Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Kalahari Basin area: a 'Sprachbund' on the verge of extinction

The Kalahari Basin area project (KBA) is a group of linguists and social and molecular anthropologists working together on questions regarding the population history of non-Bantu-speaking peoples in southern Africa, otherwise known as 'Khoisan'. Although Khoisan is regarded by some as a single language family, the KBA will investigate the hypothesis that the various language families in this area share traits due to extensive contact. The languages and culture of the people in the Kalahari Basin are rapidly dying out, thus the project additionally aims to conduct as much linguistic and anthropological documentation as possible before it is too late. The KBA project is made up of six project teams of scientists based at six different institutions and is funded by the European Science Foundation and various other country-specific funding bodies.

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