Introduction to the Khoisan languages of southern Africa

Course time: 
Tuesday/Friday 9:00-10:50 AM
The 90, Room 219

The workshops will cover aspects of the typology and syntactic structures of the three main and very different families collectively referred to as southern African Khoisan, and will also touch on their present-day status and community concerns, as well as various controversial theories concerning their affiliations. The presentations will include copious amounts of data to illustrate aspects of the phonetics, morphology and syntax of these little-known and for the most part highly endangered African languages. Although a few phoneticians have presented studies based on an Optimality model, it remains generally true that almost all accounts of these languages to date have of necessity been generally descriptive - which means that the field is wide open for scholars with an interest in testing particular formal frameworks. Lastly, and as a bonus, participants should by the end of the series be able to produce at least some of the clicks for which these languages are famous.