Korana language

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Native to South Africa, maybe Botswana
Native speakers
a handful  (2008)[citation needed]
  • Khoekhoe
    • South Khoekhoe
      • Korana
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kqz
Glottolog kora1292[1]
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Korana /kɒˈrɑːnə/, or ǃOra /ˈkɔərə/ (!Gora),[2] is a moribund Khoe language of South Africa. An ethnic Korana population (also called Griqua) of 10,000 live in South Africa and perhaps Botswana, with perhaps half a dozen elderly speakers as of 2008.[citation needed]

Korana is related to Khoekhoe, and the sound systems are broadly similar. The strongly aspirated Khoekhoe affricates are simply aspirated plosives [tʰ, kʰ] in Korana. However, Korana has an ejective velar affricate, /kxʼ/, which is not found in Khoekhoe, and a corresponding series of clicks, /ǀ͡χʼ ǁ͡χʼ ǃ͡χʼ ǂ͡χʼ/. Beach (1938)[3] reported that the Khoehkoe of the time had a velar lateral ejective affricate, [k͡ʟ̝̊ʼ], a common realization or allophone of /kxʼ/ in languages with clicks, and it might be expected that this is true for Korana as well. In addition, about half of all lexical words in Korana began with a click compared to a quarter in Khoekhoe.

Korana is principally recorded in a notebook by Lucy Lloyd from 1879 which contains five short stories; some additional work was done in Ponelis (1975).[4] As of 2009, the EuroBABEL project is searching for remaining speakers.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Korana". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ The -na is a grammatical suffix
  3. ^ D. Beach, 1938. The Phonetics of the Hottentot Language. Cambridge.
  4. ^ Ponelis, F. A. (1975). "!Ora Clicks: Problems and Speculations." Bushman and Hottentot Linguistic Studies, pp 51–60. ed. Anthony Traill. Communications from the African Studies Institute, no 2. University of the Witwatersrand. Johannesburg.
  • Maingard, L.F. 1962. Korana Folktales. Grammar and Texts. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press

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