Young Coloureds’ implicit attitudes towards two historically White English accents in the South African context
A case study
This study explores the implicit language attitudes of a sample of 84 young Coloured South Africans towards two historically White accents in the country: the Standard South African English accent and Afrikaans-accented English. In order to shed light on the role of language in the process of social categorization among the younger generations, I present a mixed-methodological approach that investigates the interrelation between the results of an Implicit Association Test (IAT) towards the two selected accents and the participants’ linguistic background, language exposure, and social distance levels. Within the target demographic, the data confirm the existence of an overall positive implicit attitude towards Standard South African English, although positive attitudes towards Afrikaans-accented English were not uncommon. Correlations between IAT effect and the variables “social distance levels with Whites” and “places of residence” provide potential explanations and valuable sociolinguistic information about the language dynamics in this diverse ethnic group.
Keywords: South African English, language attitudes, Implicit Association Test, Coloured South Africans, social distance, accents
Published online: 24 September 2019
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