The grammatical structure of Sowetan tsotsitaal

  • Hilde Gunnink


Tsotsitaal is a language variety widely spoken in South Africa. It is recognisable by its distinct lexicon, which is usually combined with the grammar of another language. In this paper I present data of a tsotsitaal variety spoken in Soweto that uses the grammatical structure of Sowetan Zulu, as well as certain grammatical characteristics that are not used in Sowetan Zulu, but are unique to Sowetan tsotsitaal. Like the tsotsitaal lexicon, these grammatical structures have been created by the speakers, who deliberately manipulate the linguistic material available to them to create a new linguistic variety that they can use to distinguish themselves from others.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2014, 32(2): 161–171

Author Biography

Hilde Gunnink
Department of Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Belgium

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614