World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Khoi languages

Article Id: WHEBN0021262336
Reproduction Date:

Title: Khoi languages  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Khoisan languages, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Khoi languages

Khoe
Central Khoisan (obsolete)
Geographic
distribution:
Namibia and the Kalahari Desert
Linguistic classification: Khoe–Sandawe (tentative)
  • Kwadi–Khoe
    • Khoe
Subdivisions:
  • Khoekhoe
  • Tshu–Khwe
Ethnologue code: 17-61

The Khoe languages are the largest of the non-Bantu language families indigenous to southern Africa. They were once considered to be a branch of a Khoisan language family, and were known as Central Khoisan in that scenario.

The most numerous and only well known Khoe language is Nama of Namibia, also known as Khoekhoegowab or Hottentot. The rest of the family is found predominantly in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana.

The Khoe languages were the first Khoisan languages known to European colonists and are famous for their clicks, though these are not as extensive as in other Khoisan language families. There are two primary branches of the family, Khoekhoe of Namibia and South Africa, and Tshu–Khwe of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Except for Nama, they are under pressure from national or regional languages such as Tswana.

History

Tom Güldemann believes agro-pastoralist people speaking the Khoe–Kwadi proto-language entered modern-day Botswana about 2000 years ago from the northeast (that is, in the direction of the modern Sandawe), where they had likely acquired agriculture from the expanding Bantu, at a time when the Kalahari was more amenable to agriculture. The ancestors of the Kwadi (and perhaps Damara) continued west, whereas those who settled in the Kalahari absorbed speakers of Juu languages. Thus the Khoe family proper has a Juu influence. These immigrants were ancestral to the north-eastern Kalahari peoples (Eastern Tshu–Khwe branch linguistically), whereas Juu neighbors (or perhaps Kx'a neighbors more generally) to the southwest who shifted to Khoe were ancestral to the Western Tshu–Khwe branch.

Later desiccation of the Kalahari led to the adoption of a hunter-gatherer economy and preserved the Kalahari peoples from absorption by the agricultural Bantu when they spread south.

Those Khoe who continued southwestwards retained pastoralism and became the Khoekhoe. They mixed extensively with speakers of Tuu languages, absorbing features of their languages. The expansion of the Nama people into Namibia and their absorption of client peoples such as the Damara and Haiǁom took place in the 16th century and later, at about the time of European contact and colonization.

Classification

The nearest relative of the Khoe family may be the extinct Kwadi language of Angola. This larger group, for which pronouns and some basic vocabulary have been reconstructed, is called Kwadi–Khoe. However, because Kwadi is poorly attested, it is difficult to tell which common words are cognate and which might be loans. Beyond that, the nearest relative may be the Sandawe isolate; the Sandawe pronoun system is very similar to that of Kwadi–Khoe, but there are not enough known correlations for regular sound correspondences to be worked out. However, the relationship has some predictive value, for example if the back-vowel constraint, which operates in the Khoe languages but not in Sandawe, is taken into account.

Language classifications may list one or two dozen Khoe languages. Because many are dialect clusters, there is a level of subjectivity involved in separating them. Counting each dialect cluster as a unit results in nine Khoe languages:

?Khoe–Sandawe 

? Sandawe


 Kwadi–Khoe 

Kwadi


 Khoe 

Khoekhoe
North Khoekhoe 

Khoekhoe



Eini



South  Khoekhoe 

Korana



Xiri†?




Kalahari  (Tshu–Khwe) 
East Kalahari 

Shua



Tsoa



West  Kalahari 

Kxoe



Naro



? ǂHaba (closest to Naro?)



Gǁana








  • Nama (ethnonyms Khoekhoen, Nama, Damara) is a dialect cluster including ǂAakhoe and Haiǁom
  • Xiri is a dialect cluster also known as Griqua (Afrikaans spelling) or Cape Hottentot.
  • Shua is a dialect cluster including Shwa, Deti, Tsʼixa, ǀXaise, and Ganádi
  • Tsoa is a dialect cluster including Cire Cire and Kua
  • Kxoe is a dialect cluster including ǁAni and Buga
  • Naro is a dialect cluster
  • Gǁana is a dialect cluster including Gǀwi. ǂHaba is often included here, but may be closer to Naro.

External links

  • Khoe languages page in MultiTree Project at the LINGUIST List.

References

  • Güldemann, Tom and Edward D. Elderkin (2010) 'On External Genealogical Relationships of the Khoe Family.' in Brenzinger, Matthias and Christa König (eds.), Khoisan Languages and Linguistics: the Riezlern Symposium 2003. Quellen zur Khoisan-Forschung 17. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe.
  • Changing Profile when Encroaching on Hunter-gatherer Territory?: Towards a History of the Khoe–Kwadi Family in Southern Africa. Tom Güldemann, paper presented at the conference Historical Linguistics and Hunter-gatherer Populations in Global Perspective, at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Aug. 2006.
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 USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov 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.