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PRINTED AT THE WESLEYAN MISSION PRINTING-ESTABLISHMENT, KING WILLIAM'S TOWN, BRITISH KAFFRARIA,
A SKETCH OF ITS HISTORY;
A GENERAL CLASSIFICATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN DIALECTS,
ETHNOGRAPHICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL:
REMARKS UPON ITS NATURE:
A G R A M M A R.
BY THE REV. JOHN W. APPLEYARD,
WESLEYAN MISSIONARY IN BRITISH KAFFRARIA.
KING WILLIAM'S TOWN:
PRINTED FOR THE WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY :
.66, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.
Language is a subject of interesting scientific inquiry, as well as of practical utility.
RDVI JOHN BEECHAM, D, D.
The following work was undertaken, partly to afford assistance in the acquisition of the Kafir language, and partly to encourage and stimulate inquiry in reference to South African dialects in general. In the writer's opinion, these are entitled to a more minute and extended consideration, than they appear to have hitherto received from the philological world. Though they are spoken by tribes confessedly illiterate and uncivilized, yet they are neither irregular in their formation, nor barbarous in their construction. On the contrary, they are highly systematic, and truly philosophical. Though destitute of literary treasures, whether for instruction or amusement, they are by no means wanting in such peculiarities as are amply sufficient to gratify and repay the most careful attention. Their investigation would not only awaken curiosity, but would also throw additional light on the important subject of comparative or universal grammar. It may be fairly presumed, moreover, that some assistance
might thus be obtained, towards tracing the origin and subsequent distributions of the people themselves.
It is matter of regret, that the languages of the aboriginal tribes have received so little notice from the Colonial government. In some other parts of the British empire, philological studies frequently enjoy the patronage of those in authority, and considerable inducement is accordingly presented to those who endeavour to mould an aboriginal dialect into grammatical or lexicographical forms. In a few instances, indeed, the civil officers of government are required to be in some degree conversant, with one or more of the languages spoken by the people with whom they are officially connected.
Such a requisition as this, on the part of the Cape government, could not fail to be attended with advantage to the public service; more particularly to that part of it, which refers to their political relations with the native tribes beyond the Eastern and Northern frontiers, several of which have recently been brought within the pale of British Sovereignty.
In the case of Missionaries, it will be universally allowed that a knowledge of the native languages is highly necessary, in order to a successful and satisfactory prosecution of the important work in which they are engaged. At the commencement of their career, interpreters may perhaps be employed with some advantage; but as such a mode of assistance is necessarily circuitous and imperfect, the sooner it can be dispensed with the better. A prac ..