Tswana language

The Tswana language (Tswana: Setswana) is a Bantu language spoken in Southern Africa by about five million speakers.[1] It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho-Tswana branch of Zone S (S.30), and is closely related to the Northern and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi language and the Lozi language.

Tswana is an official language and lingua franca of Botswana. The majority of Tswana-speakers are found in the north of South Africa, where four million people speak the language and an urbanised variety which is part slang and not the formal Setswana, known as Pretoria Tswana, is the principal language of that city. The three South African provinces with the most speakers are Gauteng (circa 11%) and Northern Cape and North West (over 70%). Until 1994, South African Tswana people were notionally citizens of Bophuthatswana, one of the bantustans of the apartheid regime. The Setswana language in the Northwest Province has variations in which it is spoken according to the tribes found in the Tswana culture [Bakgatla, Barolong, Bakwena, Batlhaping, Bahurutshe, Bafokeng to name a few] the written language remains the same. Although Tswana is spoken mostly in South Africa and Botswana, a small number of speakers are also found in Zimbabwe and Namibia; respectively, an unknown number of people and about 10,000 people speak the language there.[1]

Setswana
Setswana
Native toBotswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia
EthnicityBatswana
Native speakers
(4.1 million in South Africa (2011)
1.1 million in Botswana cited 1993)[1]
unknown number in Zimbabwe
7.7 million L2 speakers in South Africa (2002)[2]
Latin (Tswana alphabet)
Tswana Braille
Official status
Official language in
 Botswana
 South Africa
 Zimbabwe
Language codes
ISO 639-1tn
ISO 639-2tsn
ISO 639-3tsn
Glottologtswa1253[3]
Linguasphere99-AUT-eg
The Tswana Language
PersonMotswana
PeopleBatswana
LanguageSetswana
CountryBotswana
South Africa 2011 Tswana speakers proportion map
Geographical distribution of Setswana in South Africa: proportion of the population that speaks Setswana at home.
  0–20%
  20–40%
  40–60%
  60–80%
  80–100%
South Africa 2011 Tswana speakers density map
Geographical distribution of Setswana in South Africa: density of Setswana home-language speakers.
  <1 /km²
  1–3 /km²
  3–10 /km²
  10–30 /km²
  30–100 /km²
  100–300 /km²
  300–1000 /km²
  1000–3000 /km²
  >3000 /km²

History

The first European to describe the Tswana language was the German traveller H. Lichtenstein, who lived among the Tswana people Batlhaping in 1806, although his work was not published until 1930. He mistakenly regarded Tswana as a dialect of the Xhosa language, and the name he used for the language "Beetjuana" may also have covered the Northern and Southern Sotho languages.

The first major work on the Tswana language was carried out by the British missionary Robert Moffat, who had also lived among the Batlhaping, and published Bechuana Spelling Book and A Bechuana Catechism in 1826. In the following years he published several other books of the Bible and in 1857 he was able to publish a complete translation of the Bible.[4]

The first grammar of the Tswana language was published in 1833 by the missionary James Archbell, although it was modelled on a Xhosa grammar. The first grammar of Tswana which regarded it as a separate language from Xhosa (but still not as a separate language from the Northern- and Southern Sotho languages) was published by the French missionary E. Casalis in 1841. He changed his mind later, and in a publication from 1882 he noted that the Northern and Southern Sotho languages were distinct from Tswana.[5]

Solomon Plaatje, a South African intellectual and linguist, was one of the first writers to extensively write in and about the Tswana language.[4]

Phonology

Vowels

The vowel inventory of Tswana can be seen below.[6]

Front Back
Close ⟨i⟩ /i/ ⟨u⟩ /u/
Near-close ⟨e⟩ /ɪ/ ⟨o⟩ /ʊ/
Open-mid ⟨ê⟩ /ɛ/ ⟨ô⟩ /ɔ/
Open ⟨a⟩ /a/

Some dialects have two additional vowels, the close-mid vowels /e/ and /o/.[7]

Consonants

The consonant inventory of Tswana can be seen below.[8]

Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Central Lateral
Nasal ⟨m⟩
/m/
⟨n⟩
/n/
⟨ny⟩
/ɲ/
⟨ng⟩
/ŋ/
Plosive Unaspirated ⟨p⟩  ⟨b⟩
/p/  /b/
⟨t⟩  ⟨d⟩
/t/  /d/
⟨k⟩
/k/
Aspirated ⟨ph⟩
/pʰ/
⟨th⟩
/tʰ/
⟨kh⟩
/kʰ/
⟨kg⟩
/kχʰ/
Affricate Unaspirated ⟨ts⟩
/ts/
⟨tl⟩
/tɬ/
⟨tš⟩   ⟨j⟩
/tʃ/  /dʒ/
Aspirated ⟨tsh⟩
/tsʰ/
⟨tlh⟩
/tɬʰ/
⟨tšh⟩
/tʃʰ/
Fricative ⟨f⟩
/f/
⟨s⟩
/s/
⟨š⟩
/ʃ/
⟨g⟩
/χ/
⟨h⟩
/h/
Trill ⟨r⟩
/r/
Approximant ⟨w⟩
/w/
⟨l⟩
/l/
⟨y⟩
/j/

The consonant /d/ is merely an allophone of /l/, when the latter is followed by the vowels /i/ or /u/.[9] Two more sounds, v /v/ and z /z/, exist only in loanwords.

Tswana also has three click consonants, but these are only used in interjections or ideophones, and tend only to be used by the older generation, and are therefore falling out of use. The three click consonants are the dental click /ǀ/, orthographically ⟨c⟩; the lateral click /ǁ/, orthographically ⟨x⟩; and the palatal click /ǃ/, orthographically ⟨q⟩.[10]

There are some minor dialectal variations among the consonants between speakers of Tswana. For instance, /χ/ is realised as either /x/ or /h/ by many speakers; /f/ is realised as /h/ in most dialects; and /tɬ/ and /tɬʰ/ are realised as /t/ and /tʰ/ in northern dialects.[11]

Stress

Stress is fixed in Tswana and thus always falls on the penult of a word, although some compounds may receive a secondary stress in the first part of the word. The syllable on which the stress falls is lengthened. Thus, mosadi is realised as [mʊ̀ˈsáːdì].[12]

Tone

Tswana has two tones, high and low, although the latter has a much wider distribution in words than the former. Tones are not marked orthographically which may lead to ambiguity.[13]

go bua /χʊ búa/ "to speak"
go bua /χʊ bua/ "to skin an animal"
o bua Setswana /ʊ́búa setswána/ "He speaks Setswana"
o bua Setswana /ʊbúa setswána/ "You speak Setswana"

An important feature of the tones is the so-called spreading of the high tone. If a syllable bears a high tone, the following two syllables will also get high tones, unless they are at the end of the word.[14]

simolola /símʊlʊla/ > /símʊ́lʊ́la/ "to begin"
simologêla /símʊlʊχɛla/ > /símʊ́lʊ́χɛla/ "to begin for/at"

Grammar

Nouns

Nouns in Tswana are grouped into nine noun classes and one subclass, each having different prefixes. The nine classes and their respective prefixes can be seen below, along with a short note regarding the common characteristics of most nouns within their respective classes.[15]

Class Singular Plural Characteristics
1. mo- ba- Persons
1a. bô- Names, kinship, animals
2. mo- me-
ma-
Miscellaneous
(including bodyparts, tools,
instruments, animals, trees, plants)
3. le- ma-
4. se- di-
5. n-
m-
ny-
ng-
din-
dim-
diny-
ding-
Animals
(but also miscellaneous)
6. lo- Miscellaneous
(including a number of collective nouns)
7. bo- ma- Abstract nouns
8. go- Infinitive forms of verbs
9. fa-
go-
mo-
Adverbs

Some nouns may be found in several classes. For instance, many class 1 nouns are also found in class 1a, class 3, class 4, and class 5.[16]

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Setswana at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Webb, Vic. 2002. "Language in South Africa: the role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development." Impact: Studies in language and society, 14:78
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tswana". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ a b Janson & Tsonope 1991, pp. 36–37
  5. ^ Janson & Tsonope 1991, pp. 38–39
  6. ^ University of Botswana 2001, p. 16
  7. ^ University of Botswana 2001, p. 19
  8. ^ University of Botswana 2001, p. 10
  9. ^ University of Botswana 2001, p. 3
  10. ^ University of Botswana 2001, pp. 11–12
  11. ^ University of Botswana 2001, pp. 14–15
  12. ^ University of Botswana 2001, p. 32
  13. ^ University of Botswana 2001, pp. 31–32
  14. ^ University of Botswana 2001, p. 34
  15. ^ Cole 1955, pp. 68–69
  16. ^ Cole 1955, p. 70

General

  • Cole, Desmond (1955), An Introduction to Tswana Grammar
  • Janson, Tore; Tsonope, Joseph (1991), Birth of a National Language: The History of Setswana, ISBN 0-435-91620-3
  • University of Botswana (2001), The Sound System of Setswana, ISBN 99912-71-21-X

External links

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Free State (province)

The Free State (Sotho: Freistata; Afrikaans: Vrystaat; Xhosa: iFreyistata; Tswana: Foreistata; Zulu: iFuleyisitata; before 1995, the Orange Free State) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its historical origins lie in the Boer republic called Orange Free State and later Orange Free State Province.

Local municipality (South Africa)

In South Africa, a local municipality (Tswana: mmasepalaselegae; Sotho: masepala wa lehae; Northern Sotho: mmasepala wa selegae; Afrikaans: plaaslike munisipaliteit; Zulu: umasipala wendawo; Southern Ndebele: umasipaladi wendawo; Xhosa: umasipala wengingqi; Swazi: masipaladi wasekhaya; Venda: masipalawapo; Tsonga: masipala wa muganga) or Category B municipality is a type of municipality that serves as the third, and most local, tier of local government. Each district municipality is divided into a number of local municipalities, and responsibility for municipal affairs is divided between the district and local municipalities. There are 226 local municipalities in South Africa.

A local municipality may include rural areas as well as one or more towns or small cities. In larger urban areas there are no district or local municipalities, and a metropolitan municipality is responsible for all municipal affairs.

Municipalities of South Africa

Local government in South Africa consists of municipalities (Tswana: bommasepala; Sotho: bomasepala; Northern Sotho: bommasepala; Afrikaans: munisipaliteite; Zulu: ngomasipala; Southern Ndebele: bomasipala; Xhosa: ngoomasipala; Swazi: bomasipala; Venda: vhomasipala; Tsonga: vamasipala) of various types. The largest metropolitan areas are governed by metropolitan municipalities, while the rest of the country is divided into district municipalities, each of which consists of several local municipalities. After the municipal election of 18 May 2011 there were eight metropolitan municipalities, 44 district municipalities and 226 local municipalities. Since the boundary reform at the time of the municipal election of 3 August 2016 there are eight metropolitan municipalities, 44 district municipalities and 205 local municipalities.Municipalities are governed by municipal councils which are elected every five years. The councils of metropolitan and local municipalities are elected by a system of mixed-member proportional representation, while the councils of district municipalities are partly elected by proportional representation and partly appointed by the councils of the constituent local municipalities.

North West (South African province)

North West (Tswana: Bokone Bophirima; Afrikaans: Noordwes; Southern Sotho: Leboya Bophirima; Xhosa: uMntla-Ntshona; Tsonga: N'walungu-Vupeladyambu; Zulu: iNyakatho Ntshonalanga; Northern Sotho: Leboa-Bodikela) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mahikeng. Klerksdorp is the largest city in the province. The province is located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng.

Northern Cape

The Northern Cape (Afrikaans: Noord-Kaap; Tswana: Kapa Bokone; Xhosa: uMntla-Koloni) is the largest and most sparsely populated province of South Africa. It was created in 1994 when the Cape Province was split up. Its capital is Kimberley. It includes the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, an international park shared with Botswana. It also includes the Augrabies Falls and the diamond mining regions in Kimberley and Alexander Bay. The Namaqualand region in the west is famous for its Namaqualand daisies. The southern towns of De Aar and Colesberg, in the Great Karoo, are major transport nodes between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. In the northeast, Kuruman is known as a mission station and also for its artesian spring, the Eye of Kuruman. The Orange River flows through the province, forming the borders with the Free State in the southeast and with Namibia to the northwest. The river is also used to irrigate the many vineyards in the arid region near Upington.

Native speakers of Afrikaans comprise a higher percentage of the population in the Northern Cape than in any other province. The Northern Cape's four official languages are Afrikaans, Tswana, Xhosa, and English. Minorities speak the other official languages of South Africa, and a few people speak indigenous languages such as Nama and Khwe.

The provincial motto, Sa ǁa ǃaĩsi 'uĩsi ("We go to a better life"), is in the Nǀu language of the Nǁnǂe (ǂKhomani) people. It was given in 1997 by one of the language's last speakers, Ms. Elsie Vaalbooi of Rietfontein, who has since died. It was South Africa's first officially registered motto in a Khoisan language. Subsequently, South Africa's national motto, ǃKe e ǀxarra ǁke, was derived from the extinct Northern Cape ǀXam language.

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South Africa's Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet (Tswana: kabinetemaitlhomo; Sotho: sekabinete; Northern Sotho: kabinete ya lekgotlakganetšo; Afrikaans: skadukabinet; Zulu: izingqapheli zesigungu sesishayamthetho; Southern Ndebele: ikhabinethi elingisako; Xhosa: ikhabhinethi yeqela eliphikisayo; Swazi: ikhabhinethi lelindzele; Tsonga: khabinete yo xopela; Venda: khabinethe yo dzumbamaho) consists of Members of the National Assembly who scrutinise their corresponding office holders in the executive branch of government and develop alternative policies for their respective portfolios. The Democratic Alliance (DA) retained their position as official opposition following the 2014 general elections and announced their shadow cabinet on 5 June. The shadow cabinet has subsequently been reshuffled on many occasions namely on 24 November 2016 and 1 June 2017.

In his capacity of DA leader, Mmusi Maimane leads the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet. Elected alongside Maimane was John Steenhuisen, as Chief Whip, and Anchen Dreyer as Chairperson of the Caucus.

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The President is elected by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, and is usually the leader of the largest party, which has been the African National Congress since the first non-racial elections were held on 27 April 1994. The Constitution limits the president's time in office to two five-year terms. The first president to be elected under the new constitution was Nelson Mandela. The incumbent is Cyril Ramaphosa, who was elected by the National Assembly on 15 February 2018 following the resignation of Jacob Zuma.

Under the interim constitution (valid from 1994 to 1996), there was a Government of National Unity, in which a Member of Parliament (MP) from the largest opposition party was entitled to a position as Deputy President. Along with Thabo Mbeki, the last State President, F. W. de Klerk also served as Deputy President, in his capacity as the leader of the National Party which was the second-largest party in the new Parliament. But De Klerk later resigned and went into opposition with his party. A voluntary coalition government continues to exist under the new constitution (adopted in 1996), although there have been no appointments of opposition politicians to the post of Deputy President.

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Sotho–Tswana languages

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.

The group is divided into three branches, Tswana (or Tswanaic) and Sotho, as follows:

Tswanaic (also referred to as Western Sotho)

Tswana (Setswana), with dialects: Hurutshe, Kgatla, Kwena, Lete, Ngwaketse, Ngwato, Rolong, Tawana, Tlharo, Tlhaping, Tlharo, Fokeng, Tlokwa

Kgalagadi, with dialects: Nuclear Kgalagadi (Kgalagadi proper), Balaongwe, Kenyi, Khakhae, Koma, Ngologa, Pedi, Phaleng, Rhiti, Shaga, Siwane

Sotho

Sesotho-Lozi

Southern Sotho or Sotho (Sesotho): Phuthi, Taung

Lozi (Silozi or Rozi)

Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa)

Birwa

Lovedu

Sepedic: includes Pedi and Tswapong:

Pedi: Sehananwa (GaMmalebogo-Makgababeng), Sekgaga (Greater Lebowakgomo), Sekhutswe, Sekopa, Masemola (GaMasemola), Sekone (GaMatlala-Moletši), Sepai, Phalaborwa, Sepulana/Sepulane (Mashishing-Bushbuckridge), Setlokwa (Botlokwa and GaManthata), Tšhwene (GaTšhwene)

Tswapong

SepitoriThe 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.

South African National Department of Health

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The Office for Health Standards and Compliance was established in 2014.

South African Reserve Bank

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) (Afrikaans: Suid-Afrikaanse Reserwebank) is the central bank of South Africa. It was established in 1921 after Parliament passed an act, the "Currency and Bank Act of 10 August 1920", as a direct result of the abnormal monetary and financial conditions which World War I had brought. The SARB was only the fourth central bank established outside the United Kingdom and Europe, the others being the United States, Japan and Java. The earliest suggestions for the establishment of the Central Bank in South Africa date back to 1879. A select committee, consisting of ten members of Parliament was established on 31 March 1920 to examine the benefits to the national interest of the establishing of the central bank.Following on the recommendations of the committee, the South African Reserve Bank opened for business on 30 June 1921, making it the oldest central bank in Africa. The first banknotes were issued to the public by the Bank on 19 April 1922.

Unlike the Bank of England, which provided the model for establishing the SARB, the SARB is privately owned.

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