Volume 2, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 2452-1949
  • E-ISSN: 2452-2147
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In this article I explore a particular set of contact varieties that emerged in Namibia, a former German colony. Historical evidence comes from the genre of autobiographic narratives that were written by German settler women. These texts provide – ideologically filtered – descriptions of domestic life in the colony and contain observations about everyday communication practices. In interpreting the data I draw on the idea of ‘jargon’ as developed within creolistics as well as on Chabani Manganyi’s (1970) comments on the ‘master-servant communication complex’, and Beatriz Lorente’s (2017) work on ‘scripts of servitude’. I suggest that to interpret the historical record is a complex hermeneutic endeavour: on the one hand, the examples given are likely to tell us ‘something’ about communication in the colony; on the other hand, the very description of communicative interactions is rooted in what I call a ‘script of supremacy’, which is quite unlike the ‘atonement politics’ (McIntosh 2014) of postcolonial language learning.


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