(redirected from Sothos)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.



a group of closely related languages, the most representative of which are Southern Sotho, the official language of Lesotho, and Northern Sotho, which is spoken in Transvaal Province in the Republic of South Africa. Speakers of Sotho number approximately 4 million (1967, estimate).

Sotho belongs to the southeastern zone of the Bantu languages. With the exception of a, vowels are characterized by an open/closed opposition; they constitute a nine-member system. The consonant system is characterized by the presence of three click sounds and a well-developed system of fricatives. There are 13 agreement classes with monosyllabic prefixes. Rudiments of locative prefixes are found in the pronouns. The verb abounds in derivative suffixes. A literature exists in Sotho and newspapers are published in the language.


Paroz, R. A. Elements of Southern Sotho, 2nd ed. Morija, 1959.
Ziervogel, D. Noordsotho-leerboek. Pretoria, 1949.
Doke, C. M. The Southern Bantu Languages. London-New York, 1954.
Mabille, A., and H. Dieterlen. Southern-Sotho-English Dictionary. Morija, 1950.
References in periodicals archive ?
Whether it is a white or a black story, an Afrikaans or English story, a Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, or Venda story, an Indian or a "Coloured" South African story, a South African story or one of many South African stories, an African, a Western, or a universal story, is best left to individual interpretation.
The length of each survey was to be determined by principles which were never enunciated and which would have had 80 000 words devoted to Afrikaans literature, 70 000 to South African English literature, and about 40 000 each to Zulu, Xhosa, and Sotho literature and, at the end, Venda literature with 5 000 words of coverage.