hebrew Chanukkah. There is little variation in rendering the name, compared to other Khoisan languages. Besides the simple orthographic variant ǀKham, there is a different grammatical form, ǀKhuai

Much of the scholarly work on the ǀXam language was performed by Wilhelm Bleek, a German linguist of the 19th century. He had studied a variety of ǀXam spoken at Achterveld, and (with Lucy Lloyd) another spoken at Strandberg and Katkop.[2]


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "ǀXam". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Güldemann (2011)

External links

  • Bleek and Lloyd Archive of ǀxam and ǃkun texts online
  • A crowdsourcing project to transcribe the Bleek and Lloyd Collection
  • South African coat of arms

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.