Verb serialisation in northern dialects of Khoekhoegowab

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This paper investigates the genetic affiliation of the three northernmost dialects of Namibian Khoekhoegowab, viz. ǂAakhoe, Haiǁom and Sesfontein Damara, on the strength of serial verb formation. The paper proceeds from Güldemann’s hypothesis that these and other lects developed through Khoekhoeisation by ‘Nama’. The claim that Khoe-Kwadi languages do not employ verb serialisation is refuted by data from Khoekhoe as well as from Kalahari Khoe, and it is shown that ǂAakhoe in particular employs a juncture a in serialisation in ways similar to those of Naro and Gǀui. The use of this juncture is argued to be strong evidence of a close genetic link of ǂAakhoe (and, to a lesser extent Haiǁom) to West Kalahari Khoe. The evidence is offered in support of my hypothesis that the Damara (with the ǂAakhoe and Haiǁom) already became Khoe speakers before they encountered the Nama.


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