Linguistic variation in Afrikaans in the Southern Cape: grammatical form and function in the spoken language of young adults

Meyer, Grazelde (2018-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study involves an examination of possibly distinctive features of different variants of Afrikaans. This was done in a town in the southern Cape, in which Afrikaans is the predominant home language and lingua franca. Different varieties of Afrikaans among current residents are widely observed, but have not yet been described in detail. Besides giving a snapshot of current varieties that are in use among speakers between the ages of 18 and 25 years, this study considers a sample of language use in three groups of users in order to assess how recent changing patterns of contact in educational settings may have affected the varieties they speak. The working hypothesis is that the "dialect differences" between formerly socially isolated groups could be in the process of decreasing, as a result of fading social boundaries. This is a small-scale pilot study that tests the hypothesis. The study collected recordings of spoken Afrikaans of young people who fall into three categories, namely (i) those who completed their primary and secondary schooling in the schools within a "coloured residential area" (e.g. Pacaltsdorp primary and high school), (ii) those who completed their primary and secondary schooling in the schools within the "white town areas" (e.g. Outeniqua primary and high school), and (iii) those who started their primary schooling in a school within a coloured residential area, but moved to a historically “white” school (a so-called Model C school) for their high school education. Data was elicited by using pictures of persons that participants were likely to know. The pictures were shown to pairs of speakers as prompts to a discussion that would require comparable words and expressions, thus delivering comparable sets of relatively naturally occurring speech. The recorded data was transcribed in a corpus program (ExMaralda) so that salient forms could be isolated, and the regularity as well as distribution of each form could be easily traced. The data was used to determine if and how the varieties of Afrikaans spoken by members of the three groups differ, and also to check whether there is evidence that the recent language contact between some of the coloured and white participants in their high school years had a noticeable effect on the language forms they are currently using. So the aim was to check whether there is evidence of speech accommodation, dialect levelling and dialect shift, as the different communities gradually integrate more than before. Specific attention went to vocabulary as well as to grammatical features that stood out as markers of one rather than the other community-associated version of Afrikaans.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie behels ʼn ondersoek na moontlik onderskeidende kenmerke van verskillende variante van Afrikaans. Dit is in ʼn Suid-Kaapse dorp wat oorwegend Afrikaans as huistaal en omgangstaal gebruik, onderneem. Verskillende variëteite van Afrikaans word wyd waargeneem onder huidige inwoners, maar is nog nie in besonderhede beskryf nie. Buiten dat ‘n “kameraskoot” gegee word van die variasies wat sprekers tussen die ouderdomme 18 en 25 jaar nóú gebruik, ondersoek hierdie studie die taalgebruik van drie groepe sprekers ten einde te oordeel hoe onlangse veranderinge in taalkontak in opvoedkundige konteks taalvariasie kon beïnvloed het. Daar is gewerk met die hipotese dat die “dialekverskille” tussen voormalig geïsoleerde groepe besig is om af te neem as gevolg daarvan dat sosiale grense uit ʼn vorige bedeling besig is om te vervaag. Hierdie is ʼn loodsstudie van beperkte omvang wat die hipotese toets. Die studie het klankopnames versamel van die gesproke Afrikaans van jongmense wat in drie kategorieë val, naamlik (i) diegene wat hulle hele skoolloopbaan in skole binne die “bruin woongebiede” deurgebring het, (ii) diegene wat hulle hele skoolloopbaan in skole binne die “wit dorp”, deurgebring het, en (iii) diegene wat hulle laerskoolloopbaan in die bruin woongebied begin het, maar vir hulle hoërskoolloopbaan na ‘n histories “wit” skool (‘n sg. Model-C-skool) geskuif het. Data is bekom deur die gebruik van prente van persone wat deelnemers waarskynlik sou ken. Die prente is aan pare sprekers gewys as stimulus vir gesprek wat van deelnemers vergelykbare woorde en uitdrukkings sou vereis, en dus vergelykbare stelle relatief natuurlik taalgebruik opgelewer het. Die spraak wat so vasgevang is, is getranskribeer in ‘n korpusprogram (ExMaralda), sodat opvallende vorme geïsoleer kon word en die reëlmaat waarin hulle voorgekom het, sowel as die verspreiding van elke vorm, maklik nagegaan kon word. Die data is gebruik om vas te stel of en hoe die variëteite van Afrikaans wat lede van die drie groepe gebruik, verskil asook om na te gaan of daar getuienis is dat die onlangse kontak tussen party bruin en wit deelnemers in hulle hoërskooljare ʼn merkbare effek gehad het op die taalvorme wat hulle tans gebruik. Dus was die bedoeling om na te gaan of daar, soos die verskillende gemeenskappe geleidelik meer as tevore integreer, getuienis is van spraakakkommodasie, dialekgelykmaking en dialekverskuiwing. Spesifieke aandag sal gegee word aan woordeskat sowel as aan grammatikale eienskappe van die taal wat uitstaan as merkers van een eerder as die ander gemeenskapsvariëteit van Afrikaans.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103743
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