By Tom Güldemann, Anne-Maria Fehn
Greenberg’s (1954) thought of a ‘Khoisan’ language relatives, whereas heartily embraced via non-specialists, has been harshly criticized by means of linguists engaged on those languages. proof for Greenberg's speculation has proved to be heavily inadequate and little development has been made within the intervening years in substantiating his declare via the normal comparative strategy. This quantity is going past “Khoisan” within the linguistic experience through exploring a extra advanced background that incorporates a number of and common occasions of language touch in southern Africa epitomized within the areal inspiration ‘Kalahari Basin’. The papers contained herein current new information on languages from all 3 proper lineages, Tuu, Kx’a and Khoe-Kwadi, complemented through non-linguistic examine from molecular and cultural anthropology. A recurrent subject is to disentangle genealogical and areal historic family — a massive problem for old linguistics often. The multi-disciplinary method mirrored during this quantity strengthens the speculation that Greenberg’s “Southern African Khoisan” is healthier defined by way of advanced linguistic, cultural and genetic convergence.
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Extra resources for Beyond 'Khoisan': Historical Relations in the Kalahari Basin
We nevertheless still lack crucial information on certain languages; and these still can, and urgently need to be investigated. In southern Africa, this concerns in particular languages of East Kalahari Khoe; since they promise to reveal important information on the history of the Khoe-Kwadi family, they also represent a research priority for the historical study of Khoisan languages. ‘Khoisan’ linguistic classification today On a final note, while the linguistic classification of (Khoisan) languages is as such an independent enterprise and must generate and test hypotheses from its own data and methodology, a multi-disciplinary approach involving also non-linguistic disciplines can have a very positive impact on typological and historical linguistic research and should thus be continued in the future.
Furthermore, there is tentative evidence for a connection of the Khoe-speaking populations, and especially the Khwe, with East African pastoralists. The genetic data thus underline the importance of conducting detailed investigations of contact-induced changes and substratum effects in the Khoisan languages. 1. Introduction At the outset, an important note on terminology is in order: Throughout the paper, I use the term ‘Khoisan’ as a convenient cover term for the non-Bantu indigenous languages of southern Africa as well as for the groups speaking (or having spoken) these languages, without intending to convey any opinion as to their genealogical unity or genetic relationship, respectively.
Another example of a still problematic case is Ts’ixa. It is classified by Vossen (1997) as a Shua variety but also has strong affinities to the Kxoe~Khwe group (cf. Vossen 2011: 192–195 for a recent discussion). -M. ) it may merit the status of an independent language unit not standing in a clear dialect relationship to any neighbouring Khoe variety. Finally, an important desideratum is the full documentation of Khoekhoe varieties, their sub-classification, and the reconstruction of Proto-Khoekhoe.
Beyond 'Khoisan': Historical Relations in the Kalahari Basin by Tom Güldemann, Anne-Maria Fehn