The Sotho–Tswana languages are a group of closely related Southern Bantu languages spoken in Southern Africa. The Sotho–Tswana group corresponds to the S.30 label in Guthrie's (1967–1971) classification of languages in the Bantu family.
|South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, south-western Zambia, Caprivi Strip|
The group is divided into three branches, Tswana (or Tswanaic) and Sotho, as follows:
- Tswanaic (also referred to as Western Sotho)
- Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa)
- Sepedic: includes Pedi and Tswapong:
The various dialects of Tswana, Southern Sotho and Northern Sotho are highly mutually intelligible. On more than one occasion, proposals have been put forward to create a unified standardisation and declare a Sotho–Tswana language.
Northern Sotho, which appears largely to be a taxonomic holding category for what is Sotho-Tswana but neither identifiably Southern Sotho nor Tswana, subsumes highly varied dialects including Pedi (Sepedi), Tswapo (Setswapo), Lovedu (Khilobedu), Pai and Pulana. Maho (2002) leaves the "East Sotho" varieties of Kutswe, Pai, and Pulana unclassified within Sotho-Tswana.
Lozi is spoken in Zambia and north-eastern Namibia (in the Caprivi). It is distinct from the other Sotho-Tswana languages due to heavy linguistic influences from Luyaana, and possibly other Zambian and Caprivi languages. In the Guthrie work – as is now widely acknowledged – Lozi was misclassified as K.21.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Sotho-Tswana (S.30)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Guthrie, Malcolm (1967-1971). Comparative Bantu: An Introduction to the Comparative Linguistics and Prehistory of the Bantu Languages. (Volumes 1-4). Farnborough: Gregg International, cf. the CBOLD Guthrie name list Archived 2006-11-30 at the Wayback Machine
- Leketi Makalela (2009). "Harmonizing South African Sotho Language Varieties: Lessons From Reading Proficiency Assessment". International Multilingual Research Journal. 3 (2): 120–133. doi:10.1080/19313150903073489.
- Eric P. Louw (1992). "Language and National Unity in a Post-Apartheid South Africa" (PDF). Critical Arts.
- Neville Alexander (1989). "Language Policy and National Unity in South Africa/Azania".
- See Doke, Clement M. (1954). The Southern Bantu Languages. Handbook of African Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Gowlett, Derek. (2003). Zone S. In D. Nurse & G. Philippson (eds.), The Bantu Languages, 609-638. London: Curzon/Routledge
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