Beyond ‘Khoisan’

Historical relations in the Kalahari Basin

Tom Güldemann | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig
Anne-Maria Fehn | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig
ISBN 9789027248497 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027269928 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
Greenberg’s (1954) concept of a ‘Khoisan’ language family, while heartily embraced by non-specialists, has been harshly criticized by linguists working on these languages. Evidence for Greenberg's hypothesis has proved to be seriously insufficient and little progress has been made in the intervening years in substantiating his claim by means of the standard comparative method. This volume goes beyond “Khoisan” in the linguistic sense by exploring a more complex history that includes multiple and widespread events of language contact in southern Africa epitomized in the areal concept ‘Kalahari Basin’. The papers contained herein present new data on languages from all three relevant lineages, Tuu, Kx’a and Khoe-Kwadi, complemented by non-linguistic research from molecular and cultural anthropology. A recurrent theme is to disentangle genealogical and areal historical relations — a major challenge for historical linguistics in general. The multi-disciplinary approach reflected in this volume strengthens the hypothesis that Greenberg’s “Southern African Khoisan” is better explained in terms of complex linguistic, cultural and genetic convergence.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 330]  2014.  xii, 331 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This well-designed and data-rich book is a most welcome addition to the literature, and will undoubtedly stimulate a vibrant debate. [...] [T]he book may become a catalyst for a new phase of informed and progressive multidisciplinary research touching on the pre-colonial past of southern Africa.”
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFF – Historical & comparative linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014013841 | Marc record