Journal of West African Languages

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Observed dearth and death of a language: !Xoo of Botswana Observed dearth and death of a language: !Xoo of Botswana
!Xóo is a Southern Khoesan language genetically affiliated to the Taabranch of Khoesan languages. In Botswana, !Xoo habitat stretches from Ghanzi to Tsabong, and from Sekoma to the Namibian border, an area covering nearly 150 000 Km2. In this habitat !Xóo is in constant contact with powerful Bantu languages. This contact lends its speakers to adopt the language(s) of the powerful group(s) for daily community social life activities.The school and the national administrative situation also require that the !Xóo use the national language, Setswana, as if they were (its) native speakers. To engage in national matters the !Xóo  are required to have competences in Setswana, even English, a situation which severely limits their participation in development and creates a situation of acute endangerment of their own language. This takes place in the context of policies that favour linguistic homogeneity, and have so far not been responsive to recommendations that seek inclusiveness. This article takes the issue of !Xóo on the hypothesis that its situation of double marginalization by the Bantu and secondly by the national language policy in education and administration creates conditions that facilitate its dearth and subsequently death in the country.
 

!Xóo is a Southern Khoesan language genetically affiliated to the Taa branch of Khoesan languages. In Botswana, !Xoo habitat stretches from Ghanzi to Tsabong, and from Sekoma to the Namibian border, an area covering nearly 150 000 Km2. In this habitat !Xóo is in constant contact with powerful Bantu languages. This contact lends its speakers to adopt the language(s) of the powerful group(s) for daily community social life activities.The school and the national administrative situation also require that the !Xóo use the national language, Setswana, as if they were (its) native speakers. To engage in national matters the !Xóo  are required to have competences in Setswana, even English, a situation which severely limits their participation in development and creates a situation of acute endangerment of their own language. This takes place in the context of policies that favour linguistic homogeneity, and have so far not been responsive to recommendations that seek inclusiveness. This article takes the issue of !Xóo on the hypothesis that its situation of double marginalization by the Bantu and secondly by the national language policy in education and administration creates conditions that facilitate its dearth and subsequently death in the country.




Data

Volume Number 37.1
Topic #1 Language Endangerment
Author Kemmonye C. Monaka
Language English
Subject Language !Xoo


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