Volume 35, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper presents a sociolinguistic investigation of language use in the South African context. It focuses on socio-cultural and subsequent phonetic change in two prestigious secondary school environments in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Adopting a poststructuralist lens, it considers how female isiXhosa mother tongue speakers, who attend private and ex-model-C English schools, are undergoing changes in identity, which are mirrored in the acquisition of a new, prestigious variety of English. The research adopts a Labovian form of data collection, notably the use of sociolinguistic interviews, as well as sociophonetic analysis. The findings suggest that changes in identity construction are evident, both in terms of speech accommodation and cultural assimilation. Middle-class isiXhosa mother tongue speakers are now proficient in both English and isiXhosa, and both languages are used strategically to take up different identity positions. The findings also suggest that a new prestigious English variety is emerging, one that is deracialised, and is associated rather with social class.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error