From Academic Kids

!X (!X)
Spoken in: Botswana, Namibia
Region: Southern Gantsi district, northern Kgalagadi District, western Southern and western Kweneng districts. Also spoken in Namibia.
Total speakers: 3200 to 4200
Ranking: Not in top 100
Genetic classification: Khoisan

 Southern Africa Khoisan
  Southern Khoisan

Official status
Official language of: ?
Regulated by:
Language codes
ISO 639-1?
ISO 639-2khi
See also: LanguageList of languages

!X is a Khoisan language with 141 phonemes. These include many clicks.

It is spoken in Botswana and Namibia by anywhere from 3,200 to 4,200 people (year 1995). Its SIL code is NMN.


User Breakdown

Botswana: 3,000 to 4,000
Namibia: approx. 200


!X belongs to the Southern African branch of the Khoisan language phylum. It is categorized in the Southern subbranch of the Southern African Khoisan languages. Its closest relative is =/Hua.



There are about 80 clicks in it, with 5 basic clicks and 17 or so accompaniments, including the rare uvular closure as opposed to the velar closure of most clicks. The five basic clicks are the bilabial, the dental, the postdental, the palatal, and the lateral click. Clicks fall into two main classes depending on the sound made by the burst when they are articulated: clicks with abrupt, short bursts and those with long, high-frequency bursts.


There are 5 vowels, /a e i o u/, all of which can be nasalized.

Only /a o u/ can be breathy-voiced, pharyngealized, or strident-voiced(both phonologically pharyngealized and breathy-voiced). Vowels can also be glottalized.

There are 4 tones: high(), mid(ā), low(), and mid-falling().

Non-click consonants

bilab. dental postdent. velar Uvular
stop p t ts k q
voiced b d dz g G
asp. ph th tsh kh qh
voiced bh dh dzh
uv. fric. tx tsx
voiced dtx dtsx
ejective ts' kx' q'
voiced dts' gkx'
eje. uv. t'x' ts'x'
prevo. dt'x' dts'x'
fric s x
nasal m n
glot. nas. m' n'

Click consonants

bilab. dental post. dent. palatal lateral
velar k@ k| k! k= k||
voiced g@ g| g! g= g||
nasal n@ n| n! n= n||
preglot. nas. 'n@ 'n| 'n! 'n= 'n||
unv. nas. N@ N| N! N= N||
uvu. q@ q| q! q= q||
voiced G@ G| G! G= G||
asp. q@h q|h q!h q=h q||h
uvu. fric. k@x k|x k!x k=x k||x
eje. uvu. q@' q|' q!' q=' q||'
eje. uvu. afr. k@x' k|x' k!x' k=x' k||x'
asp. vel. k@h k|h k!h k=h k||h
glot. k@' k|' k!' k=' k||'
v. uvu. fric. gk@x gk|x gk!x gk=x gk||x
v. asp. g@h g|h g!h g=h g||h
v. uvu. eje. gk@x' gk|x' gk!x' gk=x' gk||x'

!X is a Subject Verb Object language. It is prepositional, and genitives, adjectives, relative clauses and even numbers come after the nouns to which they apply. Reduplication is used to form causatives. Much like most Indo-European languages, !X always puts the question word at the beginning of the sentence.

The linguist Anthony Traill has done extensive research into this language.



  • Auni or /Auni or /Auo
  • Kakia or Masarwa
  • Ki/hazi
  • Ng/u//en or Nu//en or /U//en or Ng/u/ei or /Nu//en or //U//en
  • Nusan or Ng/usan or Nu-san or Noosan
  • Xatia or Katia or Kattea or Khatia or Vaalpens or /Kusi or /Eikusi
  • !Kwi


  • N/gamani
  • /Nu//en
  • /'Auni
  • Ki/hazi


  • There is a dictionary of !X available, written by Anthony Traill.

External link

Template:Khoisande:!X ko:호어 zh-min-nan:!X-g nl:!X sv:!X


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