Linguistic diversity in a rural Northern Cape municipality : a sociolinguistic investigation of Gamagara local municipality

Vollmer, Tracey ; Bates, Tracey (2019-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Linguistic landscapes (LLs) have primarily been investigated within urban areas. This thesis focuses on the diverse rural communities of the Gamagara Municipal area, located within the Northern Cape where the primary means of employment is mining. Large mines have contributed to the population growth in the area and currently people from all over South Africa and neighbouring countries call this municipal area their home. In this study, I investigate the public signage of four towns within Gamagara whilst also investigating the linguistic repertoires found within the area. The study puts the data gathered from the public space in conversation with data from people’s personal reflections on language, in order to gain a better understanding of diversity and of language ideologies. Data collection for the study included two steps: the first involved taking photographs of public signs along the physical space of Olifantshoek, Kathu, Siyatemba and Sishen mine, all situated in Gamagara. The second step involved gathering data on people’s linguistic repertoires residing in the area and working at Sishen mine by means of narrated language portraits (Busch 2010, 2012) and biographical information questionnaires. The study is predominantly qualitative and aims to discover how language use in the LL reflects (or not) diversity implied by language profiles and how these expose language ideologies. Through a thematic analysis (Miles and Huberman 1984), I found that the LL reveals a predominance of English in the physical space of Gamagara Municipality that contrasts with the actual language practices of most residents in the area. Furthermore, the findings indicate linguistic repertoires that are very diverse, and shaped and constrained by a number of factors. This thesis ultimately shows the contribution that an approach to linguistic diversity which includes more than one form of data collection can make. It also points out that language ideologies exhibited in public spaces do not necessarily conform to language ideologies in private spaces. It is suggested that more research needs to be done on rural settings, and between the interplay of public and private.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Taallandskappe (TLe) word hoofsaaklik binne stedelike gebiede ondersoek. Hierdie tesis fokus egter op ’n diverse, landelike gemeenskap in die Gamagara Munisipale area, wat binne die Noord-Kaap geleë is waar die primêre vorm van werk, die mynbedryf is. Groot myne het bygedra tot die groei van die populasie in die area en tans is daar mense van regoor Suid-Afrika en buurlande wat hierdie munisipale area as hulle tuiste beskou. In hierdie studie, ondersoek ek die publieke tekens van vier dorpe binne Gamagara terwyl ek ook die taalrepertoires ondersoek. Die studie plaas die data van die publieke ruimte, in gesprek met data uit mense se persoonlike refleksies oor taal, om diversiteit en taalideologie beter te verstaan. Datainsameling het twee stappe behels: Eerstens het ek foto’s geneem van publieke tekens langs die fisiese spasie van Olifantshoek, Kathu, Siyatemba and Sishen myn, almal binne Gamagara. Die tweede stap was die insameling van data oor mense se taalrepertoires wat in die area woon en by Sishen myn werk. Die data is ingesamel deur middel van taalprotrette (Busch 2010, 2012) and biografiese informasie wat deur agtergrondvraelyste verkry is. Die studie is hoofsaaklik kwalitatief en het as doel om te ontdek hoe die taallandskap en taalprotrette diversiteit weerspieël (of nie), en die tipe taalideologieë wat hieruit sigbaar is. Deur ’n tematiese analise (Miles en Huberman 1984), het ek gevind dat die LL hoofsaaklik Engels is, wat anders is as die taalpraktyke van die inwoners van die Gamagara Munisipaliteit. Verder, wys die bevindinge dat die taalrepertoires van die deelnemers baie divers is en gevorm is deur ’n aantal faktore. Die tesis wys dus uit watter bydra gemaak kan word tot die ondersoek van taaldiversiteit, indien meer as een vorm van datainsameling gebruik word. Dit wys ook uit hoe die taalideologieë wat in die publiek vertoon word, nie noodwendig verteenwoordigend is van die taalideologieë in private ruimtes nie. Ek beveel dus aan dat meer navorsing oor landelike gebiede gedoen moet word en ook oor die interaksie tussen publieke en private ruimtes.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107059
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