Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Are There “Khoisan” Roots in Body-Part Vocabulary? On Linguistic Inheritance and Contact in the Kalahari Basin

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Language Dynamics and Change

Lexical evidence has played an important role in trying to establish a “Khoisan” language family. With respect to the southern African languages there is indeed a considerable amount of shared vocabulary across all three major established non-Bantu families subsumed under “Khoisan,” viz. Khoe-Kwadi, Kx’a, and Tuu. A historical reevaluation of this phenomenon is presented in a first comparative treatment of body-part vocabulary, including newly collected data. While our research provides support for the above three main lineages (this evidence is not discussed in this paper), it contradicts the view that vocabulary shared across them should also be interpreted in genealogical terms. Such vocabulary can rather largely be explained as the result of different types of language contact, supporting the current dominant view among specialists about the untenability of a “Khoisan” family. From a general perspective, the article argues against superficial unqualified lexical comparison and for a canonical historical-comparative procedure, whereby one reconstructs bottom-up and evaluates at every step whether genealogical relations should be built up further. Although such an approach is deeply entrenched in the traditional method, it is often neglected in many areas of historical language research. We apply it for the first time to the evaluation of the purported “Khoisan” language family and, in addition, venture that contact scenarios should be given more scope in the assessment of historical relations between languages, both in the Kalahari Basin and in general.

Affiliations: 1: Humboldt University Berlin tom.gueldemann@staff.hu-berlin.de Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig ; 2: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin robyn.loughnane@staff.hu-berlin.de

10.1163/22105832-20120209
/content/journals/10.1163/22105832-20120209
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
6
3
Loading
Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/22105832-20120209
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/22105832-20120209
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/22105832-20120209
2012-01-01
2016-12-03

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Language Dynamics and Change — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation