Language contact in African urban settings: The case of Sepitori in Tshwane

  • Thabo Ditsele
  • Charles C Mann

Abstract

There is undisputed evidence that the use of so-called non-standard varieties of language in South Africa is on the increase, and serves as an important communication bridge for a supranation that has many people of different ethnicities living side-by-side in different urban settings in the country. This paper illustrates, using Sepitori (also called ‘Pretoria Sotho’) as a case in point, that non-standard varieties should be explored further with a view to institutionally recording, formalising and supporting them. The paper does this through, first, showing that Sepitori is a mixed language that is used as a lingua franca by many people; second, by re-visiting the literature that demonstrates the important and crucial role played by non-standard varieties in a multilingual society, such as, South Africa, particularly with regard to formal settings (e.g., classrooms, formal meetings, and the media); and, third, by using the strength of such literature to call for a change in attitudes by language purists, who should realise that the sooner non-standard varieties are allowed space beyond the use in informal settings, the better it would be for further development of standard varieties.

South African Journal of African Languages 2014, 34(2): 159–165

Author Biographies

Thabo Ditsele
Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Charles C Mann
Department of Applied Languages, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Published
2015-04-02
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117