Xiri language

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Native to South Africa, Namibia
Ethnicity Griqua people
Native speakers
200?  (2000)[1]
  • Khoekhoe
    • South Khoekhoe
      • Xiri
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xii
Glottolog xiri1242[2]

Xiri or Xirikwa, in Afrikaans orthography Gri or Griqua (Griekwa; ethnonym Xirigowap, also called "Cape Hottentot"), is a Khoe language of South Africa. It is related to Nama. Xiri was once spoken along the entire coast of South Africa from Namibia to Lesotho, but it is now moribund, with less than a hundred scattered speakers left.

Despite the identity of their names, the Xirigowap are not the same as the mixed Griqua people.


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

Beach, D. M. 1938. The Phonetics of the Hottentot Language. Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons, Ltd.

Meinhof, Carl. 1930. Der Koranadialekt des Hottentottischen. (Zeitschrift für Eingeborenen-Sprachen, Beiheft 12.) Berlin: Dietrich Reimer; Hamburg: C. Boysen.