Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Khoisan: Khoisan language, San people


see African languagesAfrican languages,
geographic rather than linguistic classification of languages spoken on the African continent. Historically the term refers to the languages of sub-Saharan Africa, which do not belong to a single family, but are divided among several distinct linguistic stocks.
..... Click the link for more information.



(from khoi-khoi-n, self-designation of the Hottentots, and san, their name for the Bushmen), a term introduced in the early 20th century by the English ethnographer I. Schapera, in particular to describe the languages of the indigenous population of South Africa, the Bushmen and Hottentots. Subsequent research into the languages of the Bushmen has shown that they differ sharply from those of the Hottentots (according to the structure of the language as a whole). The American linguist J. H. Greenberg has continued to combine them under the name “Khoisan languages” on the basis of lexical parallels; however, regular sound correspondences have not been found, and their relationship, as well as the name “Khoisan languages,” remains debatable.


Schapera, I. The Khoisan Peoples of South Africa. London, 1930.
Westphal, E. O. I. “The Non-Bantu Languages of Southern Africa.” In A. N. Tucker and M. A. Bryan, The Non-Bantu Languages of North-Eastern Africa: Supplement, vol. 3. Oxford, 1956.
Westphal, E. O. I. “On Classifying Bushman and Hottentot Languages.” In African Language Studies, vol. 3. London, 1962.
Westphal, E. O. I. “A Re-classification of Southern African Non-Bantu Languages.” Journal of African Languages, 1962, vol. 1.
Greenberg, J. H. Languages of Africa. The Hague, 1963.


References in periodicals archive ?
1992) Hunters and Herders of Southern Africa: a comparative ethnography of the Khoisan peoples.
Our study proves that they truly belong to one of mankind's most ancient lineages, and these high-quality genome sequences obtained from the tribesmen will help us better understand human population history, especially the understudied branch of mankind such as the Khoisan.
A whole genome (autosome) study places the divergence of the Khoisan from the rest of the human race at 108,000 to 157,000 years ago.
The native Khoisan people, which include members of the Bushmen and Khoikhoi ethnic groups, have used rooibos infusions as a natural remedy to cure many ailments.
Although most Khoisan languages are themselves now either endangered or dead, the fact that clicks are still widely used to represent letters such as c, q and x and that 15% of Xhosa vocabulary is of Khoisan origin means that at least they live on, even if it does happen to be diminishing.
Fortuin and Pearson are intent on gentrifying the town by increasing its appeal to tourists, claiming this history, which they publish as a book, demonstrates the uniqueness of Soutbek in the South African political landscape because it has been a place of racial harmony with the integration of Dutch colonists, and Khoisan, Strandloper and Namakqua natives since its very foundation centuries ago.
He surveys canonic and noncanonic discourses from South Africa (lyrics by 'Bushmen' or Khoisan, narratives of early Afrikaners, and storylines from Hans Grimm, Laurens van der Post, Olive Schreiner, Eugene Marais, J.
69) In this vein, academics, activists, and journalists alike drew parallels between the treatment of Semenya with that of Sara "Saartjie" Baartman, the nineteenth-century Khoisan woman who was sexualized, objectified, and exhibited throughout Europe as the so-called Hottentot Venus, which was part of a broader initiative of scientific racism that rendered African women's black bodies as "primitive.
9) says that the Khoisan separated from the rest of humanity "at least 100,000 years ago.
Humanity could learn much about sustainability from the Maasai, the Khoisan or the Himba.
Las lenguas africanas han sido clasificadas y agrupadas en siete familias linguisticas: camitosemitica o afroasiatica, nilosahariana, nigerocongolena, bantu, khoisan, kordofana y austronesia (Leclerc, 2010).
16) The campaign took 8 years to finally lay the remains of this Khoisan woman to rest in her ancestral home.