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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A bird's eye view of Tamil in South Africa
Author:Mesthrie, RajendISNI
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:language change
Abstract:This article provides a sociolinguistic overview of Tamil, the language that once had the greatest number of speakers amongst the Indian South Africans. It focuses on the following four aspects of the life cycle of the language in South Africa: (a) origins and demography, (b) dialect features, (c) changes arising out of contact with South African languages and (d) obsolescence. The article concentrates on the colloquial variety of Tamil, rather than its classical 'High' counterpart. It demonstrates that whilst Tamil shows some parallel changes to those undergone by the one South African Indian language studied in detail - Bhojpuri-Hindi - there are significant differences between the two transplanted languages regarding linguistic change. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]