Khoisan Languages Case Study

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Khoisan languages are facing a decline of speakers and subsequently these figures can further decline for the reason that minority languages usually have a decline in speakers rather than a gain. In Tanzania there are 126 languages so it would take an enormous growth of population in the Khoisan region for the minority language to become a majority language among all the other languages in Tanzania. Minority languages have a small amount of speakers belonging to a minority group. Khoisan is a small and an indigenous language which is spoken by indigenous groups of people and is native to regions in Sub-Saharan Africa.
McIntyre (2015: 20) claims “Certain dialects are so restricted that only a small family group speaks them”. This suggests that
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Khoisan is only used for communication within small communities and this is no means for the language to spread and successfully preserve. The Government is not doing enough to promote Khoisan and in effect the language attitudes of the Khoisan speakers are negative due to historical aspects having an effect on the current endangerment position of Khoisan, and due to the contrasting roles of majority and minority languages. The development of Khoisan language has not been recognised and subsequently it is hard to expect any up rise in use of the language as the African language policy has failed to support the speakers of Khoisan languages and only supports the official languages.
Dersso, S and Palermo, F (2013: 167) claim, “The 1996 constitution of South Africa designates 11 languages as official languages of the country. Additionally it provides for the development of the indigenous Khoi, Nama and San languages along with the official
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Khoisan language belongs to a region of indigenous speakers and can be defined by compromising small communities, with a shortfall of native speakers and a lack of children present in education. Khoisan speakers continue in trying to preserve and promote Khoisan by raising awareness of language tradition and history in an attempt for the Khoisan to survive as a spoken language. It is evident that the economical presence in society claims that all languages are equal, but no opportunity for Khoisan has been developed rather a trend in language shift seems the means to develop dominant languages whilst keeping Khoisan as a L1. Without being given official language status Khoisan will remain an endangered

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