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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Acquisition of Xhosa: An Ethnolinguistic Study
Authors:Loest, V.L.
Britz, R.M.J.
Pauw, H.C.
Periodical:South African Journal of Ethnology
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:language usage
Xhosa language
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:In the new Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, eleven languages have been recognized as official languages in South Africa. Individual South Africans are expected to attempt to acquire the dominant languages in their respective provinces. In the Eastern Cape, three major cultural groups exist, each with their own language, namely Afrikaans, English and Xhosa. The aim of this article is to identify some important sociocultural aspects of the Xhosa language act which are not part of everyday knowledge for nonmother-tongue Xhosa speakers (especially those of European descent). Nonmother-tongue Xhosa speakers should take cognizance of the following aspects in order to achieve communicative competence in Xhosa: Xhosa cultural rules regarding etiquette, respect and politeness; linguistic variation in Xhosa, in particular between rural and urban Xhosa; the cultural context in which the communication takes place; the pronunciation of the Xhosa language and the use of tropes, such as idioms, idiophones and nominal compounds. The article is based on research conducted by the Departments of Anthropology and African Languages of the University of Port Elizabeth in 1996 amongst the Xhosa of the rural areas of the Eastern Cape Province. Bibliogr., sum. in Afrikaans and English.