The linguistic markers of the language variety spoken by gang members on the Cape Flats, according to the film Dollars and White Pipes

Paterson, Moya Colleen (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2003-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The non-standard “way of speaking” associated with gang members on the Cape Flats is the focus of the present study. This thesis is not about gangsters and gang culture, neither is it an attempt to analyze their use of language. Rather, it is an investigation of the linguistic markers of the language variety spoken by gang members on the Cape Flats, according to the film Dollars and White Pipes. This film portrays the true story of Bernie Baatjies and is set in Hanover Park, an area on the Cape Flats characterized by a high level of unemployment and low levels of education. During the Apartheid years, people of colour all over Cape Town were displaced: they were forced to move to barren land and start rebuilding their lives all over again. The youth perceived their parents as cowards for not fighting back against the system. Their anger with their parents led to the formation of gangs on the Cape Flats. These gangs resort to violence, using it as a means of dominating others and showing power through claiming territory. Gang members establish in-group distinctiveness through speech divergence. In this thesis, the notion of establishing membership of a specific linguistic community, in this case gang membership, by means of vocabulary use is examined with reference to concepts such as slang, anti-language and social judgments based on linguistic aspects. It is shown that the linguistic repertoire of the Cape Flats gangsters as a speech community can broadly be categorised as non-standard Afrikaans, non-standard English and English-Afrikaans code switching. In order to examine the linguistic markers of the language variety spoken by gang members on the Cape Flats, utterances in the film that were judged non-standard were transcribed orthographically. The standard version of each utterance was also identified. Non-standard words and phrases were then grouped according to language and parts of speech. These non-standard words and phrases were in turn presented to real–life gangsters from the Cape Flats in order to obtain judgements on their authenticity. Research approaches and methods drawn on in the thesis are Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Discourse Analysis (DA), both of which are briefly discussed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die nie-standaard “manier van praat” wat geassosieer word met bendes op die Kaapse Vlakte is die fokus van hierdie studie. Hierdie tesis handel nie oor bendes en die bendekultuur nie en is ook nie ʼn poging om hul gebruik van taal te analiseer nie. Dit is eerder ‘n beskrywing van die linguistiese merkers van die taalvariëteit wat deur bendes op die Kaapse Vlakte gepraat word, volgens die rolprent Dollars and White Pipes. Hierdie rolprent is die ware verhaal van Bernie Baatjies en speel af in Hanover Park, ‘n area van die Kaapse Vlakte gekenmerk deur ‘n hoë vlak van werkloosheid en lae vlakke van opvoeding. As gevolg van Apartheid is mense van kleur regoor Kaapstad verplaas: hulle is forseer om na dor land te verskuif en om hul lewens van oor af op te bou. Die jeug het hul ouers gesien as lafaards omdat hulle nie terug baklei het teen die stelsel nie. Hulle woede teenoor hulle ouers het gelei tot die vorming van bendes op die Kaapse Vlakte. Hierdie bendes het hulle gewend na geweld. Geweld is gebruik in ʼn poging om andere te domineer en om mag ten toon te stel in die aanspraak op gebied. Bendelede bewerkstellig spraak uiteenlopenheid as ʼn metode om in-groep onderskeibaarheid daar te stel. In hierdie tesis word die idee van bewerkstelliging van lidmaatskap van ʼn spesifieke linguistieke gemeenskap, in hierdie geval bendelidmaatskap, by wyse van die woordeskat wat hulle verkies om te gebruik, bekyk met verwysing na konsepte soos groeptaal, anti-taal en sosiale oordeel gebaseer op linguistieke aspekte. Daar word gewys dat die linguistiese repetoire van die bendes van die Kaapse Vlakte as spraakgemeenskap, gekategoriseer kan word as nie-standaard Afrikaans, nie-standaard Engels en Afrikaans-Engels kodewisseling. Om die linguistiese merkers van die taalvariëteit wat deur bendes op die Kaapse Vlakte gepraat word te bekyk, is uitings in die rolprent wat nie-standaard ge-ag is, ortografies getranskribeer. Die standaard weergawe van die uitings is ook geïdentifiseer. Nie-standaard woorde en frases is gegroepeer volgens taal en woordsoorte. Hierdie nie-standaard woorde en frases is aan werklike bendelede van die Kaapse Vlakte voorgelê om betroubaarheidsoordele te verkry. Die navorsingsbenaderinge en metodes waarop gefokus is, is Kritiese Diskoers Analise (KDA) sowel as Diskoers Analise (DA), wat beide kortliks bespreek word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20450
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