!Xu (or !Kung) belongs to the Northern group of the Khoisan family of languages, spoken by up to 10,000 people in the Botswana, Angola, Namibia frontier regions, on the north-western fringes of the Kalahari Desert.

The outstanding characteristic of the Khoisan languages is their extensive use of click sounds. By the positioning of the tongue and the way in which air is released into the mouth, distinctive kinds of clicks are produced. When these languages are written, the clicks are represented by a special symbol, such as /!/.

!Xu has three types of clicks - dental, alveolar and palatal. The language has been reduced to various forms of notation. An official orthography was approved by the Language and Publication Board of South Africa in 1969.

CLASSIFICATION = Khoisan family, SCRIPT = Roman

An introduction to the !Xu (!Kung) Language XU CBEG 1(PACK)