|South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe|
The Nguni languages are a group of Bantu languages spoken by the Nguni people. These languages are spoken in Southern Africa, mostly in South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Nguni languages include Xhosa, Zulu, Swati, Hlubi, Phuthi and Ndebele (both Southern Ndebele and Northern Ndebele).
The name "Nguni" comes from the cow breed called Nguni cattle. The word Nguni is sometimes used to mean all speakers of Nguni languages as a group. This is an incorrect use of the word, since many different tribes speak these languages.
Language organization[change | change source]
The Nguni languages are a sub-group of the Southern Bantu languages. These languages exist in a relatively small geographic area. The languages are closely related and sound very much alike. Many times the different languages are mutually intelligible -- that is, someone who speaks one Nguni language can understand someone speaking a different Nguni language.
Linguists and other researchers split the Nguni languages into two smaller groups: "Zunda Nguni" and "Tekela Nguni".
Zunda languages[change | change source]
- Zulu (10 million)
- Xhosa (8 million)
- Northern Ndebele (or 'Zimbabwean Ndebele') (1,6 million)
Tekela languages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- ↑ Wright 1987.
- ↑ Doke 1954.
- ↑ Ownby 1985.
- ↑ Donnelly 2009, pp. 1–61.
- ↑ Jordan 1942.
Works cited[change | change source]
- Doke, Clement Martyn (1954). The Southern Bantu Languages. Handbook of African Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Donnelly, Simon (2009). "Aspects of Tone and Voice in Phuthi". Doctoral Dissertation. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- Jordan, Archibald C. (1942). "Some features of the phonetic and grammatical structure of Baca". Masters Dissertation. University of Cape Town.
- Ownby, Caroline P. (1985). "Early Nguni History: The Linguistic Evidence and Its Correlation with Archeology and Oral Tradition". Doctoral Dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles.
- Wright, J. (1987). "Politics, ideology, and the invention of the 'nguni'". In Tom Lodge (ed.). Resistance and ideology in settler societies. pp. 96–118.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Nguni languages at the Ethnologue. Accessed 2011-07-03.