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Extra resources for Khoesan Languages

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A dictionary (2003) as well as a grammar (2008) of the Central Khoesan Khwe language were provided by Kilian-Hatz, while Haacke and Eiseb’s (2002) comprehensive Khoekhoegowab dictionary has enormously enriched the literature on Namibian Khoekhoe. Xoon–Setswana–English dictionary compiled by Traill, Nakagawa and Chebanne is in its final stages, and a concise grammar of ǂHoan by Collins and Gruber is currently being worked on. 55 Finally, three new valuable monographs on Sandawe must be mentioned: two grammars by Eaton (online, a revised version of her PhD thesis of 2002) and Steeman (2011), and a dictionary compiled and edited by Ehret and Ehret (2012) on the basis of Eric ten Raa’s data collection of the 1960s and 1970s.

Tri- and other polysyllabic sequences are very rare and can often be shown to be a result of influence from neighbouring Bantu languages. Morphology Khoe languages as well as Sandawe and Hadza have a rich inflectional and derivational morphology, whereas Non-Khoe (especially Northern Khoesan) languages tend to be a lot more syntactic-analytically oriented. However, all better-known languages have a noun class system with varying agreement patterns. The Khoe system is overt and primarily sex-oriented; as a rule, person, gender (masculine, feminine, common) and number (singular, dual, plural) combine to constitute the so-called PGN enclitics.

Chapters 4 through 7 are descriptive and cover core linguistic areas. Chapter 4 gives an overview of the segmental phonetic-phonological structure, including notes on word and syllable structure, phonotactics, and morphophonological alterations. In Chapter 5, the tonological structure of some better-known languages is dealt with. Chapters 6 on morphology and 7 on syntax comprise nearly two thirds of the book and may, therefore, be interpreted as central components. In the case of two languages, the authors decided in favour of joint morphosyntactic descriptions because separate analyses were conceived as artificial in view of the (largely) analytical nature of the respective languages.

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