’n Etimologiese perspektief op betekenisverandering in die Afrikaanse leksikon
CITATION: Van der Merwe, T. 2003. ’n Etimologiese perspektief op betekenisverandering in die Afrikaanse leksikon. Literator, 103-124, doi: 10.4102/lit.v24i1.283.
The original publication is available at http://literator.org.za
This article deals with the most important processes of semantic change that have occurred in Afrikaans: semantic broadening, narrowing, shift and bifurcation. These processes are not necessarily gradual. There are many cases of radical change with no intermediate stages. Attention is also paid to other characteristics of semantic change such as irregularity, unpredictability and the spreading of semantic changes through the speech community. The main focus of the discussion is on a number of different factors that are responsible for semantic change. An exemplified description is given of the mechanisms by which semantic changes have occurred thus far in Afrikaans. Although the variety of semantic changes in Afrikaans catches the attention, it is also noteworthy that the change has not been very extensive. Taking into consideration the geographical distance and the diminishing ties between South Africa and the Netherlands, the similarity between Afrikaans and Dutch is remarkable.