Dialekmerkers in die Afrikaanse literatuur

Dialect marking in Afrikaans literary works

  • Anna E Coetzee Departement Afrikaans, Universiteit van Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa


This paper is based on research on the socio-linguistic aspects of dialect marking in Afrikaans literature since the 19th century. The ways in which dialect forms are being used in literature can be seen as “acts of identity”, as described by Le Page and Tabouret-Keller (1985). In the 19th century some Afrikaans writers only used a few lexical and syntactic markers and Afrikaans-English mixing in caricaturist portrayals of Hottentots. Since about 1930 the representations were sympathetic and with only a few Hottentot dialect markers. It was only since the 1960s that socially stratified Cape dialect forms and Afrikaans-English mixing (‘Kaaps') were used in Adam Small's works. It was only since the 1980s that the so-called liberated (‘bevryde') Afrikaans (also called Kaaps), core Griqua dialect forms and the language varieties of whites in the Sandveld, Northern Cape, and Southern Namibia, which were influenced by Griqua forms, were used in literary works. This growth in the use of dialect forms concurs to a certain extent with Adamson and Van Rossem's (1994) four strands in the use of creole forms by creole writers outside Africa, but differs in this regard that the Afrikaans writers are located in Southern Africa and do not all come from former creole dialect communities. The emergence of extensive socio-linguistic research since the 1980s of the Afrikaans dialects that are creole-based or strongly influenced by creole forms, coincided with the emergence of these kinds of dialect forms in Afrikaans literature. This fact enables researchers to describe the Afrikaans dialect forms in literature within context.

Keywords: Afrikaans, dialect literature, dialect markers, auto- and hetero-identity marking

Journal for Language Teaching Vol. 39(1) 2005: 35-50

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0259-9570