Starostin, George

This paper is the first in a planned two-part series, whose main goals are to conduct a general lexicostatistical study of the Tuu, or South Khoisan family of languages; to reconstruct a reliable approximation of the Swadesh wordlist for Proto-Tuu; and to clarify certain as of yet unresolved issues about the internal classification of Tuu languages. In the first part of the study, I survey the main data sources, identify the main obstacles to historical reconstruction in the Tuu domain, and make observations on some aspects of Tuu diachronic phonology. The main bulk of the paper is actually represented by the Appendix, in which I attempt to reconstruct the equivalents of the 50 Swadesh list items for the three intermediate nodes of the Tuu family (Porto-!Ui, Proto-Nossob, and Proto-Taa).