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Native to Namibia, Botswana
Native speakers
7,000  (2006)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aue (retired)
Glottolog kxau1241[2]

ǂKxʼao-ǁʼae (ǂKxʼauǁʼein, Auen, Kaukau) is a southeastern variety of the !Xuun dialect continuum, spoken in Botswana (Grootelaagte, East Hanahai, Kanagas, and Ghanzi villages in Ghanzi District, and on the commercial farms) and in Namibia (Gobabis, and settlements along the C22 road to Otjinene as far as Eiseb (Omaheke District)) by about 7,000 people. In Botswana, most speakers are bilingual in Naro or Tswana.[citation needed]

There are numerous spellings of the name, including ǁAuǁei, ǁX’auǁ’e, and Auen. Endonyms are Juǀʼhoan, ǃXuun in Namibia and ǂKx'ao||'ae (predominantly in Botswana) meaning "northern people" in Naro. It also goes by the names Gobabis ǃKung and Kaukau (which can take the noun class prefixes in Tswana to give Mokaukau for one person, Bakaukau for the group, and Sekaukau for the language).

In Namibia, ǂKx'ao||'ae tends to refer literally to the !Xuun speakers to the north in the Caprivi area. With the exception of a few cultural traits, speakers of ǂKx'ao||'ae in Botswana and those of Ju|'hoan in Namibia argue that they are one and the same people, speaking one language, with some dialectal attributes.

The non-Roman characters used by the language predominantly refer to click consonants and follow the orthography by Patrick Dickens for Ju|'hoan.

The limited data on these dialects are poorly transcribed.


  1. ^ ǂKxʼao-ǁʼae at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "ǂKxʼao-ǁʼae". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

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