Ethnicity in linguistic variation
White and coloured identities in Afrikaans-English code-switching
The Afrikaans speech community is characterized by a long-standing rift between Whites and Coloureds, and is for a large part bilingual, with English being increasingly integrated in its stylistic repertoire. Yet, the history of English is different across the White/Coloured divide, as in particular in terms of diffusion and in terms of ideological associations. The question we wish to ask is twofold. First, how far may there be a question of ethnic norms of Afrikaans-English code-switching? Second, if norms of code-switching are different across the ethnic divide, is code-switching used differently in the negotiation of White and Coloured identities? This contribution is organized in three main parts. First, we give an overview of the different norms of Afrikaans-English code-switching encountered across Whites and Coloureds on the basis of a corpus of informal speech data. Then we give an overview of the sequential patterns of Afrikaans-English code-switching following a CA methodology. Finally, we determine with the help of macrosocial knowledge in how far these different forms and functions of Afrikaans-English code-switching are made relevant to the projection of White and Coloured identities in South Africa’s current post-Apartheid context on the basis of select individual examples. The results of our analysis indicate that Afrikaans-English code-switching in the Coloured data displays the features of a ‘mixed code’, which is perceived as a ‘we-code’, where English input tends to be stylistically neutral. By contrast, English input is more syntactically and sequentially salient in the White data, and more visibly serves purposes of identity-negotiation. Despite those differences, there remains a clear correlation in both White and Coloured samples between the use of English monolingual code and affiliation with ‘New South African values’.
Keywords: Afrikaans, Code-switching, Conversation analysis, Sociolinguistics
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 4.0 license.
Published online: 01 September 2010
(1996) Straatpraatjes. Language, politics and popular culture in Cape Town, 1909-1922. Pretoria: Van Schaik. BoP
Armstrong, J.C., and N.A. Worden
(1998) Code-switching in conversation. Language, interaction and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. BoP
(2002) Language, situation, and the relational self: Theorising dialect-style in sociolinguistics. In P. Eckert, and J. Rickford (eds.), Style and Sociolinguistic Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 185-210. Style and social identities. Alternative approaches to linguistic heterogeneity. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, pp. 213-46.
Deuchar, Margaret, Pieter C. Muysken, and Sung-Lan Wang
(2007) Structured variation in Codeswitching: Towards an empirically based typology of bilingual speech corpora. The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 10.3: 298-340. BoP
Eckert, P., and J. Rickford
Gumperz, J.J., and J. Cook-Gumperz
Hopper, P.J., and E. Closs Traugott
Meeuwis, M., and J. Blommaert
Sebba, M., and T. Wootton
(2009) Codeswitching and ethnicity: Grammatical types of codeswitching in the Afrikaans speech community. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 199: 103-128. BoP
Van der Ross, R.E.
(2002) Language in South Africa. The role of language in national transformation, reconstruction and development (Impact. Studies in language and society). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. BoP
Cited by 4 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 09 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.