ǀXam language

ǀXam language

unicode|ǀXam, or ǀXam Kakǃʼe, is an extinct Khoisan language of South Africa, part of the ǃKwi language group. It was closely related to the Nǀu language, which still has a few speakers.

The bar symbol in the name "ǀXam" represents a dental click like the English interjection "tsk, tsk!" used to express pity or shame. The "x" represents the "ch" sound of Scottish "loch", German "Bach", or Hebrew "Chanukkah".

ǀXam words were used for the South African motto adopted on 27 April, 2000,:"ǃke e: ǀxarra ǁke",which is supposed to mean "diverse people unite" or, on a collective scale, "Unity in Diversity". However, it's not known if that phrase would have been idiomatic in ǀXam. ǀXam is not one of the eleven official languages of South Africa.

Much of the scholarly work on the ǀXam language was performed by Dr. W. H. I. Bleek, a German linguist of the 19th century.

External links

* [http://ling.cornell.edu/khoisan/xam.htm A description of ǀXam at Cornell University]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=xam The Ethnologue Report for ǀXam]
* [http://www.info.gov.za/aboutgovt/symbols/coa/index.htm South African coat of arms]
* [http://www.info.gov.za/aboutgovt/symbols/coa/lintonpanel.htm The ǀXam people and their language]
* [http://www.lloydbleekcollection.uct.ac.za Bleek and Lloyd Archive of ǀXam and ǃKun texts online]

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