Dr. Bertie Neethling is Senior Professor in the Xhosa Department of the Arts Faculty, at the University of the Western Cape in Bellville, South Africa. He mainly teaches Xhosa acquisition courses (on and off campus), while his research focus areas and publications are in the fields of onomastics, oral literature, and multiculturalism. He has participated in international conferences in Africa, the USA, the UK, Europe and Scandinavia. He currently serves on the Executive of the Names Society of Southern Africa.2005 0-7734-6167-1
This is the first comprehensive monograph on naming in the Xhosa speaking community in South Africa. Although onomastic studies in South Africa have a fairly long history, the emphasis has been mainly on toponyms, and then not on data from the indigenous African communities. With the coming into being of the Names Society of Southern Africa in 1980, as well as its official mouthpiece, the journal Nomina Africana
, the discipline received a very necessary stimulus. Various contributions on Xhosa naming did appear regularly in the journal, but episodically. This work brings together all available scholarly research on Xhosa naming as well as recent research by the author. It not only covers the well-known categories such as anthroponyms and toponyms, but also lesser-known topics such as the names of minibus taxis and month names. The work also incorporates other recent and relevant onomastic studies in particularly Southern African communities. This book should be of great value to names scholars working in Southern Africa, as well as further afield. Naming in Africa often takes on other dimensions than in western society, and this work illustrates this well regarding Xhosa society. The socio-onomastic approach should also interest anthropologists, ethnographers, sociologists, cultural studies experts, and even the general public who wish to learn more about Xhosa society as reflected through naming.