Die Pan-Suid-Afrikaanse Taalraad en die regulering van taalsigbaarheid in Suid-Afrika – ’n ontleding van taalregteklagtes

  • Theodorus du Plessis


The Pan South African Language Board and the regulation of language visibility in South Africa – an analysis of language rights complaints. The regulation of  language visibility on public signs, i.e. of the linguistic landscape, comprises an important aspect of language policy in multilingual societies. If it is argued that the language clause of the South African Constitution envisages a multilingual landscape, concrete language policy guidelines regarding such language visibility are indispensable. Due to the acute shortage of such guidelines, Pansalb’s findings on complaints about language visibility could play an important role in addressing this shortcoming. The Board is mandated to provide advice, specifically on language policy. Pansalb’s own language policy guidelines also lack provisions on the linguistic landscape. The Board’s gazetted findings concerning language rights complaints thus constitute an important source for studying language policy. This article provides an  analysis of complaints regarding language visibility on which the Board made important findings between 1997 and 2006. The analysis is conducted against the background of theoretical insights pertaining to the linguistic landscape as a field of enquiry within sociolinguistics. Deductions are based on policy principles that could contribute towards overt policy regarding the treatment of language visibility on public signs  in South Africa.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2009, 27(2): 173–188

Author Biography

Theodorus du Plessis
Eenheid vir Taalbestuur, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, Posbus 339, Bloemfontein 9300, Suid-Afrika

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614