|Native to||Botswana, Zimbabwe|
|4,100 Tshwa and Shua (2008)|
Official language in
|Zimbabwe (as 'Khoisan')|
hio – Tsoa
tyu – Kua
One of the dialects is Tshwao, the only Khoisan language in Zimbabwe, where "Koisan" is a language officially recognized in the constitution.
Tsoa–Kua is a dialect cluster, which is still poorly studied but seems to include:
- Tsoa, also known as Hiechware and as various other combinations of Hio-, Hie-, Hai- + Chwa, Tshwa, Chuwau, Tshuwau + -re, -ri; also as Sarwa, Sesarwa (the Tswana name), Gǁabake-Ntshori, Tati, and Kwe-Etshori Kwee. Zimbabwean Tshwao apparently belongs here.
- Kua, also spelled Cua and Tyhua
- Cire Cire [tʃire tʃire]
The Cire-cire dialect has the following consonant inventory:
|Oral click||ǀ ᶢǀ ǀʰ||(ǃ ᶢǃ ǃʰ)||ǁ ᶢǁ ǁʰ||(ǂ ᶢǂ ǂʰ)|
|Oral stop||p b||t d||k ɡ||q||ʔ|
The clicks have a very uneven distribution: Only a dozen words begin with one of the palatal clicks (ǂ), and these are replaced by dental clicks (ǀ) among younger speakers. Only half a dozen words start with one of the alveolar clicks (ǃ), and half a dozen more with one of the affricated clicks. These rather marginal sounds are placed in parentheses in the chart.
Tsoa has the five vowels /a e i o u/. It is not clear if Tsoa has long vowels, or simply sequences of identical vowels /aa ee ii oo uu/.
There are two tones, high and low, plus a few cases of mid tone.
Vossen, Rainer (ed.). 2013a. The Khoesan Languages. London & New York: Routledge.
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