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Language in Cape Town's District Six
     

Language in Cape Town's District Six

by Kay McCormick
 

The book is a sociolinguistic case study of District Six, an inner-city neighbourhood in Cape Town characterized by language mixing and switching of English and Afrikaans. Its early inhabitants included indigenous people, freed slaves of African and Asian origin, and immigrants from Europe and elsewhere. The ravages of apartheid affected the residents' attitudes

Overview

The book is a sociolinguistic case study of District Six, an inner-city neighbourhood in Cape Town characterized by language mixing and switching of English and Afrikaans. Its early inhabitants included indigenous people, freed slaves of African and Asian origin, and immigrants from Europe and elsewhere. The ravages of apartheid affected the residents' attitudes towards their languages in various ways, which are described. The book examines the norms and practices regarding language choice for various functions and domains in the only surviving sector of District Six.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kay McCormick's linguistic exploration of code-switching in one of South Africa's most cosmopolitan communities offers a straightforward description of the role of language in shaping the boundaries of identity. Her study illustrates the importance of language to any ehtnographic mapping of social and spatial meaning." —International Journal of African Historical Studies

"Language contact continues to be one of the most exciting and challenging branches of sociohistorical linguistics. Here is a case study of intimate bilingualism that challenges our preconceptions about the boundaries between languages. Kay McCormick's work on Afrikaans-English bilingualism in District Six, Cape Town is set amidst the complexities of apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Her study is noteworthy for its detailed sociohistoric documentation, its political sensitivity, ethnographic awareness, careful data presentation and its sociolinguistic analyses of code choice, and language switching. This is an important contribution to contact linguistics and to Southern African sociology."—Rajend Mesthrie, University of Cape Town

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198235545
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Kay McCormick is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Cape Town. Her first degree was in languages and postgraduate studies were in education and linguistics. Her research is in the fields of sociolinguistics at speech community level, language policy, and discourse analysis.

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