English in South Africa
Expansion and nativization in concert
In a departure from language policy in most other African countries, the 1996 South African Constitution added nine indigenous languages to join English and Afrikaans as official languages. This policy was meant to provide equal status to the indigenous languages and promote their use in power domains such as education, government, media and business. However, recent studies show that English has been expanding its domains at the expense of the other ten languages. At the same time, the expanded use of English has had an impact on the varieties of English used in South Africa. As the number of speakers and the domains of language use increase, the importance of Black South African English is also expanding. The purpose of this paper is to analyze current studies on South African Englishes, examining the way in which expanded use and domains for BSAE speakers will have a significant impact on the variety of English which will ultimately take center stage in South Africa.
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