Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Linguistic Prehistory of Southern Africa: Bush, Kwadi, Hottentot, and Bantu Linguistic Relationships1

  • E. O. J. Westphal


The languages dealt with in this paper are Bush ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’, Kwadi, Hottentot, and about 20 Bantu language groups, comprising more than 50 distinct dialects. It is concerned with pre-Bantu history and the Bush, Kwadi, and Hottentot languages, but material on Bantu is included for the following reasons: (a) The information relevant to a discussion of the peopling of Southern Africa by Bantu-speaking peoples is scattered in the available literature or is not available at all, and, (b) Bantu traditional lore has something to say on the subject of pre-Bantu indigenous peoples of Southern Africa, and there must therefore be some evaluation of the relationship of modern and early Bantu languages and an attempt must be made to define their recent and early traditional language areas.



Hide All

page 238 note 1 van Warmelo, N. J., A Preliminary Survey of the Bantu Tribes of South Africa, Govt. Printer, Pretoria, 1935.

page 238 note 2 Krige, Eileen, ‘Traditional Origins and Tribal Relationships of the Sotho of the Northern Transvaal’, BS, ii 1937.

page 238 note 3 D. P. Abraham, ‘The Monomotapa Dynasty ’, NADA, 1959.

page 238 note 4 Vedder, H., Das alte Südwestafrika, Berlin, 1933.

page 238 note 5 Vedder, H., Einführung in die Geschichte Südwest-afrikas, Windhoek, 1953.

page 238 note 6 John H. Wellington, Southern Africa, vols. i and ii, C.U.P., 1955.

page 240 note 1 C. M. Doke, The Southern Bantu Languages, O.U.P. for IAI, 1954.

page 240 note 2 Quintão, José Luís, Gramática de Xironga, Agência Geral das Colonias, Lisboa, 1951.

page 241 note 1 Doke, loc. cit.

page 241 note 2 I am indebted to Mrs. H. Carter of S.O.A.S. for the grouping and a map illustrating the language area.

page 241 note 1 Westphal, E. O. J., ‘A Re-classification of Southern African non-Bantu Languages’, J.A.L. i. 1, 1962.

page 241 note 2 Westphal, E. O. J., ‘On Classifying Bushman and Hottentot Languages’, A.L.S. iii, 1962.

page 244 note 1 D. F. Bleek, Comparative Vocabularies of Bushman Languages, C.U.P., 1929.

page 244 note 2 Bleek, D. F., A Bushman Dictionary, American Oriental Society, New Haven, 1956.

page 244 note 3 Dornan, S. S., ‘The Tati Bushmen (Masarwas) and their Language’, J.R.A.I. xlvii, 1917.

page 244 note 4 D. Ziervogel, Notes on the Language of the Eastern Transvaal Bushmen, pp. 35–64, and Potgieter, E. F., The Disappearing Bushmen of Lake Chrissie, J. L. van Schaik, Pretoria, 1955.

page 245 note 1 Lanham, L. W. and Hallowes, D. P., ‘An Outline of the Structure of Eastern BushmanA.S. xv. 3, 1956

page 247 note 1 Estermann, Padre Carlos, Etnografia do Sudoeste de Angola, Junta de Investigações do Ultramar, Lisboa, 1960.

page 248 note 1 Beach, D. M., The Phonetics of the Hottentot Language, Cambridge, Heffer and Sons, 1938.

page 248 note 2 Meinhof, C., ‘Hottentottische Laute und Lehn worte im Kafir’, Z.D.M.G. lviii and lix, 1905.

page 249 note 1 Loc. cit.

page 249 note 2 Bleek, 1929 and 1956.

page 249 note 3 J. Greenberg, ‘Studies in African Linguistic Classification ’, S.W. Journal of Anthropology, 1955.

page 250 note 1 Silberbauer, G., ‘Marriage and the Girl's Puberty Ceremony of the G/wi Bushmen’, Africa, xxxiii. i, 1963.

page 250 note 2 Doke, C. M., ‘An Outline of ≠ kh´omani Bushman Phonetics’, B.S. x, 1936.

page 251 note 1 See Maingard, L. F., ‘The Lost Tribes of the Cape’, S.A.J.S. xxviii, 1931.

page 251 note 2 Hahn, , Fourie, , and Vedder, , The Native Tribes of South West Africa, Cape Town, 1928: see H. Vedder, ‘The Nama ’, p. 112.

page 252 note 1 Hahn, Fourie, and Vedder, op. cit.; see H. Vedder, ‘The Nama ’.

page 252 note 2 Ibid., see L. Fourie, ‘The Bushmen of SWA ’.

page 252 note 3 Marshall, Lorna, ‘The Kin Terminology System of the /Kung Bushmen’, Africa, xxvii. I, 1957.

page 253 note 1 Op. cit. 1905.

page 253 note 2 M. Guthrie, Index of Common Bantu Forms, cyclostyled and privately circulated.

page 253 note 3 Abraham, op. cit., 1959.

page 253 note 4 I am indebted to Mr. D. K. Rycroft for the tonal markings of all Zulu words, which are from his study of the tonal structure of Zulu and other Nguni languages.

page 254 note 1 Guthrie, loc. cit.

page 254 note 2 Rycroft, loc. cit.

page 255 note 1 Guthrie, loc. cit.

page 255 note 2 Rycroft, loc. cit.

page 256 note 1 Kindly supplied by the Rev. A. M. Jones.

page 256 note 2 A Bushman Dictionary, 1956.

page 256 note 3 An Outline of ≠ khómani Bushman Phonetics, 1936.

page 256 note 4 An Outline of the Structure of Eastern Bushman, 1956.

page 256 note 5 ‘Three Bushman Languages ’, Part I: AS. xvi. 1, 1957: Part II: A.S. xvii. 2, 1958.

page 257 note 1 ‘The Lost Tribes of the Cape ’, S.A.J.S. xxviii. 1931.

page 259 note 1 Estermann, Etnografia do Sudoeste de Angola, 1960; N. J. Van Warmelo, Notes on the Kaokoveld and its people, Govt. Printer, Pretoria, 1951.

1 Some of the material for this paper was originally presented at a meeting of the African History Seminar of the School of Oriental and African Studies under the title: ‘The evidence of linguistic relationships: Bush and Hottentot.’


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed