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1. a member of a cattle-rearing Negroid people of southern Africa, living chiefly in South Africa
2. the language of this people, belonging to the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo family: one of the Nguni languages, closely related to Swazi and Zulu and characterized by several clicks in its sound system



(Isixhosa), the language of the Xosa (Xhosa, Amaxosa), spoken mainly in the eastern part of Cape Province in the Republic of South Africa. The number of speakers is approximately 3.9 million (1970, estimate).

According to the classification of C. M. Doke (South Africa), Xhosa is related to the Nguni group of the northeastern zone of the Bantu language family. Xhosa has two dialects: Gcaleka and Ngqika. The phonetic structure is characterized by the presence of click sounds, implosive and lateral fricatives. Laws of consonant palatalization and velarization, and vowel fusion and elision, operate in Xhosa. The principal distinctive feature of the grammatical system is the presence of a substantive class system with a disyllabic prefix. The word order follows the pattern subject-predicate-object; modified substantives are followed by their attributes. The system of grammatical agreement is strictly maintained.


Doke, C. M. Bantu: Modern Grammatical, Phonetical and Lexicographical Studies Since 1860. London, 1945.
Bennie, W. J. A Grammar of Xhosa for the Xhosa-Speaking. [Lovedale] 1939.
McLaren, J. Concise Xhosa-English Dictionary. New York, 1936.


References in periodicals archive ?
Mandela had a soft spot for him, but some party insiders from the Xhosa and Zulu ethnic groups regarded him as a rank outsider, coming from the minority Venda.
Whether that is because of its LGBT theme or because it depicts a secret Xhosa male ritual, we don't know but we feel if it had remained a little-known film, this probably would not have occurred.
The kind of Xhosa characters depicted in the film, they exist -- it's people I know.
The significant trend in Ara h 2 positivity in allergic patients was followed in both ethnic groups: in Xhosa patients, 89% of allergic v.
Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi, known as the 'father of Xhosa poetry', was born on 1 December 1875 near Gqumahashe, Eastern Cape.
Ethnicity is important: the Kat River settlers, comprising both Khoekhoe and a mixed-race, partly Xhosa population, were, for example, divided in their reaction to a proposed vagrancy law.
What was the significance of bidding farewell to Mandela according to Xhosa traditional culture and spirituality?
Mourners will wear traditional Xhosa regalia, with blue and white beaded headgear and necklaces.
The Thembu community conducted a traditional Xhosa ceremony, which included recitation of poems and songs about his life-long achievements.
Here's a brief look at the Xhosa people and the main elements of their burial traditions:
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela est ne le 18 juillet 1918 dans le petit village de Mvezo, dans le Transkei (sud-est) au sein du clan royal des Thembus, de l'ethnie Xhosa.
30pm BBC1) YOU might have seen South African comedian Trevor Noah seducing both Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig last month on QI when he sang them a snippet from The Click Song which is sung in the distinctive Xhosa language.