|Native to||Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia|
|(4.1 million in South Africa (2011)|
1.1 million in Botswana cited 1993)
unknown number in Zimbabwe
7.7 million L2 speakers in South Africa (2002)
| Latin (Tswana alphabet)|
Official language in
|The Tswana Language|
The Tswana language (Setswana) is a Bantu language spoken in Southern Africa by about five million speakers.It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho-Tswana branch of Zone S (S.30), and is closely related to the Northern and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi language and the Lozi language.
Setswana is in addition, sometimes referred to as Western Sotho, as a differentiation from its other sister 'Sotho' languages in Southern Africa.
Tswana is an official language and lingua franca of Botswana and South Africa Tswana-speakers are found in the north-west of South Africa, where four million people speak the language and an urbanised variety, which is part slang and not the formal Setswana, known as Pretoria Sotho, is the principal unique language of city of Pretoria Which is a mixture of all Sotho languages. The three South African provinces with the most speakers are Gauteng (circa 11%) and Northern Cape and North West (over 70%). Until 1994, South African Tswana people were notionally citizens of Bophuthatswana, one of the bantustans of the apartheid regime. The Setswana language in the Northwest Province has variations in which it is spoken according to the tribes found in the Tswana culture (Bakgatla, Barolong, Bakwena, Batlhaping, Bahurutshe, Bafokeng, Batlokwa, Bataung, Bakgatla, Bapo, to name a few); the written language remains the same. Although Tswana is spoken mostly in South Africa and Botswana, a small number of speakers are also found in Zimbabwe and Namibia; respectively, an unknown number of people and about 10,000 people speak the language there.
The first European to describe the language was the German traveller Hinrich Lichtenstein, who lived among the Tswana people Batlhaping in 1806 although his work was not published until 1930. He mistakenly regarded Tswana as a dialect of the Xhosa, and the name that he used for the language "Beetjuana" may also have covered the Northern and Southern Sotho languages.
The first major work on Tswana was carried out by the British missionary Robert Moffat, who had also lived among the Batlhaping, and published Bechuana Spelling Book and A Bechuana Catechism in 1826. In the following years, he published several other books of the Bible, and in 1857, he was able to publish a complete translation of the Bible [ citation needed ].
The first grammar of Tswana was published in 1833 by the missionary James Archbell although it was modelled on a Xhosa grammar. The first grammar of Tswana which regarded it as a separate language from Xhosa (but still not as a separate language from the Northern and Southern Sotho languages) was published by the French missionary E. Casalis in 1841. He changed his mind later, and in a publication from 1882, he noted that the Northern and Southern Sotho languages were distinct from Tswana.
Solomon Plaatje, a South African intellectual and linguist, was one of the first writers to extensively write in and about the Tswana language.
The vowel inventory of Tswana can be seen below.
Some dialects have two additional vowels, the close-mid vowels /e/ and /o/.
The consonant inventory of Tswana can be seen below.
The consonant /d/ is merely an allophone of /l/, when the latter is followed by the vowels /i/ or /u/. Two more sounds, v/v/ and z/z/, exist only in loanwords.
Tswana also has three click consonants, but these are only used in interjections or ideophones, and tend only to be used by the older generation, and are therefore falling out of use. The three click consonants are the dental click /ǀ/, orthographically ⟨c⟩; the lateral click /ǁ/, orthographically ⟨x⟩; and the palatal click /ǃ/, orthographically ⟨q⟩.
There are some minor dialectal variations among the consonants between speakers of Tswana. For instance, /χ/ is realised as either /x/ or /h/ by many speakers; /f/ is realised as /h/ in most dialects; and /tɬ/ and /tɬʰ/ are realised as /t/ and /tʰ/ in northern dialects.
Stress is fixed in Tswana and thus always falls on the penult of a word, although some compounds may receive a secondary stress in the first part of the word. The syllable on which the stress falls is lengthened. Thus, mosadi (woman) is realised as [mʊ̀ˈsáːdì].
Tswana has two tones, high and low, but the latter has a much wider distribution in words than the former. Tones are not marked orthographically, which may lead to ambiguity.
An important feature of the tones is the so-called spreading of the high tone. If a syllable bears a high tone, the following two syllables will have high tones unless they are at the end of the word.
Nouns in Tswana are grouped into nine noun classes and one subclass, each having different prefixes. The nine classes and their respective prefixes can be seen below, along with a short note regarding the common characteristics of most nouns within their respective classes.
|1a.||–||bô-||Names, kinship, animals|
(including bodyparts, tools,
instruments, animals, trees, plants)
(but also miscellaneous)
(including a number of collective nouns)
|8.||go-||Infinitive forms of verbs|
Some nouns may be found in several classes. For instance, many class 1 nouns are also found in class 1a, class 3, class 4, and class 5.
Northern Sotho, also known by the name of its standardised dialect Pedi (Sepedi), is a Sotho-Tswana language of the Bantu family group. According to the 2011 census, Northern Sotho is the first language of over 4,6 million people and is the 5th most spoken language in South Africa. Provinces with a significant number of speakers are Limpopo with 52.9%, Gauteng with 11.6% and Mpumalanga with 9,3%.
Xhosa, also isiXhosa, is a Nguni Bantu language with click consonants and is one of the official languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Xhosa is spoken as a first language by approximately 8.2 million people and by another 11 million as a second language in South Africa, mostly in Eastern Cape Province, Western Cape, Gauteng and Northern Cape. It is also notable for having perhaps the heaviest functional load of click consonants in a Bantu language, with one count finding that 10% of basic vocabulary items contained a click.
The Tswana are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group who are native to Southern Africa. The Tswana language belongs to the Bantu group. Ethnic Tswana made up approximately 85% of the population of Botswana in 2011.
Sotho or Sesotho is a Southern Bantu language of the Sotho-Tswana (S.30) group, spoken primarily by the Basotho in Lesotho, where it is the national and official language; South Africa, where it is one of the 11 official languages; and in Zimbabwe where it is one of 16 official languages.
Yoruba is a language spoken in West Africa and most prominently South western Nigeria. The number of speakers of Yoruba is estimated between 30 and 40 million, primarily by the ethnic Yoruba people. It is a pluricentric language spoken principally in Nigeria and Benin, with communities in Sierra Leone, Liberia, other parts of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. The non-vernacular remains of the language in the Caribbean, Lucumi, is the liturgical language of the Santería religion of the region. Many Yoruba words are used in the Afro-Brazilian religion known as Candomblé. Yoruba language is also used in many other Afro-American religions in the Americas and the Caribbean. Yoruba is most closely related to the Itsekiri language and to Igala.
Taa, also known as ǃXóõ is a Tuu language notable for its large number of phonemes, perhaps the largest in the world. It is also notable for having perhaps the heaviest functional load of click consonants, with one count finding that 82% of basic vocabulary items started with a click. Most speakers live in Botswana, but a few hundred live in Namibia. The people call themselves ǃXoon or ʼNǀohan, depending on the dialect they speak. The Tuu languages are one of the three traditional language families that make up the Khoisan languages.
The Swazi, Swati or siSwati language is a Bantu language of the Nguni group spoken in Eswatini and South Africa by the Swazi people. The number of speakers is estimated to be in the region of 2.4 million. The language is taught in Eswatini and some South African schools in Mpumalanga, particularly former KaNgwane areas. Swazi is an official language of Eswatini, and is also one of the eleven official languages of South Africa.
The Nguni languages are group of Bantu languages spoken in Southern Africa by the Nguni people. Nguni languages mainly include Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Swati, Hlubi, Phuthi, Bhaca, Lala, Nhlangwini, Southern Transvaal Ndebele, and Sumayela Ndebele. The appellation 'Nguni' is an older "variant" term. It is consistent with the use of the alphabet 'u' in all the Nguni languages spoken by the Nguni people of South Africa.
Lozi, also known as siLozi and Rozi, is a Bantu language of the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho–Tswana branch of Zone S (S.30), that is spoken by the Lozi people, primarily in southwestern Zambia and in surrounding countries. This language is most closely related to Northern Sotho, Tswana (Setswana), Kgalagari (SheKgalagari) and Sotho. Lozi and its dialects are spoken and understood by approximately six percent of the population of Zambia. Silozi is the endonym as defined by the United Nations. Lozi is the exonym.
ǂʼAmkoe, formerly called by the dialectal name ǂHoan, is a severely endangered Kxʼa language of Botswana. West ǂʼAmkoe, Taa, and Gǀui form the core of the Kalahari Basin sprachbund, and share a number of characteristic features, including some of the largest consonant inventories in the world. ǂʼAmkoe was shown to be related to the Juu languages by Honken and Heine (2010), and as a result was classified along with the ǃKung language in the Kxʼa language group.
Juǀʼhoan, also known as Southern or Southeastern ǃKung or ǃXun, is the southern variety of the ǃKung dialect continuum, spoken in northeastern Namibia and the Northwest District of Botswana by San Bushmen who largely identify themselves as Juǀʼhoansi. Several regional dialects are distinguished: Epukiro, Tsumǃkwe, Rundu, Omatako and ǂKxʼauǁʼein, with Tsumǃkwe being the best described and often taken as representative.
ǂKxʼaoǁʼae, or Gobabi ǃKung (Gobabis-ǃXû), is a southeastern dialect of the ǃKung language, spoken in Botswana and in Namibia by about 7,000 people. In Botswana, most speakers are bilingual in Naro or Tswana.
Khwe is a dialect continuum of the Khoe family of Namibia, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and parts of Zambia, with some 8,000 speakers.
Sandawe is a language spoken by about 60,000 Sandawe people in the Dodoma region of Tanzania. Sandawe's use of click consonants, a rare feature shared with only two other language of East Africa – Hadza and Dahalo, had been the basis of its classification as a member of the defunct Khoisan family of Southern Africa since Albert Drexel in the 1920s. Recent investigations however suggest that Sandawe may be related to the Khoe family regardless of the validity of Khoisan as a whole. A discussion of Sandawe's linguistic classification can be found in Sands (1998).
Phuthi (Síphùthì) is a Nguni Bantu language spoken in southern Lesotho and areas in South Africa adjacent to the same border. The closest substantial living relative of Phuthi is Swati, spoken in Swaziland and the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. Although there is no contemporary sociocultural or political contact, Phuthi is linguistically part of a historic dialect continuum with Swati. Phuthi is heavily influenced by the surrounding Sesotho and Xhosa languages, but retains a distinct core of lexicon and grammar not found in either Xhosa or Sesotho, and found only partly in Swati to the north.
Kusaal, or Kusasi (Qusasi), is a Gur language spoken primarily in northern Ghana. It is spoken by roughly 400,000 people and takes its name from the Kusasi people, who form the majority of the population of the area in the far northeast of Ghana, between the Gambaga escarpment, the Red Volta, and the national borders with Togo and Burkina Faso. There are some villages of Kusaasi in Burkina and also a few speakers in Togo. Kusaal is closely related to Mampruli, the language of the Mamprussi, who live to the south, and to Dagbani. There is a major dialect division between Agole, to the east of the White Volta river, and Toende, to the West. Agole has more speakers, and the only large town of the district, Bawku, is in Agole. The New Testament translation is in the Agole dialect.
The Sotho-Tswana people are a meta-ethnicity of southern Africa, who speak Sotho-Tswana languages and are centered across Botswana, South Africa and Lesotho.
The phonology of Sesotho and those of the other Sotho–Tswana languages are radically different from those of "older" or more "stereotypical" Bantu languages. Modern Sesotho in particular has very mixed origins inheriting many words and idioms from non-Sotho–Tswana languages.
The orthography of the Sotho language is fairly recent and is based on the Latin script, but, like most languages written using the Latin alphabet, it does not use all the letters; as well, several digraphs and trigraphs are used to represent single sounds.
Ditema tsa Dinoko, also known by its IsiZulu name, Isibheqe Sohlamvu, and various other related names in different languages, is a constructed writing system designed in the early 2010s for the siNtu or Southern Bantu languages, developed from antecedent ideographic traditions of the Southern African region. Its visual appearance is inspired by these, including the traditional litema arts style.
|Tswana edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|