Browsing Masters Degrees (General Linguistics) by Title
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- ItemThe acquisition of wh-question constructions in Mandarin Chinese by L1 isiXhosa-speaking and L1 English-speaking high school learners(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-12) van Heukelum, Marie-Louise de la Marque; Potgieter, Anneke; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the acquisition of main clause wh-questions in Mandarin Chinese, at an elementary stage of language learning, by first language (L1) Englishand L1 isiXhosa-speaking high school learners. English is termed a “wh-movement” language because the wh-expression moves from its canonical position in the clause into a sentence-initial position. In English, the wh-feature is said to be marked and strong ([uwh*]), resulting in movement of the wh-expression. isiXhosa and Mandarin, however, are both “wh-in-situ” languages because the wh-feature is claimed to be unmarked and weak ([uwh]), resulting in the wh-expression receiving its phonetic spell-out “on site”. According to the Initial Hypothesis of Syntax (IHS; Platzack, 1996), unmarked features are present in a learner’s L1 (and L2/L3) initial state as the “default” features. The [-movement] parameter associated with the selection of the unmarked [uwh] feature results in in-situ wh-question constructions and is claimed to be the first parameter tested against target language (TL) input. Consequently, the acquisition of in-situ wh-questions is expected to be unproblematic. It was tested whether L1 isiXhosa (L2 English L3 Afrikaans) participants would outperform L1 English (L2 Afrikaans) participants on a set of wh-question tasks as a result of facilitative L1 transfer, or whether results would be comparative due to the unmarked [uwh] feature’s early instantiation in the participants’ Mandarin interlanguage grammar. Sentence formation, oral production, grammaticality judgement and sentence translation tasks were administered to 20 participants. Results did not reveal a statistically significant difference between the two groups’ performance, but an analysis of the participants’ errors revealed different patterns indicative of L1 and L2 (or L3) transfer. Both groups failed to fully acquire the correct wh-in-situ structure in Mandarin and transfer from English or Afrikaans was evident, resulting in a close to even split between wh-movement and wh-in-situ structures being produced or rated as grammatical. The two groups’ production/selection of both wh-in-situ and wh-movement questions at an elementary stage of language acquisition suggests that the unmarked [uwh] feature associated with the [-movement] parameter is instantiated in their early TL Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za iii grammars, but that transfer of the [+movement] parameter is still prevalent at this stage. It is predicted that without the necessary morphological competence required to recognise that the marked strong [uwh*] feature of wh-movement languages is not instantiated in Mandarin, variability will persist in the form of transfer from the learners’ previously acquired grammars until Mandarin input is sufficient to eliminate the selection of the [uwh*] feature and application of the [+movement] parameter. This study supports the claim that unmarked features are present in a learner’s initial state. Crucially, however, results indicate that L3/L4 (and, by assumption, L2) acquisition does not only commence with the most economical derivations, but that all other previously acquired linguistic knowledge forms the basis for the learner’s initial hypotheses about the TL grammar. As such, it is claimed that the IHS does not have precedence over cross-linguistic influence. Finally, it is also revealed that, as with child language acquisition, wh-words are acquired in a specific order by adults too, and that this acquisition order is based on the syntactic and semantic complexity of the wh-word in question.
- ItemAfrikaans on the Cape Flats : performing cultural linguistic identity in Afrikaaps(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-03) Carolissen, Jade; Oostendorp, Marcelyn; Southwood, Frenette; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis examines Kaaps and how speakers use this linguistic variety to demonstrate or perform various aspects of their identities. The theories of Butler (1990) and Pennycook (2004) are used to investigate how language is used to perform identity. Using transcripts of the Afrikaaps theatre production and an interview with an Afrikaaps performer, Emile Jansen (also known as Emile YX?), the themes of self-knowledge as opposed to shame within the Coloured community are investigated. Also pertinent to this discussion are the themes of hybridity and marginality. Furthermore, the theatre production’s emphasis on the legalisation of Kaaps is further explored in this thesis. A discussion of the methodology and data collection instruments follows. Thematic analysis is used to analyse the various narratives raised. Thereafter, the efficacy of Kaaps to instigate new conversations about the language variety as a site for identity creation is discussed. This is done by evaluating Kaaps based on the critique of the 1985 Black Writer’s Symposium’s offered by Richard Rive. The conclusion notes the limits of time and space in this particular project. It underscores the ground-breaking role Afrikaaps played in changing perceptions on the black or creole (or both) origins of Afrikaans and the role it played in inspiring pride in Kaaps speakers
- ItemAn analysis of requests produced by second language speakers of English and how these requests are received by English first language speakers(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-12) Ganchi, Fatima; Southwood, Frenette; Oostendorp, Marcelyn; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During the course of my work as Communications lecturer at a multicultural university, I have noticed differences in the manners in which Sesotho-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking students make the same requests to me while speaking English. There exists a possibility that these second language (L2) requests could be deemed inappropriate and/or unintelligible by first language (L1) speakers of English. It is possible that miscommunication may result when requests by one culture group is judged as inappropriate and/or unintelligible by another. The aims of my study were to investigate (i) whether there are indeed differences in the manners in which L1 Sesotho and L1 Afrikaans speakers make requests when speaking English and (ii) how the differences in the (a) politeness, (b) formalness, (c) appropriateness, (d) grammaticality and (e) intelligibility of these requests made by the above-mentioned two groups manifest, as judged by L1 speakers of English. In terms of research methodology, I elicited requests in English from two culturally and linguistically different groups of students (17 L1 Afrikaans and 17 L1 Sesotho) by means of a written scenario completion task. One scenario involved a high imposition situation and the other a low imposition. The requests made by the two groups were then analysed using the Cross Cultural Speech Act Realisation Project (CCSARP) framework of Blum-Kulka, House and Kasper (1989a). Each request was also judged by eight L1 English speakers. Data analysis showed that there are indeed differences in the way in which Afrikaans- and Sesotho-speaking people put forth English requests. In terms of CCSARP categories, the Sesotho speakers used more alerters and more politeness markers than the Afrikaans speakers did. Sesotho and Afrikaans speakers also differed in their responses to high and low imposition situations – for example, Sesotho speakers used more grounders in the low imposition request than in the high imposition request, whereas Afrikaans speakers’ requests showed the reverse pattern. In terms of ratings received by L1 speakers, although Sesotho speakers’ requests were judged as more polite, Afrikaans speakers’ requests were judged as more appropriate and grammatically correct. The findings have implications for curriculum design: By being mindful of the workings of intercultural verbal and nonverbal communication and by acknowledging that people from different cultural backgrounds bring to a conversation certain culturally inherited factors which influence them and the interlocutors, I can use the results of this study to better inform the different L1 groups in my classes how to change their requesting behaviour so as to make requests that are judged by L1 English speakers as being appropriate.
- ItemAn analysis of the grammatical structure of small clauses in Afrikaans : a minimalist approach(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-12) Backhouse, Rene; Oosthuizen, Johan; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The main goal of this study is to provide a grammatical analysis of small clauses in Afrikaans. A proper analysis of this phenomenon has not yet been attempted in the literature on Afrikaans syntax. However, within the framework of generative grammar, including the most recent versions of Minimalist Syntax, extensive research has been conducted on the small clause phenomenon for a wide range of other languages. In these studies, various types of small clause constructions have been identified. For the purpose of this study, a systematic analysis is given for seven of these small clause construction types, focusing specifically on the Afrikaans data. In order to establish whether the Afrikaans small clause constructions exhibit the same characteristics as those found in other languages, a taxonomy is given of their Dutch, English, West Flemish and Polish counterparts as described by, among others, Hoekstra (1988a, 1992), Bennis, Corver and Den Dikken (1998), Citko (2008) and Haegeman (2010). It is against this background that the characteristics of the different Afrikaans small clause constructions are described. In addition, an explication is given of the various proposals regarding the underlying structure of such constructions. Based on proposals by Oosthuizen (2013), it is argued that a small clause construction is a projection of a particular functional category, namely a defective light verb, sc-v. It is claimed that such a light verb analysis can provide an adequate account of the Afrikaans facts.
- ItemAn analysis of the linguistic realisation of agency in the narratives of students on an extended degree programme(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-04) Martin, Melissa; Bernard, Taryn; Anthonissen, Christine; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the last decade there has been a proliferation of literature detailing the difficulties faced by first-year students as they navigate the transition to university. The increased diversity of the student population has led to a growing need to develop ways to meet the educational needs of the larger number of students entering higher education (HE) contexts. A consistent theme that weaves through the literature is that of deficit in dealing with diversity and difference. The research often documents the experiences of the students and their routes to access and participation in HE. Research conducted on foundation programmes, defined as the provisioning of modules, courses or other curricular elements to equip students with academic potential to successfully complete an HE qualification, has found that the students who do the programmes are conceptualised and constructed in deficit terms. The problem with the constructions are that they suggest the following issues: a difficulty on the students’ part to actively participate in university culture, that they are lacking in relevant skills and that they are unable to succeed in HEIs. It is thus due to these implied issues that the HE sector has a major issue to address: there is only one mainstream language (Lawrence 2000:1), meaning that language, literacies, and cultures that are different to that of the mainstream (more often than not, English) represent a deficiency on the part of the students who are unfamiliar with the mainstream. Within this deficit discourse, the students who are unable to master the mainstream discourses are labelled as “underprepared” and are often held accountable for not adopting the norms of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). However, with the number of first-generation students’ arrival to university increasing, this mindset will pose new challenges for students and the institutions. A similar attitude is aimed at students who come from low socio-economic backgrounds as they pose a problem in HE, often referred to as being “not traditional”, and adding to the notion that anything other than the mainstream will cause problems. In the interim, the most devastating effect of this deficit discourse is that difference is replaced with deficit. There is another aspect of the problem that remains absent from the literature: the students themselves. Adjacent to the issue of deficiency that surrounds the students is the lack of focus on their agency. Therefore, there is a call to research issues of agency amongst students. One method through which this can be done is narrative analysis. One definition of narrative analysis is that it is a form of linguistic analysis that takes an individual’s personal experiences as the object of investigation. By drawing on narrative theory, using William Labov’s method of structural narrative analysis, as well as thematic analysis, the study attempts to bring forth the views of students on an extended degree programme (EDP). This analysis thus attempts to find out how students construct themselves, based on their lived experiences and reasoning for attending university. It also attempts to assess if their narratives align with dominant deficit discourses about foundation programmes and the students who are on the programmes. By detailing the students’ experiences prior to attending university and giving credence to those experiences, the analysis reveals that students’ narratives can offer insight into the way they view and construct themselves and the university. This then links to the concept of agency, a concept that is almost absent within the discourses that surround foundation programmes. Their voices, which can be viewed as their agency, has no foothold within literature. The research, through the analysis of students’ narratives in terms of structure, themes and linguistic devices, reveals the students as active agents, who actively make their own choices and decisions.
- ItemAviation English in South African airspace(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-03) Coertze, Salome; Conradie, Simone; Huddlestone, Kate; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A lack of English proficiency and failure to use standard phraseology played a role in two of the world’s largest aviation disasters in South Germany and Tenerife, respectively. As a result, the crucial role of effective pilot-ATC (air traffic controller) communication came under scrutiny and measures were put in place to ensure that aviation safety is not jeopardised by language-related problems. For example, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) implemented English language proficiency standards and testing. The study reported in this thesis investigated the use of Aviation English and standard phraseology, which is used in radiotelephony communication by the operational aviation community. Aviation English consists of a range of operationally-relevant language functions and dialogue management, e.g. orders, requests, and offers to act; a blend of formulaic standard phraseology and plain or everyday speech if and when a non-routine situation occurs. Data on pilots’ and ATCs’ perceptions of the role of language in air traffic communication, their perspectives on English as lingua franca in aviation, and English language proficiency standards and testing were collected by means of a questionnaire. The respondents included full-time professional pilots (domestic and international flights), part-time professional pilots and pilots who fly for leisure, and ATCs in Air Traffic Navigation Service units that handle domestic and/or international flights. Recordings of on-site air traffic communication from two airport towers were obtained and were used to study the use of Aviation English and standard phraseology in pilot-ATC communication in South Africa. The results indicated that the majority of pilots and ATCs believe that language-related problems can cause fatal accidents and serious incidents. Pilots and ATCs in South Africa do experience threatening and potentially hazardous situations as a result of communication problems, however, they are confident that communication problems are resolved quickly and successfully in order to avoid accidents. The analysis of the voice recordings correlated with the pilots’ and ATCs’ perceptions that in spite of communication problems (languagerelated and non-language-related) occurring in South African airspace, pilots and ATCs have strategies in place to resolve them effectively and they are also able to use plain English to negotiate understanding and meaning. The majority of the respondents indicated that they agree that English should be used as the lingua franca in aviation around the world and they regard the English language proficiency of South African pilots and ATCs as satisfactory. The majority support ICAO’s English language proficiency standards and testing. The recordings presented a small percentage of transmissions with read-back/hear-back errors, but a substantial number of instances of radio distortions and background noise which interfered with the intelligibility of the transmissions, correlated with the results of the questionnaire. A small percentage of transmissions contained deviations from Aviation English and standard phraseology and/or the use of plain English. The researcher is of the opinion that this initial investigation into Aviation English serves to indicate some avenues for fruitful linguistic investigations into Aviation English and pilot-ATC communication in South Africa.
- ItemCivil unrest in South Africa: Insights from cognitive linguistics and critical discourse analysis(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-03) Lee, Melissa; Bernard, Taryn; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The critical investigation of political discourse has been of interest to philosophers, rhetoricians, political scientists, and linguists for centuries. Dating back to Aristotle, thinkers have been interested in the interconnectedness of politics and discourse, and the obvious implications thereof for democratic nations (Gastil, 1992:469). In more recent times, media representations of civil disorder, including protests, have received attention from Critical Linguists such as Fairclough (1992), Fang (1994), van Dijk (1993, 2003), Wodak (2002), Chan-Malik (2011) and Bennett (2013). These linguists adopted Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a methodological tool, and in doing so, have highlighted how different news publications represent protest activity differently, and that these differences can be attributed to divergent ideologies regarding protest action and the social actors involved in such protests. However, while such studies have produced fascinating results, there are numerous criticisms that have been raised against CDA as an approach to textual analysis. These criticisms threaten to invalidate both the conclusions drawn from these analyses as well as the field of research itself (see, for example, Breeze, 2011:503). In response to this, theorists have revised the methodology and put forward alternative approaches to CDA, including the cognitive linguistic (CL) approach and the incorporation of experimentation. More specifically, the CL approach to CDA (CL-CDA) attempts to resolve the issue of cognitive equivalence (Hart, 2013:403). That is, it attempts to investigate whether the features identified by CDA analysts as being psychologically persuasive are really construed as such by the intended target readership. In order to determine this, CL-CDA analysis focuses on conceptual features such as metaphor, action chains, and point of view (Hart, 2013:404). With previous studies on protest action in mind, as well as the new methodological approaches to CDA, this study conducted a CL-CDA analysis of textual representations of the Fees Must Fall protests, which took place across South Africa in 2015 and 2016. 75 Online articles topicalising these protests were gathered and selected from a variety of publications whose target readerships typically differ with regards to class, socio-economic status, or race. The action chains and point of view encoded in these texts were analysed according to the CL-CDA framework. The results of this analysis highlighted the cognitive features or processes that are most prominent in South African media representations of the Fees Must Fall protests. The CL-CDA analysis revealed that the South African news publications Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za v ideologically favoured the protesters in their coverage of the protests. In an effort to explain this deviation from typical protest discourse as outlined in the literature review, it was posited that South Africa’s current political landscape and the legacy Apartheid imprinted in the seams of South Africa’s society created a culture that is particularly intolerant of state oppression and tolerant of protests. These findings were later used to determine the content of the experimental portion of the study. In this part of the study, a closed-ended survey was designed and distributed to over 300 participants online in order to investigate the cognitive effects of various linguistic constructions: specifically, their perception of blame placement and aggression rating. The results yielded a fair number of statistically significant outcomes, some of which support the CL-CDA approach to analysis, and some of which refute it. Crucially, the results supported the ultimate assumption of CDA: that readers’ conceptualisations of events are influenced by subtle lexico-grammatical differences in texts. In doing so, this study makes a contribution to the field of Critical Linguistics and mainstream CDA by offering valuable insights into the way in which specific linguistic features are interpreted by the target audience.
- ItemCode-switching and translanguaging inside and outside the classroom: bi-/multilingual practices of high school learners in a rural Afrikaans-setting(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-12) Strauss, Stuart; Huddlestone, Kate; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The dominance of Afrikaans as medium of communication in the rural town of Upington in the Northern Cape, South Africa, is reflected in the day-to-day communication practices by the vast majority of its inhabitants. Confirmation of this statement is revealed in the fact that all formal educational practices in Upington and surrounding areas use Afrikaans as language of learning and teaching, both during classes and during extra-mural activities provided for by the institution itself. However, it is when those learning and teaching at these schools and colleges engage with English as a first additional language, that the opportunities for cross-language transfer, especially in the forms of code-switching and translanguaging, usually arise. The aim of this study is to establish if linguistic strategies like code-switching and translanguaging are used by senior high school learners and teachers when they communicate in bi/multilingual settings where English is the target language. Furthermore, the study also investigated the reasons for using these linguistic strategies, as well as their educational value. The study focused on investigations into the language practices in two different high school educational settings (i) in-class activities, namely a teacher’s presentation of a poem and learner discussions at Pabalello High school, and (ii) after school activities, namely informal debating practice sessions led by a teacher, at Carlton-Van Heerden High school. In both cases, the linguistic activities were recorded and orthographically transcribed and, together with data collected from learner questionnaires and semi-structured interviews conducted with the teachers, formed the corpus of the material to be analysed. A significant number of code-switches were observed in the linguistic interaction of participants at both schools. The reasons for employing code-switching ranged from switching at word-finding difficulty and maintaining social cohesion in the group, to the very general switching of codes to explain, to expand, to clarify and to elaborate. Similarly, translanguaging strategies formed a significant part of the participants’ linguistic repertoire and had been used to fulfil a number of functions, including reprimanding elaboration of content and exclusion. Both these linguistic strategies played an important role in simplifying the subject matter and improving understanding. From the findings of both investigations, it becomes clear that linguistic strategies like code-switching and translanguaging are helpful tools in bi/multilingual educational settings, and that the most important role players in the educational setting, the teachers and learners, are using these strategies, regardless of the educational policies which favour the monolingual approach. It is therefore recommended by this study that the notions of code-switching and translanguaging should be acknowledged as enhancing the educational process and should therefore be made part of the policies which influence the curricula at our schools.
- ItemCode-switching as a persuasive device in South African advertising(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-03) Cowley, Jennali; Bernard, Taryn; Anthonissen, Christine; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Advertising is characterised by a particular type of language and language use which is structured to fulfil a particular purpose. The primary function of advertising language is to persuade consumers to purchase the advertised products or services (Morris 2005; Piller 2003; Fuertes-Olivera,Velasco-Sacristán, Arribas-Bano & Samaniego-Fernández 2001). In South Africa, a multilingual context, there are many instances where advertisers employ two or more languages in one advertisement. Prior research on code-switching in text advertisements has revealed that the context and the direction of the code-switched elements influence the way in which participants interpret the advertisement, and whether they have a positive or negative association with the brand (Bishop & Petersen 2010; Luna & Peracchio 2005). However, in these studies, the advertising text was isolated from the visual elements of the advertisement and analysed as an independent variable. Further, the researchers only investigated the perceptions participants had of the advertisements where they speak the languages featured in the text, but not those of other audiences with different language repertoires who might encounter the advertisement in real-world, multilingual contexts. This thesis presents the results of a study that was designed to investigate perceptions an actual audience has of Afrikaans-English code-switched advertisements amongst a group of diverse students at Stellenbosch University. Subsequent to a viewing of five print advertisements, an in-depth questionnaire was distributed to 99 participants in order to determine (1) the persuasive nature of Afrikaans-English code-switching, and (2) whether or not, in research which ultimately aims to uncover the persuasive features of advertisements, the advertising text can be studied in isolation from the visual elements. The findings reveal that while the two different groups of participants had similar perceptions of the advertisements and products, they all had fairly neutral and also negative perceptions of code-switching. This has implications for understandings and uses of code-switching in advertising, and the effects that it may have on consumers in multilingual contexts.
- ItemColour memory and similarity judgement in isiXhosa-English bilinguals : the case of luhlaza(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-03) Parshotam, Minali Dinesh; Bylund, Emanuel; Xeketwana, Simthembile; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Colour categorisation has been a well-known topic of enquiry in the cognitive sciences. There is an abundance of literature examining colour categorisation in speakers of different languages. The findings indicate that cross-linguistic variation in colour term repertoires to some extent influences the way speakers perceive colour. English and isiXhosa differ in their categorisation of colour, as isiXhosa, unlike English, does not have a lexical distinction between green and blue, but instead has the basic colour term luhlaza to refer to this colour space. The aims of the current study is, firstly, to see whether these cross-linguistic differences modulate memory accuracy and similarity judgements of the green-blue colour space and, secondly, to see whether experience with English language influences isiXhosa speakers to behave more like speakers of English on these measures. A pre-experimental study is conducted in order to obtain baseline colour data of South African English. The data collected on the colours green and blue is then used for the main experiments of the current study. The main experiments include a memory task, examining the recognition memory for the relevant colour space among the participants, and a similarity judgement task, examining perceived similarity of triads of colour stimuli belonging to same and different categories of colour. Overall, 60 participants, isiXhosa-English bilinguals and first language South African English speakers, participated in the main experiments. Findings from both the memory and the similarity judgement experiments show certain differences, but also to a greater extent, similarities between the two language groups. Additionally, the isiXhosa-English bilingual speakers’ English experience is assessed, but direct effects of English language experiential variables are not found.
- ItemComparing journalistic cultures : constructing the identity of Fred van der Vyver as newsmaker(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-03) Le Roux, Judie; Southwood, Frenette; Van Gass, K.; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.This study examined how different words and phrases used within the media may portray a certain image of an individual, ultimately impacting the perception that the reader forms of such individual. Specifically, the manner in which Fred van der Vyver was portrayed by both an Afrikaans language newspaper and an English language newspaper in the Fred van der Vyver-Inge Lotz murder case was examined. This was a highly publicized case from March 2005, when Inge Lotz was found murdered, to November 2007, when Fred van der Vyver, who was suspected of killing Inge Lotz, was acquitted. The aim of the study was to compare two South African journalistic cultures, namely the ones represented by Cape Times and Die Burger, respectively, in their construction of Fred van der Vyver as newsmaker. The rationale for the study was that newspaper coverage of a murder as well as of the investigation and trial which follow creates a certain perception among its readers, and that this perception is based on the information that readers accumulate by reading various published articles. The hypothesis was that both newspapers treated Fred van der Vyver as a newsmaker, and as a murdered in particular, by making use of various linguistic devices. The data analyzed were a selection of articles published between March 2005 and November 2007 in the online versions of Cape Times and Die Burger. A focal point of the study was to show how different aspects of newspaper reporting – specifically headlines and the text itself – construct a particular view or image of the case in general and of Fred van der Vyver in particular. It was found that neither the Cape Times nor Die Burger wrote that Fred van der Vyver was the murderer but both suggested it throughout by making use of linguistic devices. Loaded words, for example, were used to describe certain aspects of the case, and these aspects were then associated with Fred van der Vyver. Fred van der Vyver`s identity had been presented as that of a murderer within the press by means of linguistic tools and language use. The hypotheses was therefore borne out by the data, as both newspapers had indeed portrayed the identity of Fred van der Vyver as that of a murderer. What we read in the papers does have an influence on what we perceive to be true, objective or accurate and on how we ultimately form an opinion. In this case, the public automatically accepted Fred van der Vyver’s identity as portrayed in the press, namely as that of a murderer, and assumed that he was guilty once he was arrested.
- ItemThe comprehensibility of plain language for second language speakers of English at a South African college of further education and training(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-04) Coetzee, Sarah-Jane; Southwood, Frenette; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Plain language has existed in various forms and guises for more than 2000 years (Garner 2009: 40-41; Petelin 2010: 207). Although no consensus exists on a single definition of ‘plain language’ or how best to achieve plain language, plain language is a purportedly effective means for improving communication. The use of plain language is commonplace in many countries, like the United States and the United Kingdom, and might be considered beneficial to citizens by virtue of the fact that many governments legislate its use. South Africa is one of the countries that has embraced plain language by incorporating it into various pieces of legislation in an effort to protect the consumer. However, the South African population generally has low literacy and education levels, and the majority of the population has an L1 other than English, the language in which most documents in the financial and other service-delivery sectors appear. What is considered plain English by L1 speakers of English may differ significantly from what second language (L2) speakers of English consider plain language (Cutts 2013). However, insufficient information exists on the effectiveness of plain English for speakers of L1s other than English (Lee 2014; Thrush 2001). Furthermore, the ability of plain language to render comprehensible English texts in contexts of multilingualism and multiculturalism warrants investigation (Cornelius 2015) – an important consideration in South Africa where English is the lingua franca of the multilingual, multicultural population. This study investigated the comprehensibility of a plain English text for non-L1 speakers of English. The participants were L1 speakers of Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa at a Western Cape college of further education and training, which has English as sole language of learning and teaching. An authentic text on the topic of funeral insurance, which is germane to a large portion of the population (Finmark South Africa 2016: 5), was selected and an analysis of the text revealed that it was a plain English text. The cloze test procedure was selected as the method of analysis. This is a commonly used technique which determines the test-taker’s comprehension of written language. A cloze test was employed in which every seventh word was deleted from the text; participants were given the text with 100 deletions indicated on the page and were required to fill in the missing words. The results of the study indicate that all three L1 groups (Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa) showed poor comprehension of the text (average scores for the three groups combined were <50%), but that the comprehension of the English L1 speakers was better than that of the English L2 speakers, although not statistically significantly so in the case of the L1 Afrikaans groups. This suggests that the criteria or guidelines for writing in such a way that the resultant text is plain (which were developed for and tested with English L1 speakers in countries in which English is the most widely spoken L1, such as the United States and United Kingdom), is not sufficient for the South African context where English is the lingua franca and the language of preference, but the L1 of less than 10% of the population (Statistics South Africa 2012: 24). The inadequacy of some of the plain language techniques can serve as an immediate warning to plain language practitioners to avoid a blanket, uncritical application of these guidelines as they do not necessarily cater sufficiently for South African target audiences, particularly those who need them most.
- ItemThe comprehension by factory workers of English technical terms in Ministry of Employment and Labour Radio Broadcasts in Lesotho(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12) Nchai, Tlali Pius; Huddlestone, Kate; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: With the advent of the information age, government ministries in Lesotho, as well as nongovernmental agencies, are trying to gain publicity in terms of services they offer to the general public. The Ministry of Employment and Labour (MEL), for example, resorted to using radio programmes in order to inform the public about the services it offers. These range from career guidance and counselling, pre- and post-employment advice, information about occupational health and safety and HIV/AIDS, providing facts about what type of vacancies are available locally and internationally, to instilling the spirit of dialogue among relevant stakeholders in matters related to labour, employers and employees. During various weekly radio presentations, presented in Sesotho, several departments are able to go on-air and present services that their departments offer to the general public and what the public can do in the event they are given a disservice by the concerned department. In the process of doing so, many technical terms are used. These often take the form of code switches into English, translations from English into Sesotho and borrowings from English. The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether the use of code switching, translation and borrowing makes it possible for factory workers in Lesotho to understand the message that is being delivered to them in a clear and unmistakable manner that will influence a change of behaviour on the part of factory workers. In order to ascertain the level of comprehension of technical terms, participants completed a questionnaire in which they gave their understanding of various technical terms selected from transcribed MEL radio broadcasts. The findings of this study show that the use of code switching, translation and borrowing from English limit the understanding of what is being communicated, making the radio broadcasts less effective in disseminating information on matters related to HIV/AIDS, the plight of factory workers according to the ratified conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), legal terms related to contracts of employment, their commencement and termination, conditions of work, the level of the unemployed versus the employed, skills needed to venture into the country’s labour market and occupational health and safety guidelines as reflected in the Labour Code of Lesotho.
- ItemConceptual metaphors in media discourses on AIDS denialism in South Africa(Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-03) Nothnagel, Ignatius; Anthonissen, Christine; University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.According to Nattrass (2007:138), the denial and questioning of the science of HIV/AIDS at government level by, amongst others, Thabo Mbeki (former State President) and Manto Tshabalala-Msimang (former Minister of Health) resulted in an estimated 343 000 preventable AIDS deaths in South Africa by 2007. Such governmental discourse of AIDS denialism has been the target of criticism in the media and by activist groups such as the Treatment Action Campaign. This study investigates the nature of this criticism, specifically considering the critical use of metaphor in visual texts such as the political cartoons of Jonathan Shapiro, who works under the pen name of “Zapiro”. The purpose is to determine whether the nature of the criticism in visual newspaper texts differs from that of corresponding verbal newspaper texts, possibly providing means of criticism not available to the verbal mode alone. A corpus of texts published between August 1999 and December 2007 that topicalise HIV/AIDS was investigated. This includes 119 cartoons by Zapiro, and 91 verbal articles in the weekly newspaper Mail & Guardian. The main theoretical approach used in the analyses is Conceptual Metaphor Theory, developed by Lakoff and Johnson (1981), and its extension to poetic metaphor, developed by Lakoff and Turner (1989). Because of the socio-political nature of the problem of HIV/AIDS, the study also draws on Critical Discourse Analysis, including complementary concepts from Systemic Functional Linguistics. The study reveals that visual and verbal texts make use of similar sets of conventional conceptual metaphors at similar frequencies, which confirms the predictions of Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The study further reveals that the cartoons enrich these metaphors through four specific mechanisms of poetic metaphor, which the verbal articles do not. This indicates a significant difference between the two types of texts. Furthermore, it is found that the use of such poetic metaphors directly contributes to the critical power of the political cartoons. The study indicates that multi-modality in cartoons, which triggers single metaphoric mappings, adds a dimension to the critical function of the text that is absent in the verbal equivalent. The finding that the visual texts enable a form of cognition that is not available to verbal texts, poses one of the most significant avenues for future research. Thus, cartoons apparently achieve a type of criticism that is not found, and may not be possible, in the verbal texts alone. This makes the political cartoon a text type with an important and unique ability to articulate political criticism.
- ItemConstructing first additional language learning : a content and thematic analysis of CAPS(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-03) Luizinho, Robyn Mandy; Oostendorp, Marcelyn; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Only 9.6% of the South African population speaks English as a home language, but the majority of learners experience English as the language of learning and teaching for all subjects. Surprisingly low pass rates for school-leavers and poor results on international literacy assessments are attributed to learners’ limited English fluency. As the language policy implemented to develop English first additional language, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) document is used by teachers as a model for best practices in the classroom for improving second language fluency. This study investigates whether CAPS, as a model for best practice, demonstrates an understanding of second language acquisition theory, whether this understanding is clearly communicated through its language use, and whether it represents an effective model for language use and practical implementation in the classroom. Using AtlasTi, a linguistic analysis (by means of content and thematic analysis) was conducted. These analyses aimed to identify the main second language learning and teaching strategies in CAPS, and dominant themes evident through the language use in CAPS respectively. Overall, the results reveal the document to contain predominantly audiolingual and communicative approaches to second language acquisition. The analysis shows that the language in CAPS does not construct a clear idea of these approaches, nor does it model the best practice for implementing them.
- ItemConstructing victims and perpetrators of sexual violence in Drum magazine between 1984 and 2004 : a discourse analytical study(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-12) Krige, Jana; Oostendorp, Marcelyn; Conradie, Simone; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis reports on the ways in which rape perpetrated by males on females is constructed in news stories and the advice column, Dear Dolly, published in the South African publication, Drum magazine. The data collected for the study spans from 1984 to 2004, encompassing both 10 years before and 10 years after a democracy. The paper uses critical discourse analysis (Fairclough 2003) as main analytical tool and but also draws on critical feminist theory (Bourke 2007) and other strands of discourse analysis such as Van Dijk‟s (1998) socio-cognitive approach. The findings suggest that there is on the one hand a decrease in explicit victim blaming after 1994, but that subtle and opaque victim blaming is still evident in the news stories, letters to the advice column, and the responses from the columnist. These rape discourses presented in Drum magazine after 1994 are as Bakhtin (1981) suggests made up of multiple voices articulating different gendered discourses. Discourses that make women responsible for their safety and protection against rape are prevalent while at the same time rape is constructed as a “horror story” and the perpetrator as the “monster”. In this thesis, I argue that even though the use of less explicit victim blaming might seem like a positive move in the representation of rape and gender, this is not always the case. The more subtle forms of victim blaming avoid contestation and consequently often go unchecked (Fairclough 2003: 58). This makes the manufacturing of consent easier and makes it more difficult to counteract dominant discourses. I subsequently call for more studies on this underrepresented topic in discourse analysis in South Africa.
- Item'Crazy, mad, and dangerous' : a critical discourse analysis of the (re)construction of mental illness in South African magazines(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2019-04) Wilkinson, Laura Gery; Mongie, Lauren; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research intended to establish what the discourses of mental illness in South African magazines are, and determine whether there is a need for a revision of the current reporting practices on mental illness in mass media in order to destigmatise mental illness in the social sphere and foster positive presentations in mass media. Specifically, it addresses the following research questions: (i) how is mental illness represented in the South African magazines You, Drum, and Move!; (ii) what linguistic tools are used in the discursive (re)construction of mental illness in You, Drum, and Move!, and (iii) how do You, Drum, and Move! differ in their construction of mental illness as a primary, secondary, or tertiary focus. To answer these research questions, this study adopts a Critical Discourse Analytical (CDA) approach; specifically it looks at mental illness through the lens of Van Dijk’s approach to CDA. It also draws on several concepts from other theories from the field of Discourse Analysis (DA) that are useful in analysing the discursive construction of social reality, namely Goffman’s framing theory, Scollon’s theory of attribution, and Huckin’s discussion of “discreet silences” as a form of textual silence. The findings of this study showed You, Drum, and Move! were similar in their topicalization of mental illness as You and Move! topicalised depression the most, while Drum equally topicalised depression and suicide. The top two issues topicalised in all three of the magazines primary, secondary, and tertiary articles were depression and suicide. The most prominent themes that co-occurred with topics of mental illness in the primary, secondary, and tertiary articles were dangerousness (to oneself or to others), and the professional treatment of mental illness. Further, the linguistic tools used in the discursive (re)construction of mental illness include: evaluative nouns, evaluative verbs, evaluative adverbs, evaluative adjectives, metaphors, comparisons, implicature, discreet silences, and polarization. This study makes a starting contribution to addressing the challenges of inaccurate beliefs about mental illness, ignorance about the magnitude of mental health problems, and stigma against those living with mental illnesses, by investigating the role of the media in engendering stigma, encouraging ignorance, and producing inaccurate beliefs about mental illness.
- ItemA critical analysis of the discursive representation of homelessness in News24, District Mail and Ground Up from 2018 - 2020(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-03) Pitt, Rebecca; Mongie, Lauren; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis reports on a qualitative and quantitative study of the discursive representation of homelessness in three South African news media publications, District Mail, News24, and Ground Up between 2018 and 2020 through the analytical lens of van Dijk’s (1993) sociocognitive approach to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The aim of the study was to analyse the role that the news media play in constructing attitudes toward vulnerable groups, like homeless people, as the ways in which such groups are constructed in public discourses typically (re)produces dominant ideologies and public stigma that marginalises the groups by allowing for unfair government policies to be passed that keeps them at the outskirts of society. This research also made use of Braun and Clarke’s (2012) approach to Thematic Analysis (TA) in order to establish the main themes that were found in news items that either sustained stereotypes and stigmas about the group, or challenged them. In addition, it also drew upon Scollon’s (1997) theory of attribution in order to explore how the local news media either gave a voice to the homeless community or silenced them. The study’s findings identified five thematic representations across the news publications, namely ‘A war against the homeless’; ‘A neighbourhood nuisance’; ‘Homelessness does not discriminate’; ‘The homeless are idle’; and ‘Ambitious and determined’. Findings also revealed that in anti-homeless publications, stigmas about the group are constructed through discourse that characterises homeless people as being unclean and dangerous substance abusers that are involved in criminal activity and pose a risk to public health. Additionally, the study found a strong trend of polarisation in such media representations of homeless people, typically describing in-group (non-homeless people) suffering and good actions, alongside negative outgroup (homeless people) representations, who were marked as the cause of in-group suffering due to their negative actions and characteristics. In contrast, pro-homeless publications characterised as the homeless as victims of injustice whose human rights are being violated by placing emphasis on their lack of access to basic necessities, and the failure of local municipalities to care for their homeless populations. The findings further showed that articles found in Ground Up, which reports on behalf of vulnerable communities, were significantly more pro-homeless whereas the community news publication District Mail’s corpus was largely anti-homeless in their reportage. The study concluded with a number of recommendations for journalists who wish to make their reportage on homelessness more constructive, including avoiding stereotyping; giving agency to individuals or groups who marginalise homeless people in order to show who is responsible for the group’s marginalisation; including the voices of homeless people in articles that topicalise them; and situating the problem of homelessness within the socio-economic context of poverty, unemployment, and a lack of appropriate government support instead of attributing it to personal shortcomings and poor decision making.
- ItemA cross-cultural analysis of corporate press statements: A case study of Monsanto(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-03) Jubber, Kathryn Lara; Bernard, Taryn; Da Silva, Vasco; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Multinational corporations (MNCs) such as Monsanto direct a significant amount of attention to strategic marketing efforts in order to achieve a number of goals. These goals include brand awareness, client-base expansion, client retention, competitive advantage and profit generation. Many MNCs choose to achieve their marketing aims, either solely or in part, through public relations (PR). PR is a practice that involves strategic communication. This form of communication is “purpose-driven” and “forward-looking” by nature (Dulek and Campbell 2015:124). As part of a larger PR strategy, press statements are used by media representatives to generate news or editorial stories or to gather further information on a particular topic or news event. If the media representative chooses to make use of the information contained in the press statement, the choice to publish the press statement verbatim or to use it only as a source of information upon which an original article is written is up to the media representative. Media representatives therefore control the extent to which the press statement is adapted to fit in with the publication’s template or themes. This is partially due to the fact that publications very often have editorial policies or requirements outlining the style of content, tone of voice and word count which need to be followed when producing editorial pieces. While the press statement as a genre has been studied from a structural perspective (see Lassen 2006; Maat 2007; Bremner 2014), the linguistic elements of this text type and their variation across cultures have not been explored. For this reason, this research project incorporates Gee’s (2011) method of discourse analysis in order to determine the salient linguistic features of the text and the extent to which these differ – if at all – across different cultural settings or “discourse systems” (Scollon, Scollon and Jones 2012: 9). Gee’s tools of discourse analysis are relevant to this study because they do not only assist the researcher in identifying the dominant themes and linguistic devices in the text, but the ways in which these devices represent social actors and social reality. Once this has been done, the researcher is able to determine whether Monsanto, as a MNC, adapts their message (and representations) for different audiences or whether the messages and representations remain the same. This then speaks to the notion of cultural awareness and cultural adaptability. The focus on culture in this thesis is important because of the dominance of MNCs in contemporary society. While it has been argued that there is increasing need for businesses to be culturally aware when delivering their corporate strategies, there are many scholars who have argued that, due to their wealth and power, MNCs act according to a paradigm of cultural imperialism. A discourse analysis of Monsanto’s press release statements enables the researcher to uncover, not only dominant the linguistic features contained in the text, but the dominant ideologies which give rise to the use of particular linguistic features over others.
- ItemCultural awareness in TESOL student and teacher material(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03) Patel, Chirayush C.; Huddlestone, Kate; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this thesis is a qualitative examination of TESOL material, specifically New Headway Advanced [NHA] -3rd Edition (Soars & Soars: 2002), and the degree to which Cultural Awareness [CA] is present in the material. CA is herein defined as the use of empathy to explicitly examine the contextual variations which give rise to different languages and cultures with the aim of avoiding stereotypes and promoting a mediated third linguistic and cultural place which incorporates the variations of context inherent in a student’s L1 and WEs. The thesis provides an overview of TESOL methodology together with issues arising from postmethod views of TESOL. Qualifications for ESOL teachers, namely the CELTA and Cert.TESOL, are also examined with specific attention to their inclusion of references to CA. The examination of NHA is carried out with the use of Hofstede & Bond’s (1980) Dimensions of Cultural Variability to provide a dimensional profile of NHA. Finally there is a discussion of the extent to which CA is present in NHA and recommendations for the future development of ESOL and TESOL material.