Volume 41, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Studies on the pronunciation of Namibian English (NamE) have shown strong evidence for ethnically conditioned variation within the NamE vowel system. Thus, NamE should not be seen as a monolithic entity but rather as a group of ethnically and/or socially conditioned varieties. In this paper, we undertake a first approach to Baster English, a potential ethnic variety of NamE. The Rehoboth Basters constitute a unique ethnically mixed Afrikaans-speaking group from South Africa, who settled in Namibia in the 19th century and are known for their strong sense of a separate local and ethnic identity. Triangulating the results of a quantitative questionnaire on language attitudes and acoustic analyses of vocalic features in informants’ pronunciation, we demonstrate how the Basters’ unique identity translates into linguistic practice in a multi-ethnic and multilingual environment.


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