Sotho

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Sotho

 

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.

REFERENCES

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.