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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 ?
"Xhosa started his music career at Andy's community music school in Ladywood.
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."
Dubai Opera's chief executive Jasper Hope said: "I'm delighted Dubai Opera is able to collaborate with the fantastic Cape Town Opera to share the story of Nelson Mandela's heroic and inspirational life, presented in this brilliantly colourful production with its intoxicating mix of opera, jazz and Xhosa sounds and rhythms".
Despite initial outbursts that the Xhosa people were 'irreclaimable' from barbarism, (57) Smith soon began to write of the possibility of the Xhosa people progressing and striding toward civilisation.
The trend for all the above screening tests was towards a lower specificity and PPV in the Xhosa patients, as depicted in Table 2.
In this article we trace the documented route of the Xhosa translation and because it built up such a formidable Xhosa reputation over the years, we explore the ways S.
However, the origin of the settlement lay in more opportunistic considerations: 'Its avowed purpose was to act as a breastwork against further Xhosa attack in the event of renewed conflict between the colony and the ama-Xhosa' (p.
They perform original material, cover songs and traditional African music from Zulu, Tswana and Xhosa cultures.
Rolihlahla Mandela was born and raised in the royal court of the Thembu people one of several ethnic groups of Xhosa nation in South Africa.