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Language Standardization and Language Change

The dynamics of Cape Dutch

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Abstract

<i>Language Standardization and Language Change</i> describes the formation of an early standard norm at the Cape around 1900. The processes of variant reduction and sociolinguistic focusing which accompanied the early standardization history of Afrikaans (or ‘Cape Dutch’ as it was then called) are analysed within the broad methodological framework of corpus linguistics and variation analysis. Multivariate statistical techniques (cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling and PCA) are used to model the emergence of linguistic uniformity in the Cape Dutch speech community. The book also examines language contact and creolization in the early settlement, the role of Afrikaner nationalism in shaping language attitudes and linguistic practices, and the influence of English. As a case study in historical sociolinguistics the book calls into question the traditional view of the emergence of an Afrikaans standard norm, and advocates a strongly sociolinguistic, speaker-orientated approach to language history in general, and standardization studies in particular.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Germanic linguistics; Historical linguistics; Language policy

References

References

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