Central !Kung

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Central !Kung
Grootfontein !Xuun
Native to Namibia
Region Grootfontein
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog cent2300[1]
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Central !Kung (Central !Xuun), or Central Ju, is a recently distinguished variety of the !Kung dialect cluster, spoken in a small area of northern Namibia: Neitsas, in Grootfontein district, and Gaub, in Tsumeb district. It is frequently reported as Grootfontein !Xuun, as most work has been done in Grootfontein.


Grootfontein !Kung is unusual in having true retroflex clicks, which are subapical for some speakers and have lateral release, as in the word for 'water', [ǃ̬˞ ˡú] (provisionally written g‼ú). There are thus five places of articulation in Grootfontein clicks, /ǃ ǀ ǁ ǂ ‼/. These come in eight series, here represented with the retroflex articulation:

Lingual /‼ ‼ʰ ᶢ‼ ᵑ‼ ᵑ̊‼ʰ/, glottalized /ᵑ̊‼ˀ/, linguo-pulmonic /‼χ/, linguo-glottalic /‼͡kxʼ/

Otherwise, the Grootfontein inventory is similar to that of Ekoka !Kung, except that it lacks the (pre)voiced affricates dχ, dʒ, dʒʼ, dʃχʼ.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Central Ju". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 


  • Amanda Miller, 2011. "The Representation of Clicks". In Oostendorp et al. eds., The Blackwell Companion to Phonology.
  • Miller, Sands, et al., 2010. "Retroflex Clicks in Two Dialects of !Xung" (Grootfontein and Ekoka)
  • Amanda Miller, 2009. "Contrastive Coronal Click Types in !Xung" (Grootfontein)

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