(redirected from Basuto)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1908) The Treasury of Basuto Lore, Being Original Se-Suto Texts, with a Literal English Translation and Notes.
(16.) It may be that this initiative failed largely because of the Rinderpest, which decimated the store of capital which formed the basis for many who would have otherwise invested in the Basuto Pioneer Trading Company.
Basuto ponies were much prized for their speed and endurance.
The Eugene Casalis record of his twenty-three years at Morija, The Basutos of 1861, is more formal, polished.
Whether she photographed Italian civilians captured by Allied soldiers, a French woman punished for fraternizing with German soldiers by having her hair shorn, or a blind Basuto man sitting with his dog against a barren, cracked wall, Larrabee invested her subjects with timeless poetic significance.
The malpractice of the Basuto farmer can be attributed only to the lack of resources to do anything better.
In an entry from 1961, Fugard sets down a "string of memories" (25) prompted by his encounter, years after their friendship had ended, with Sam Semela, the Basuto servant who worked for Fugard's mother first at the Jubilee Hotel and later at the St.
Principal wars: Third Basuto War (1867-1868); First Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881); Second (Great) Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902); Boer Rebellion (1914-1915).
(86) The ruling Basuto Congress Party denied these killings but incriminating evidence was irrefutable (Murray and Sanders 2005: 42-7.
As we know, Paul Ellenberger, son of Victor, was the grandson of David-Frederic who had written in Sesotho a History of the Basuto in 1913 (Ricard, "In a Free State").
These are known in South African history as the 'Hottentot Wars' of 1659 and 1673, the 'Kaffir Wars' of 1779, 1789, 1799, 1812, 1818, 1835, 1846, and 1850, and the 'Basuto Wars' of 1851, 1858, 1865, and 1880, not to mention almost countless small skirmishes, cattle raids, reprisals, and 'punitive expeditions' which, in the case of the Boer commandos against the Bushmen [San], took the character of genocide" (de Berghe 1970: 23).
The group is also interested in the highly-patterned blankets worn by the Basuto tribe, the patterned blankets worn as coats in Canada and the brightly coloured Chinese wedding blankets which were produced by the mill.