Naro language

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For the Nilo-Saharan language, see Nara language.
Naro
Nharo
Native to Botswana, Namibia
Ethnicity Ncoakhoe
Native speakers
10,000  (2013)[citation needed]
and about as many L2 speakers
Khoe
  • Kalahari (Tshu–Khwe)
    • West
      • Naro
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nhr
Glottolog naro1249[1]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Naro /ˈnɑr/, also Nharo, is a Khoe language spoken in Ghanzi District of Botswana and in eastern Namibia. It is probably the most-spoken of the Tshu–Khwe languages. Naro is a trade language among speakers of different Khoe languages in Ghanzi District. There is currently a dictionary.

Phonology[edit]

Naro has the following consonant inventory, in the IPA of Miller (2011) and the orthography of Visser (2001):[2]

Consonant phonemes of Naro
Labial Dental
click
Alveolar Lateral
click
Palatal
click
Velar Glottal
stop affricate click
Aspirate  ph /pʰ/  ch /ǀʰ/ th /tʰ/ tsh /tsʰ/ qh /ǃʰ/ xh /ǁʰ/ tch /ǂʰ/ kh /kʰ/
Tenuis p /p/ c /ǀ/ t /t/ ts /ts/ q /ǃ/ x /ǁ/ tc /ǂ/ k /k/
Voiced b /b/ dc /ᶢǀ/ d /d/ z /dz/ dq /ᶢǃ/ dx /ᶢǁ/ dtc /ᶢǂ/ gh /ɡ/
Nasal m /m/ nc /ᵑǀ/ n /n/ nq /ᵑǃ/ nx /ᵑǁ/ ntc /ᵑǂ/
Glottalized c’ /ᵑǀˀ/ q’ /ᵑǃˀ/ x’ /ᵑǁˀ/ tc’ /ᵑǂˀ/
Fricated cg /ǀχ/  tg /tχ/   tsg /tsχ/  qg /ǃχ/ xg /ǁχ/ tcg /ǂχ/ (kg /kχ/)
Fricated ejective  cg’ /ǀχ’/  ts’ /ts’/  qg’ /ǃχ’/   xg’ /ǁχ’/   tcg’ /ǂχ’/   kg’ /kχ’/ 
Fricative f /f/ s /s/ g /x/ h /h/
Flap r /ɾ/

Kg and kg’ only contrast for some speakers: kx’ám "mouth" vs. k’áù "male". The flap r is only found medially except in loan words. An l is only found in loans, and is generally substituted by /ɾ/ medially and /n/ initially. Medial [j] and [w] may be /i/ and /u/; they occur initially only in wèé "all, both" and in yèè (an interjection).

Naro has five vowel qualities, a e i o u, which may occur long (aa ee ii oo uu), nasalized (ã ẽ ĩ õ ũ), pressed (a, e, i, o, u), or combinations of these (ã etc.). There are three tones, written á, a, à. Syllables are of the maximal form CVV, where VV is a long vowel, diphthong, or combination of vowel and m, and may take two tones: hḿm̀ "to see"; hm̀m̀ a xám̀ "to smell". The only consonant that can occur finally is m, except that long nasal vowels such as ãã may surface as [aŋ] ([ŋ] does not otherwise occur). Syllabic /n/ also occurs, as in nna.

Below is an overview of Naro clicks in both orthography and IPA (Visser 2001). The dental click is represented by c. alveolar click by q, palatal click by tc, and lateral click by x. All examples are from Visser (2001).

Naro clicks in orthography and IPA
Orthography IPA Example Orthography IPA Example Orthography IPA Example Orthography IPA Example
c ǀ cõose 'owl' q ǃ qaò 'rise (sun, moon)' tc ǂ tcúú 'head' x ǁ xòa 'cave'
cg ǀχ cgàa 'flesh' qg ǃχ qgóé 'to run' tcg ǂχ tcgáí 'eye' xg ǁχ xgóà 'angry'
cg' ǀχ’ cg'õè 'name' qg' ǃχ’ qg'áó 'neck' tcg' ǂχ’ tcg'áì 'sharp, spicy' xg' ǁχ’ xg'ari 'to squeeze'
ch ǀʰ cóá 'child' qh ǃʰ qhàò 'people, tribe, kind' tch ǂʰ tchàà 'wide' xh ǁʰ xhãya 'West, Namibia'
c' ǀ̃ˀ c'áò 'blood' q' ǃ̃ˀ q'óà 'afraid' tc' ǂ̃ˀ tc'ubi 'egg' x' ǁ̃ˀ x'áà 'light (n.)'
dc ǀ̬ dcoàbà 'spider' dq  !̬ dqàne 'chin' dtc ǂ̬ dtcìì 'fat (adj.)' dx ǁ̬ dxàí 'cheek'
nc ǀ̃ nco̱à 'red' nq  !̃ nqàrè 'foot' ntc ǂ̃ ntcùú 'black' nx ǁ̃ nxào 'joke'

Dialects[edit]

Naro is a dialect cluster.

  • ǀAmkwe
  • ǀAnekwe
  • Gǃinkwe
  • ǃGingkwe
  • Gǃokwe
  • Qabekhoe or Qabekho or ǃKabbakwe
  • Tsʼaokhoe or Tsaukwe or Tsaokhwe
  • Tserekwe
  • Tsorokwe
  • Nǀhai-ntseʼe or Nǁhai or Tsʼao [Not the same as Ts'aokhoe?]

and possibly ǂHaba.

Naro Language Project[edit]

The Naro Language Project is a project currently being undertaken by the Reformed Church in D'kar that aims to describe and develop an understanding of the Naro language, increase literacy by teaching Naro speakers to read and write their language and translate the Bible into Naro. The project was started in the 1980s. The Naro language project has, as of 2007, translated 70% of the Bible into the Naro language.

Numerals[edit]

Below are Naro numerals, from Visser (2001). Only 'one', 'two', and 'three' are native Naro numerals, while the rest have been borrowed from Nama. Orthography is given first, follows by IPA in brackets and then the tones in parentheses (H = high, M = mid, L = low).

  • 1. cúí [/úí] (HH)
  • 2. cám̀ [/ám̀] (HL)
  • 3. nqoana [!noana] (M.L)
  • 4. hàka [hàka] (L.M)
  • 5. koro [koro] (M.M)
  • 6. nqáné [!náné] (H.H)
  • 7. hõò [hõò] (HL)
  • 8. kaisa [kaisa] (MM.L)
  • 9. khòesí [khòesí] (LM.H)
  • 10. dìsí [dìsí] (L.H)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Visser, Hessel (2001) Naro Dictionary: Naro–English, English–Naro. Gansi, Botswana: Naro Language Project. ISBN 99912-938-5-X

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Naro". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Visser originally wrote the palatal clicks with a base of ç, but switched to tc to make the language more accessible from English-language typewriters and keyboards.

External links[edit]