!Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

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ruusukaali
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!Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby ruusukaali » 2009-09-24, 20:40

EDIT: Scroll down for the first "preview" lesson

Hi!

For some reason I have been absolutely infatuated with !Xóõ lately. It's a Khoisan language spoken by 4,200 bushmen in Botswana and Namibia. It has anywhere from 130 to 164 (2 different interpretations) different consonant sounds. No matter the exact number of different sounds, it has the largest number of phonemes of any language in the world. Of the plentiful consonants is anywhere from 30-64 click sounds!

Unfortunately, resources on the internet are 100% non-existant. Aside from the Wikipedia article, I have found this:
http://archive.phonetics.ucla.edu/Language/NMN/nmn.html
Contains sound recordings and vocabulary lists.

I would realllllyyyyy like to read more about the GRAMMAR of the language, though, as I'm a huge grammar nut. If anyone has any additional resources to add, be they free websites or insanely expensive textbooks, please share them here!
Last edited by ruusukaali on 2010-05-20, 15:47, edited 2 times in total.
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Struthiomimus
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Re: !Xóõ

Postby Struthiomimus » 2009-09-27, 1:18

What an interesting (and intimidating) language! The tonal aspect is enough to deter me from learning it :D ...but you might want to try contacting professors at universities in Botswana or South Africa to find out how to go about finding learning materials.

Maybe you could try emailing the African Language and Lit department at the University of Botswana to get pointed in the right direction. Or some other university in South Africa.

Anthony Trail apparently did a lot of work on !Xóõ and used to teach at the University of Witwatersrand and published a !Xóõ-English dictionary. It’s listed on Amazon as “Out of Print – Limited Availability.” You could also check Worldcat.org, to see if some library near you has it. 8-)

Good luck!
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Re: !Xóõ

Postby ''' » 2009-11-10, 13:37

we all love !Xoo (or Taa as those bastards over at zompist had wiki change it to) but alas I've not yet found any resrouces for it :(
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Re: !Xóõ

Postby Struthiomimus » 2010-03-20, 22:53

ruusukaali wrote:
I would realllllyyyyy like to read more about the GRAMMAR of the language, though, as I'm a huge grammar nut. If anyone has any additional resources to add, be they free websites or insanely expensive textbooks, please share them here!


Glad to see you've kept up with !Xóõ ;) Any plans on sharing anything about the grammar here? :)
[flag=]wbp[/flag] [flag=]qu[/flag] [flag=]eo[/flag] [flag=]wo[/flag] [flag=]rom[/flag] [flag=]csb[/flag] [flag=]lkt[/flag]

"Beshav me akana kai le chirikle chi gilaban." kaj, "Beidh ceol, caint agus craic againn."

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Re: !Xóõ

Postby Meera » 2010-03-22, 3:09

This lanuage is really different.... but it was cool to hear the recording
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Re: !Xóõ

Postby ruusukaali » 2010-05-20, 15:43

Struthiomimus wrote:
ruusukaali wrote:
I would realllllyyyyy like to read more about the GRAMMAR of the language, though, as I'm a huge grammar nut. If anyone has any additional resources to add, be they free websites or insanely expensive textbooks, please share them here!


Glad to see you've kept up with !Xóõ ;) Any plans on sharing anything about the grammar here? :)


Yeah you're right! I should, considering I do have the (very expensive :( ) grammar book in my possession now.

Well the dictionary itself has a good 43 pages discussing grammar, but I'll just summarise for now unless people want more. It is indeed a very fascinating language and gives us a glimpse of how we all might have spoke in the early days of human language.

!XÓÕ

!Xóõ is the last member of the family of Southern Bushman languages. It is spoken in a number of varieties in southwestern Botswana, in the Ghanzi and Kgalagadi Districts and in the Aminuis Reserve in Namibia.

Phonology is huge and contains a ton of consonants, most being consonant and click clusters. The clicks include:
ǀ = dental click, pronounced like the English tsk-tsk
ǁ = lateral click, made by sucking the teeth like teenagers in the US do to show disapproval, haha
ʘ = bilabial click, made by smooching the lips like a kiss, but not super dramatically like Italians do haha
! = alveolar click, made by doing the tick-tock or click-clock sound without the "tick"/"click" part, and fiercer; if you don't know what I'm talking about, it's hard to explain. You sort of put the tip of your tongue against the rough-feeling part of your gums behind your upper front teeth, press your tongue hard against it and then pop it down really fast, and the result should be LOUD
ǂ = palatal clicks, I don't know how to make these but wiki describes as: "made with a flat tongue, and are softer popping sounds than the ǃ clicks"

Vowels:
Plain - a e i o u
Nasalised - ã ẽ ĩ õ ũ
Pharyngealised - (tilda underneath instead of on top)
Breathy - ih eh ah oh uh (a note says that they are phonetically strongly breathy voiced)
All other vowel markers indicate tone.

Basic word order is SVO in both affirmative and yes/no interrogative sentences. The functional categories subject and object are represented by nouns, pronouns or nominalisations (ie. nouns derived from verbs).

ǂqhàba-tê ń bà !àji ǂxàm (the à in !àji should have a tilda beneath it)
dog pl. tns. asp. stop gemsbuck
the dogs stop the gemsbuck


èh à gǀkx'ù'na (ǂàã)
he tns. chew it (the bone)
he chewed it (the bone)


Complement sentences (the complement being the part of the sentence that gives more info about the subject) do not contain aspect or tense markers and are formed in one of two ways. The main verb is followed by a sentence containing either a nominalisation or by the complementiser tê.

Complements with (with the complement in square brackets):

ùh ń bà káne k[ù ǀqāhe tê]
they tns. asp. want they hunt comp.
they want to hunt [OR] they want them to hunt

(eg. here, what "they" want is what is complementing the subject, "they")

ùh ń bà káne k[è ǀnàã-tê |qāhe tê]
they tns. asp. want him ǀnàã-tê hunt comp.
they want ǀnàã-tê to hunt


Complements with nominalisation:

ùh ń bà káne k[à !qāhe-sà]
they tns. asp. want it hunting
they want to hunt/hunting

ùh ń bà káne k[ù tùu ǀà !qāhe-sà]
they tns. asp. want them people 's hunting
they want the people to hunt


A complication arises if the complement is topicalised by being fronted to the head of the complement sentence. Here, the construction tê may not be used; instead, the object becomes the possessor in the construction.

Complement with a topicalised object:

ùh ń bà ǁnāhe k[ā ǁûm ǀà qâi-sà]
they tns. asp. talk-about them springbok s' killing
they are talking about the killing of the springbok (plural)


(note how in these last two sentence, what is expressed as a verb in English is a noun in !Xóõ, ie. you want people's HUNTINGS, not that they hunt. And you topic about something's KILLING, not that something was killed)

---------------------------------------

But anyway, that was a VERY short summary of the first 2-3 sections and I did not go into much detail b/c I'm not sure if people are actually interested in this language or not? If people want, I'd be glad to share as much as I can. The grammar is only 40 pages and does not go into super detail but it explains everything from the complex tonal system to pronouns to possessives to how questions are formed, and the language also has something reminiscent of vowel harmony from hell. So if people want I can give a much better lesson next time and go into more detail....

Common English words in !Xóõ:
1. I - n̄'n̄; n̄; n̄ dē (the Ns here have a macron above them, don't know if they will show up properly or not)
2. You - āh('a) (singular); ūh('ū) (plural); ǂnûm (dual)
3. He/She - èh('è); ã'h (tone class 2; will explain the class system another time if people are interested) (also, with "she", the ã'h is listed as ã'h('ã) (with a grave accent above the last ã)
4. They - ùh('ù)
5. We - īh('ī), 'īsî; ǂnáĩ (dual)
6. And - ǂ'á; àhn; n̄dì (eg. "and then I")
7. It - èh, ãh (with grave accent above ã), ìh (animate 3rd person singular); ǹ (inanimate)
8. One - ǂ'ûã; ǁqháẽ ("one another")
9. But - gú'ni tshòo, xàbēkà (the latter is more common and is actually a very pretty word when spoken; you can hear it in the story here (with script here)
10. What - èh

So like I said, if people want I can start giving PROPER !xóõ lessons like other threads here are doing, complete with more precise explanations and examples and a cutesy little vocab list at the end with different topics, eg. food, places, etc. So if anyone's interested let me know, otherwise it's too time-consuming to do if no one listens! Lol

God I love this language. I'm listening to that story now and it sounds like Arabic with clicks ^_^
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Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby motanz » 2010-05-24, 8:09

I'm astonished by this language, it sounds great, almost alien (just like how I imagine humans will speak like in a thousand years, when we evolve to now so called "aliens"), sorry for that :para:

But really, it sounds wonderful with all that clicks and stuff, maybe I will add it to my list :D
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Yeshua.C
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Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby Yeshua.C » 2011-04-25, 1:15

I was bitten by this language a while ago and have only lately started working on it. It's...intimidating... Scary, is probably closer to the truth.

I'm trying to get the dictionary but it will be some time before that happens. I've been trying to work out the language from the sentences and have worked out a few words and grammatical features. I'd love to see a little more and confirm that which I've deduced. Perhaps something on the tense and aspects. Basic noun morphology? This would help a lot.

Thanks for what you've shared so far!

Yeshua.C
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Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby Yeshua.C » 2011-04-25, 1:16

I was bitten by this language a while ago and have only lately started working on it. It's...intimidating... Scary, is probably closer to the truth.

I'm trying to get the dictionary but it will be some time before that happens. I've been trying to work out the language from the sentences and have worked out a few words and grammatical features. I'd love to see a little more and confirm that which I've deduced. Perhaps something on the tense and aspects. Basic noun morphology? This would help a lot.

Thanks for what you've shared so far!

Yeshua.C
Posts: 198
Joined: 2010-02-28, 10:59

Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby Yeshua.C » 2011-04-25, 1:16

I was bitten by this language a while ago and have only lately started working on it. It's...intimidating... Scary, is probably closer to the truth.

I'm trying to get the dictionary but it will be some time before that happens. I've been trying to work out the language from the sentences and have worked out a few words and grammatical features. I'd love to see a little more and confirm that which I've deduced. Perhaps something on the tense and aspects. Basic noun morphology? This would help a lot.

Thanks for what you've shared so far!

Yeshua.C
Posts: 198
Joined: 2010-02-28, 10:59

Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby Yeshua.C » 2011-04-25, 1:16

I was bitten by this language a while ago and have only lately started working on it. It's...intimidating... Scary, is probably closer to the truth.

I'm trying to get the dictionary but it will be some time before that happens. I've been trying to work out the language from the sentences and have worked out a few words and grammatical features. I'd love to see a little more and confirm that which I've deduced. Perhaps something on the tense and aspects. Basic noun morphology? This would help a lot.

Thanks for what you've shared so far!

cultjam
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Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby cultjam » 2011-07-15, 2:03

hello there, I was wondering if you could tell me the title, auther and publisher/year of publication of the grammar book you have for xoo. the info you've provided is great, thanks!

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Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby Imyirtseshem » 2011-07-16, 23:20

.

Doc
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Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby Doc » 2016-07-28, 14:17

The dictionary is:
"A !Xóõ Dictionary" by Anthony Traill
published by:
Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Köln 2nd edition 2009.

Could you provide the same info for the grammar, which I have been trying to find.
I gather there is a !Xóõ cultural centre in Tsxane, Botswana - maybe they know?

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Re: !Xóõ Lessons! (I have the grammar book now)

Postby Linguaphile » 2016-09-26, 0:19

Doc wrote:The dictionary is:
"A !Xóõ Dictionary" by Anthony Traill
published by:
Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Köln 2nd edition 2009.



Doe the dictionary (or the grammar book) include any basic conversational phrases, like "good morning, how are you?," "thank you," and so on? Can anyone post a few phrases?
English (en) Learning is a treasure that follows its owner everywhere.
Spanish (es) El aprendizaje es un tesoro que sigue a su dueño por todas partes.
Estonian (et) Õpitu on aare, mis saadab oma omanikku kõikjal.
German (de) Lernen ist ein Schatz, der seinem Besitzer überallhin folgt.
French (fr) L'apprentissage est un trésor qui suit son propriétaire partout.
Hmong (hmn) Txoj kev kawm yog cov khoom muaj nqis, uas raws nws tus tswv qhov txhia chaw.
Võro (vro) Op'minõ om aarõq, miä saat uma umanikku egäl puul.


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