Non-Bantu Click Languages Versus "Khoisan" : Linguistic Reality and Ideological Aspirations
Matthias Brenzinger
Tue, 09/05/2017 - 18:30
SA Astronomical Observatory auditorium
Western Cape

Only 13 non-Bantu click languages, often referred to as “Khoisan” languages are still spoken today. The presentation will start off by providing an overview on the distribution of the speakers of these languages, as well as on their genetic relationships. 
The term “Khoisan” is used among expert linguists, archaeologists, entrepreneurs and cultural activists. Not only between these different groups, but also among members of the same group, meanings vary as do the motives for employing the term “Khoisan”. The presentation traces the meanings of the term and the ways it is employed along a diachronic timeline. The changing connotation of the term and its uses within the four groups are parallel, independent developments and are discussed as such. In doing so, prevailing definitions of “Khoisan” within the four user categories are presented and cross references then summarize the diverse senses in which “Khoisan” appears in present South Africa.

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