Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Khoisan languages

The Khoisan languages are the smallest phylum of African Languages. Historically, they were spoken by the Khoi and San people. Today they are only spoken in the Kalahari Desert in south-western Africa. They are notable for the use of click consonants as phonemes, including the !Xu~ language, which has in excess of 50 click consonants and over 140 separate phonemes. Many Americans were exposed to this group of languages through the San language used in the 1984 film The Gods Must Be Crazy.

The only other languages using clicks as phonemes are Nguni Bantu languages, such as Xhosa and Zulu in South Africa, Sesotho (also spoken in South Africa, and Lesotho), and the Hadza and Sandawe languages in Kenya.

See also: Namibia, Botswana, South Africa.

External links