Difference between revisions of "Kung-ekoka language"

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'''Kung-ekoka''' ''or'' '''!Xũ''' ''or'' '''!Kung''' as it is often spelled in English, is a Northern [[Khoisan language]] of [[Namibia]], [[Angola]], and [[Botswana]].  Its [[SIL]] code is ''KNW''.  In total, it has about 5,000 speakers.  It might be the same as [['Akhoe language|'Akhoe]] or [[Vasekela Bushman language|Vasekela]].  It possesses no [[labial click]], typical of the Southern Khoisan languages.
Linguistically, Kung-ekoka is generally termed [[isolating language|isolating]]; what this means is that words' meanings are changed by the addition of other, separate words, rather than by the addition of affixes or the changing of word structure. A few suffixes exist - for example, distributive plurals are formed with the noun suffix '''-si''' or '''-mhi''', but in the main meaning is given only by series of words rather than by grouping of affixes.
Kung-ekoka distinguishes no formal plural, and the suffixes '''-si''' and '''-mhi''' are optional in usage. The language's [[linguistic typology|word order]] is Adverb-Subject-Verb-Object, and in this it is similar to English: "the snake bites the man" is represented by '''‡'aama n!ei zhu''' ('''‡'aama''' - snake, '''n!ei''' - to bite, '''zhu''' - man). Kung-ekoka uses word and sentence tone contours, and has a very finely differentiated vocabulary for the animals, plants and conditions native to the [[Kalahari Desert]], where the language is spoken. For example, the plant genus ''[[Grewia]]'' is referred to by five different words, representing five different species in this genus.
Phonemic contrasts in Kung-ekoka include the following:
* Pulmonic - click - '''twa''' ''to finish'' vs '''‡wa''' ''to imitate''
** Pulmonic consonants
*** Voiced - voiceless unaspirated - voiceless aspirated stop: '''da''' ''skin'', '''ta''' ''wild orange'', '''t<sup>h</sup>a''' ''bee sting''
*** Voiced - voiceless unaspirated - voiceless aspirated - ejective affricate: '''djau''' ''expression of surprise'', '''tca''' ''to fetch'', '''ts<sup>h</sup>e''' ''week'', '''tc'a''' ''to pour''
*** Voiced - voiceless fricative: '''za''' ''to sexually insult'', '''se''' ''to see''
** Click consonants
*** Voiced unaspirated - voiced aspirated: '''g!ai~''' ''puff adder'', '''g!<sup>h</sup>ei~''' ''tree''
*** Voiceless unaspirated - voiceless aspirated: '''!e~''' ''noise'', '''!<sup>h</sup>a~''' ''to know''
*** Unaffricated - affricated release: '''!o''' ''behind'', '''!xo''' ''elephant''
*** Plain - nasalised: '''|i''' ''rhinoceros'', '''n|i''' ''to sit''
* Vowels
** Plain - nasalised: '''g!a''' ''rain'', '''g!a~''' ''red''
** Plain - pharyngealised: '''n|om''' ''springhare'', '''n|<u>o</u>m''' ''big talker''
** Short - long: '''|u''' ''to throw'', '''|u:''' ''to put in''
Kung-ekoka is endangered, along with most other Khoisan languages, because of encroaching [[Bantu]] and [[Khoi]] cultures. The [[Herero language|Herero]], [[Nama language|Nama]] and [[Tswana language]]s are beginning to be more commonly spoken among the Kung-ekoka, and the hunter-gatherer way of life that is typical of the Khoisan-speaking peoples is being eroded by Bantu and Khoi farming settlements.
''See also:'' [[language]], [[Africa]], [[!Xu mythology]], [[!Xu (god)]]
==External link==
*[http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=KNW The Ethnologue Report for Kung-ekoka]
[[Category:Khoisan languages]]
[[Category:Languages of Angola]]
[[Category:Languages of Botswana]]
[[Category:Languages of Namibia]]

Latest revision as of 12:37, 14 June 2017