Khoekhoe

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A language of Namibia

Alternate Names
Bergdamara, Damara, Hai||’om, “Hottentot” (pej.), Khoekhoegowab, Khoekhoegowap, Maqua, Nama, Namakwa, Naman, Namaqua, Tama, Tamakwa, Tamma
Population

200,000 in Namibia (Brenzinger 2013). Total users in all countries: 202,200.

Location

Erongo, Kunene, and Otjozondjupa (Otiwarongo area) regions; south central near Ikaras and Hardap regions.

Language Status

4 (Educational). Recognized language (2001, Education Act No. 16, Article 35), implemented by Ministry of Education, 2003.

Dialects

Sesfontein-Dama (Sesfontein Damara), Namidama, Central Damara (Central Dama), Central Nama (Nama), Bondelswarts-Nama (Bondelswarts), Topnaar-Nama (Topnaar). Lexical similarity: Sesfontein Damara over 80% with central dialects, 80% with Haiom [hgm] (Haacke 2008).

Typology

SOV; postpositions; noun head final; gender (masculine/feminine/common); dual number; strongly suffixing; verb affixes mark person, number, object; passives; tense and aspect; 31 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes (including 20 clicks); tonal (3 tones: high, mid, low); inclusive/exclusive pronouns.

Language Use

Can be studied up to doctoral level at University of Namibia, also used in administration. Used as L2 by Hai||om [hgm].

Language Development
Taught in primary and secondary schools. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1966.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Also spoken in:

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