Essay about Language Development: Afrikaans

Essay about Language Development: Afrikaans

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When people need to communicate even though there is no common ground, they have to find and develop a certain system of a simplified communication to interact. This introduces us to a pidgin. A pidgin arises for the communication between two or more social groups. There is one dominant language and one less dominant. A pidgin is not aimed at learning but rather it is used as a bridge to connect people with different language backgrounds. The less dominant language is the one that develops this ‘restricted language' known as the pidgin. In historical times pidgins came about when during the colonial era there used to be situations where officials, tradesman, sailors and labourers had to interact with each other and the natives of a region they were coming into contact with.(ref)

They were all part of different linguistic traditions. There was no common language. (Mesthrie, R. 2005, 279-315) these languages were restricted within a certain range as it served for definite purposes within a geographical area, mainly basic communication with natives. Language mixing was the element which brought about a simplified communication system to use. Pidgins have low prestige and negative associations, especially from outsiders (Mesthrie, R. 2005, 279-315). Pidgins are generally characterized as restricted and extended (Census 2021 and Ethnologue). There are different levels of pidgins. The Jargon is an unstable structure which has limited vocab. A Stable pidgin is a recognisable structure; it has fairly developed vocabulary but is limited to certain domains. An expanded structure is on a sophisticated level and vocabulary and starts expanding the usage, creolisation begins. And there's a Creole which is a fully fledged language which develo...

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...ts own identity and culture to which South Africans all over the country proudly live by.


Campbell, G. L. 1991. Compendium of the World's Languages, Vol. 1 - 2. London and New York : Routledge.

Grimes, B. F., ed. 1992. Ethnologue, Languages of the World. Dallas, Texas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Ponelis, Fritz. 1993. The Development of Afrikaans. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Verlag Peter Lang.

Reberge, Paul T. 1994. The Formation of Afrikaans. Stellenbosch, South Africa: SPIL PLUS.

Holmes, J. 1992. An introduction to Sociolinguistics. London: Longman.

Hudson, R. 1980. Sociolinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mesthrie, R.; J Swann; A, Deumert and W, Leap (eds) Introducing Sociolinguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Pp 279-315.

Census 2021 and Ethnologue.

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