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Cross-border language varieties: The case of Tshilembethu and Lembethu/Chilembethu and their relationship with Tshivenḓa

Phalandwa Abraham Mulaudzi


This article investigates the relationship between the use of Tshilembethu in  South Africa and Lembethu in Zimbabwe. As cross-border language varieties, Tshilembethu and Lembethu (also known as Chilembethu in Zimbabwe) share features in terms of phonology, morphology and syntax. In view of this fact, this article focuses on the relationship between Tshilembethu and Lembethu/Chilembethu and also considers whether Tshilembethu is a  variety of Tshivenḓa. It highlights the historical, geographical and linguistic  features that bring about the phonological, morphological, syntactical and lexical changes that occur as people move across borders.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2011, 29(4): 435–446

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Southern African Journal of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies.   ISSN: 1607-3614