South African "original" language - bushmen

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.
Perry Lassiter
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South African "original" language - bushmen

Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:05 am

Fascinating. Wish her charts and some elements of the language were included...
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-39 ... 3193136647
pl

William Hupy
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Re: South African "original" language - bushmen

Postby William Hupy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:50 am

Agreed. Is it one of the “click” languages? I often thought that the first languages were probably imitations of sounds humans heard in the woods and savannah and thus the bushmen clicks.
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Re: South African "original" language - bushmen

Postby bnjtokyo » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:24 am

The article says
"Inside a small wooden hut, she teaches the 112 sounds including 45 distinct clicks of N|uu with the local children."
And a little further down the article, there is a link of a video with her speaking Nluu and you can hear clicks almost from the first word in the video
Here are links to more recent articles
https://mg.co.za/article/2019-02-21-00- ... -languages
https://www.dailysabah.com/life/2016/08 ... extinction

Perhaps one of the organizations mentioned in the linked articles will be able to provide phonetic descriptions of the various languages spoken by the San.

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Dr. Goodword
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Re: South African "original" language - bushmen

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:00 am

There is an 1980 South African movie called "The Gods Must be Crazy" and 4 or 5 sequels in which one of the stars is a San Bushman speaking Tswana, a language with three clicks. I think Tswana is still healthy, spoken by over 8 million people according to Wikipedia. Tswana isn't the language of most San people; I don't know why Xi spoke it.
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bnjtokyo
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Re: South African "original" language - bushmen

Postby bnjtokyo » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:39 pm

N!xau was the actor who starred in "The Gods Must Be Crazy". (Died of TB in 2003). According to Wikipedia, he spoke Juǀʼhoan, Otjiherero and Tswana fluently and some Afrikaans. Setswana is a lingua franca and official language in Botswana and South Africa and is spoken by over 8 million people while Juǀʼhoan has about 4000 speakers and Otjiherero has about 200,000 speakers (again Wikipedia). So I will speculate and suggest the reason N!xau spoke Tswana was to reach a larger local audience without subtitles or dubbing. (The film was a hugh success in South Africa -- again Wikipedia.)

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Re: South African "original" language - bushmen

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:22 pm

It was a huge success in Linntown, PA and Ithaca, NY, where my wife and I first saw it. We bought the DVD and watch it about every five years.
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