Chapter published in:The Dynamics of English in Namibia: Perspectives on an emerging variety
Edited by Anne Schröder
[Varieties of English Around the World G65] 2021
► pp. 83–107
The linguistic landscape and soundscape of Windhoek
Both the pre-independence lingua franca Afrikaans and the post-independence official language English are used to communicate in public contexts in Namibia although most Namibians speak other languages at home. This article aims to find out which languages are used for communication in public spaces in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital. It is based on linguistic landscaping and soundscaping data and compares this contemporary data with the pre-independence linguistic landscape reported in Kleinz (1984) to assess the diachronic development of public language use. This investigation finds that English is the most frequent language used in written communication in the public sphere. English also seems to be favoured by non-White Namibians in service encounters, while many White Namibians select Afrikaans in these situations.
Keywords: linguistic landscape, linguistic soundscape, public language use, language and power
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