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Languages in Botswana

Participants Lars-Gunnar Andersson, Tore Janson

The project aims to describe the linguistic situation in Botswana, which is quite complex and provides examples of dying languages, expanding languages, a pidgin language, an urban group language, and so on. These facts are described as accurately as possible. The project has resulted in a book titled Languages in Botswana which has been published by Longman in 1997. The book is intended for the general reader as well as for post-secondary students interested in the languages of southern Africa.

In the book, the structure of the languages are covered, although to a limited extent. Special attention is given to linguistic features that are rare, or remarkable in some other way. Most of the languages have so far hardly been treated by linguists, and many interesting unknown items in phonology, morphology and syntax is included. The relationship between the languages is treated, where they are to be found within the Bantu or the Khoisan language families.

The different languages are also viewed and discussed sociolinguistically. This includes issues like people's attitudes towards these languages, how the languages are used in public life (school, media, etc.) and to what extent they can be expected to survive the next two or three generations.

Project-related publications

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar. 1992. Khoisanspråkens typologiska profil(er) [Typological profile(s) of the Khoisan languages]. In: Till Rune från oss [Festschrift Rune Gustafsson], pp 4-23. Edited by Roger Källström & Bo Ralph. Department of Swedish Language at the Göteborg University.

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar. 1993. Khoisanspråk [The Khoisan languages]. In: Nationalencyklopedin, vol 10, p 590. Stockholm.

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar. 1993. Rika och fattiga i språkets värld [Rich and poor in the world of languages]. In: Odling för tanken, pp 25-30. Edited by Trygve Carlsson. Carlssons. Stockholm.

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar. 1997. Seyeyi revisited: prospects for the future of a threatened language. In: Namibian languages: reports and papers, pp 265-275. Edited by Wilfrid Haacke & Edward Elderkin. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. Cologne.

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar & Bo Ralph. 1991. Fanagalo - ett språk av sin tid [Fanagalo - a language of its times]. In: Göteborgs-Posten, August 17th, 1991. Göteborg.

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar & Tore Janson. 1991. Languages and language use among students at the University of Botswana. In: Marang, vol 9, pp 42-51. Gaborone.

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar & Tore Janson. 1993. Rich and poor languages in Botswana. In: Culture in Africa - an appeal for pluralism, pp 73-85. Edited by Raoul Granqvist. Seminar proceedings, no 29. Scandinavian Institute of African Studies [now, The Nordic Africa Institute]. Uppsala.

Andersson, Lars-Gunnar & Tore Janson. 1997. Languages in Botswana: language ecology in southern Africa. Longman Botswana. Gaborone. Pp 204. ISBN 99912-73-99-9.

  1. Introduction, 7
  2. Bantu languages: an overview, 13
  3. Setswana: the main language, 21
  4. Setswapong: a dialect of what? 41
  5. Sekgalagadi: dialect or language? 47
  6. Ikalanga: a major minority language, 57
  7. Shiyeyi: a Bantu click language, 72
  8. Otjiherero: an immigrant language, 83
  9. Thimbukushu: a language of the Delta, 91
  10. Sesubiya: a language of the north, 100
  11. Khoisan languages: an overview, 107
  12. Khoisan groups and languages, 123
  13. Typological profile of Khoisan languages, 143
  14. English: an official language, 170
  15. Afrikaans: an African language, 176
  16. Tsotsitaal: a language? 178
  17. Fanagalo: a pidgin language, 181
  18. The future, 186

References, 190
Index, 202

Janson, Tore. 1984. A language of Sophiatown, Alexandra and Soweto. In: York papers in linguistics, vol 11, pp 167-180. York (UK).

Janson, Tore. 1989. Afrikaans. In: Nationalencyclopedin, vol 1, p 99. Stockholm.

Janson, Tore. 1995. The status, history and future of Sekgalagadi. In: The complete linguist [Festchrift Patrick Dickens], pp 399-406. Edited by Anthony Traill, Rainer Vossen & Megan Biesele. Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. Cologne.


Afrikanska språk

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Renströmsgatan 6

Sidansvarig: Fredrik Fällman|Sidan uppdaterades: 2010-06-30

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