Beyond ‘Khoisan’

Historical relations in the Kalahari Basin

Tom Güldemann | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig
ORCID logoAnne-Maria Fehn | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig
ISBN 9789027248497 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027269928 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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Greenberg’s (1954) concept of a ‘Khoisan’ language family, while heartily embraced by non-specialists, has been harshly criticized by linguists working on these languages. Evidence for Greenberg's hypothesis has proved to be seriously insufficient and little progress has been made in the intervening years in substantiating his claim by means of the standard comparative method. This volume goes beyond “Khoisan” in the linguistic sense by exploring a more complex history that includes multiple and widespread events of language contact in southern Africa epitomized in the areal concept ‘Kalahari Basin’. The papers contained herein present new data on languages from all three relevant lineages, Tuu, Kx’a and Khoe-Kwadi, complemented by non-linguistic research from molecular and cultural anthropology. A recurrent theme is to disentangle genealogical and areal historical relations — a major challenge for historical linguistics in general. The multi-disciplinary approach reflected in this volume strengthens the hypothesis that Greenberg’s “Southern African Khoisan” is better explained in terms of complex linguistic, cultural and genetic convergence.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 330] 2014.  xii, 331 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This well-designed and data-rich book is a most welcome addition to the literature, and will undoubtedly stimulate a vibrant debate. [...] [T]he book may become a catalyst for a new phase of informed and progressive multidisciplinary research touching on the pre-colonial past of southern Africa.”
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Cited by 14 other publications

Al-Hindi, Dana R., Austin W. Reynolds & Brenna M. Henn
2022. Genetic Divergence Within Southern Africa During the Later Stone Age. In Hofmeyr [Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology, ],  pp. 19 ff. DOI logo
Barnard, Alan
2019. Bushmen, DOI logo
Busby, George BJ, Gavin Band, Quang Si Le, Muminatou Jallow, Edith Bougama, Valentina D Mangano, Lucas N Amenga-Etego, Anthony Enimil, Tobias Apinjoh, Carolyne M Ndila, Alphaxard Manjurano, Vysaul Nyirongo, Ogobara Doumba, Kirk A Rockett, Dominic P Kwiatkowski & Chris CA Spencer
2016. Admixture into and within sub-Saharan Africa. eLife 5 DOI logo
Fortes‐Lima, Cesar, Ezekia Mtetwa & Carina Schlebusch
2019. Unraveling African diversity from a cross‐disciplinary perspective. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 28:6  pp. 288 ff. DOI logo
González-Santos, Miguel, Francesco Montinaro, Ockie Oosthuizen, Erica Oosthuizen, George B.J. Busby, Paolo Anagnostou, Giovanni Destro-Bisol, Vincenzo Pascali & Cristian Capelli
2015. Genome-Wide SNP Analysis of Southern African Populations Provides New Insights into the Dispersal of Bantu-Speaking Groups. Genome Biology and Evolution 7:9  pp. 2560 ff. DOI logo
Güldemann, Tom & Anne-Maria Fehn
2017. The Kalahari Basin Area as a ‘Sprachbund’ before the Bantu Expansion. In The Cambridge Handbook of Areal Linguistics,  pp. 500 ff. DOI logo
Montinaro, Francesco, George B.J. Busby, Vincenzo L. Pascali, Simon Myers, Garrett Hellenthal & Cristian Capelli
2015. Unravelling the hidden ancestry of American admixed populations. Nature Communications 6:1 DOI logo
Oliveira, Sandra, Anne‐Maria Fehn, Teresa Aço, Fernanda Lages, Magdalena Gayà‐Vidal, Brigitte Pakendorf, Mark Stoneking & Jorge Rocha
2018. Matriclans shape populations: Insights from the Angolan Namib Desert into the maternal genetic history of southern Africa. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 165:3  pp. 518 ff. DOI logo
Schnegg, Michael
2021. What Does the Situation Say? Theorizing Multiple Understandings of Climate Change. Ethos 49:2  pp. 194 ff. DOI logo
2021. Ontologies of climate change. American Ethnologist 48:3  pp. 260 ff. DOI logo
Schnegg, Michael
2023. Becoming a Debtor to Eat: The Transformation of Food Sharing in Namibia. Ethnos 88:2  pp. 392 ff. DOI logo
Schnegg, Michael
2023. Eleven Namibian rains: A phenomenological analysis of experience in time. Anthropological Theory 23:1  pp. 33 ff. DOI logo
Vicente, Mário, Imke Lankheet, Thembi Russell, Nina Hollfelder, Vinet Coetzee, Himla Soodyall, Michael De Jongh & Carina M. Schlebusch
2021. Male-biased migration from East Africa introduced pastoralism into southern Africa. BMC Biology 19:1 DOI logo
H. Ekkehard Wolff
2019. The Cambridge Handbook of African Linguistics, DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 10 february 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFF: Historical & comparative linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2014013841 | Marc record