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Shona language

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(Redirected from Shona)

Shona (or ChiShona) is a native language of Zimbabwe; the term is also used to identify those Bantu tribes in Southern Africa who speak one of the Shona languages. Shona proper is an official language of Zimbabwe, along with Ndebele and English. Numbering about 6 225 000 (SIL 1989), Shona speakers comprise more than 80% of Zimbabwe's population. Shona is also spoken by a substantial number of residents of Mozambique. Other countries that host Shona language speakers are Zambia and Botswana. The total number of Shona speakers is at least 7 000 000 (UBS 1990).

Shona is a written standard language with a codified orthography and grammar. It is taught in school but is not the general medium of instruction in other subjects. It has a literature and is described through monolingual and bilingual dictionaries (chiefly Shona - English).

Shona is a member of the large family of Bantu languages. In Guthrie's zonal classification of Bantu languages, zone S10 designates a dialect continuum commonly called Shona, including Shona proper, Manyika, Nambya, and Ndau, spoken in Zimbabwe; Tawara and Tewe, found in Mozambique; and Ikalanga of Botswana.

Shona speakers most likely moved into present day Zimbabwe during the great Bantu expansion.

Bibliography

  • Biehler, E. (1950) A Shona dictionary with an outline Shona grammar (revised edition). The Jesuit Fathers.
  • Brauner, Sigmund (1995) A grammatical sketch of Shona : including historical notes. Köln: Rüdiger Koppe.
  • Carter, Hazel (1986) Kuverenga Chishóna : an introductory Shona reader with grammatical sketch (2nd edition). London: SOAS.
  • Doke, C. M. (1931) Report on the Unification of the Shona Dialects. Stephen Austin Sons.
  • Mutasa, David (1996) 'The Problems of Standardizing Spoken Dialects: The Shona Experience', Language Matters, 27, 79–93.

External links

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