Information from: “Southern Tekela Nguni is Alive: Reintroducing the Phuthi Language” (97-120) . Simon Donnelly (1999)
80 percent certain, based on the evidence available
"At present we do not know how many speakers of Phuthi there are. There appears to be no systematic record anywhere of where speakers live, or who claims to speak the language. I estimate--conservatively, and only very roughly--that there may be 20,000 native Phuthi speakers spread across the five main Phuthi regions of southern Lesotho."
DATE OF INFO
DOMAINS OF USE
MORE ON VITALITY
"While preconditions exist for the language to begin the slide towards obsolescence and death, Phuthi has not yet begun to do this in a significant way... Children playing outside speak almost exclusively Phuthi with one another... children acquire Phuthi first and often do not command Sotho and Xhosa until they begin going to school."
OTHER LANGUAGES USED BY THE COMMUNITY
LANGUAGE CONTEXT COMMENTS
"Politically, Phuthi has no institutional status at all, in either Lesotho or South Africa. It is not recognized as a language of any sort (official, national, regional, local) in either country's national census... In conversational exchanges between Phuthi and non-Phuthi speakers, the non-Phuthi language always dominates: broadly this is Sotho in Lesotho and Xhosa in Sinxondo and the Transkei... On the more hopeful side, I observed that Phuthi speakers in Sinxondo and Mpapa use the language with each other in most situations, regardless of age."
Scripts (Writing system)
More on Orthography
"The language has never been committed to writing."
Lesotho, South Africa
"Spoken in southern Lesotho, and sparsely in the northern Transkei."
Observations in this paper come primarily from work in in Mpapa and Sinxondo, southern Lesotho.