Christa Kilian-Hatz: Khwe Dictionary [PDF]


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With a Supplement on Khwe Place-Names of West Caprivi
NAS Nambian African Studies vol. 7

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X, 431 pp.
1 map, appendix: ethnic, clan, family and personal names

Text language: English

The present study is the result of several field studies of the author in Western Caprivi Strip (Northern Namibia) between 1996 and 2002. It is based on the collected material of Oswin Köhler. Additionally, it contains entries of the following sources: botanic terminology by Mathias Schladt (1999), proper names by Matthias Brenzinger (1999) and several entries on material culture by Gertrud Boden and Stefanie Michels (2000).

Linguistically speaking, Khwe belongs to the Khoisan language family and is classified as a member of the Central-Khoisan group. Khwe itself can be devided into four dialect groups. Nevertheless as a consequence of the war of liberation in Namibia these four dialects are beginning to merge. As a result, one of the main characteristics of the Khwe language at the moment is the existance of large numbers of variants concerning lexical as well as grammatical morphemes. Khwe evidently seems to be developing a new standard that will include parts of all four dialects, but the language is as yet far from being standardised. Today approximately 8,000 Khwe live in the Caprivi Strip of North-Western Namibia, Angola, Botswana and Sambia, just as 1,600 in Smithsdrift, South Africa.

The proper dictionary contains about 5,700 entries consisting of lexical as well as grammatical morphemes. It is preceded by some orthography convention information and is followed by an appendix with ethnonyms, clan, family and proper names just as an article by Matthias Brenzinger which contains a detailed list of place names of Western Caprivi Strip.

Under these links you will find further descriptions of this language and publications by the author:

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