|Extinct||late 20th century|
Kwʼadza is poorly attested, and apart from perhaps being close to Aasax, its classification is not certain. Although it has a large number of identifiably Cushitic roots, the non-Cushitic numerals itame 'one' and beʼa ~ mbɛa 'two' suggest a connection with Hadza, while haka 'four' suggests a connection with Sandawe. It is possible that Kwʼadza borrowed e.g. 'four' from Sandawe, but also that it was a non-Cushitic language whose speakers were undergoing language shift to Cushitic when it was recorded.
The phonology is not certain, but the following has been suggested (Ehret 1980):
|Plain plosive||p b||t d||k ɡ||kʷ ɡʷ||ʔ|
/ɡ/ and /l/ have the allophones [dʒ] and [ɽ] before front vowels. /tʃʼ/ is 'mildly' ejective. Ehret reports that /kʼ/ and /kʼʷ/ are voiced [ɡ, ɡʷ] if a preceding consonant is voiced.
- Raymond G. Gordon Jr., ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
- Christopher Ehret, 1980. "Kwʼadza vocabulary". ms.