The Sandawe language is spoken in the Kondoa district of central Tanzania by approximately 40,000 people. Sandawe has been widely assumed to be a member of the Khoisan language family, but recent research has cast doubt on the position that such a family exists (Güldemann & Vossen 2000). The Sandawe language can be divided into an eastern variety and a western variety. The differences between these two varieties are slight and gradual. The orthography used in the following description was decided upon in 2002 by a group of Sandawe speakers representing different parts of the language area. Early research on Sandawe phonetics and phonology was undertaken by Dempwolff (1916) and Copland (1938). More recent studies are found in Tucker & Bryan (1977), Elderkin (1989, 1992), Wright, Maddieson, Ladefoged & Sands (1995), Maddieson, Ladefoged & Sands (1999) and Hunziker, Hunziker & Eaton (2005).
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Sandawe sound files