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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Language visibility in the Xhariep: a comparison of the linguistic landscape of three neighbouring towns
Authors:Kotze, Chrismi-RindaISNI
Du Plessis, TheodorusISNI
Year:2010
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (ISSN 1022-8195)
Volume:41
Issue:1
Pages:72-96
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:language policy
urban environment
sociolinguistics
language usage
Abstract:The majority of current linguistic landscape (LL) studies concentrate on urban areas. This study concentrates on the LL of the southern Free State, South Africa, with the aim of investigating whether the LL of rural areas is as responsive to broader sociopolitical changes as cityscapes are. The LL not only reflects societal changes, but is also employed to impact on society by creating and maintaining power relations and (collective) identities. For this reason, public linguistic choices are motivated largely by pragmatic and symbolic considerations. The political transformation in 1994 wrought changes in several domains in South Africa. A remnant of the previous regime is the ethnolinguistically divided neighbourhoods - a white, coloured and black area in each town. The three population groups make separate contributions motivated by their different socioeconomic compositions and their new roles within the transformed society. Focusing on three neighbouring towns - Philippolis, Springfontein and Trompsburg - in the Xhariep District Municipality, the study reveals a discrepancy between the linguistic profile created by the census data and the actual manifestations thereof in the LL, as well as a pervasiveness of English. Bibliogr., note, sum. [Journal abstract]
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