• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

This essay will explore the South African variety of English and will answer if it is a variety or just an accent.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

SOUTH AFRICAN ENGLISH This essay will explore the South African variety of English and will answer if it is a variety or just an accent. I have chosen this topic because I have relatives from Johannesburg and Durban. This paper will be organised in five parts. In the first one, I will introduce the subject giving some background on how the English language arrived to the country, following this I will write about the other indigenous languages spoken in South Africa and what impact they have on English. Thirdly, I will expose some differences between the South African variety of English and the Standard British English. I will concentrate on pronunciation, lexis and grammar exposing specific features of the variety. This will explain why South African English is a variety. In the last part I will explain how English interferes with other South African languages and this will be followed bay a conclusion which will answer the formulated question. Britain occupied South Africa in 1820 for the first time. The settlers, around 4000, were mostly from southern England and from working or lower middle class backgrounds. (Gough, D. H.) That had a great effect on the variety of English that emerged in the region, which was characterised by mainly Cockney accent influenced by features from Dutch, the other main language spoken in the region. ...read more.

Middle

Although the phonology of South African English is very close to the Southeast English varieties, the phonetics are closer to the New Zealand English. A main feature of the South African variety is the clipped pronunciation, this means that when speaking some word endings or the last syllables of some words are swallowed. (kashan group web site). The South African English lexis is very wide and comes from various sources. Some of the vocabulary are loan words from African Languages such as "veld" (plain), the Zulu word "yebo" meaning yes, "kopje" (hill). Slang and colloquialisms are as well borrowed from African Languages and from Afrikaans, for example: "Braai" (grill meat) or "howl" (weep). There are also words that come from English but they have a specific meaning in South African, some of these are dirt, which refers to a gravel road, or land, which refers to field. Some words from other varieties of English are as well used in South African English, e.g. "fossick" (to rummage) and "dingus" (what's it). Adverbs and prepositions are used in a different way to British English. A South African English speaker will use in place of meaning instead of and come there meaning arrive. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some of them have gone through a language shift to English to some degree. Coloureds are an example; the educated of this group show a complete language shift to English. The South African of Indian origin show as well how they have replaced their traditional languages and now use English as their own. The influence of English can be noticed in the other African languages and Afrikaans, which have borrowed many English words. Code switching between the native language and English is now a common feature amongst the native languages in South Africa. (Gough, D. H.). To conclude with, this essay has explored widely the differences of the South African English and has proved why it is a variety and not just an accent by showing differences in grammar, lexis and pronunciation. Although the use of the language by the white community is relatively close to the English from the Southeast of England, when the indigenous population uses the language the differences are more remarkable. That is, as well, because it is not the mother tongue for many of them therefore their native languages will influence their use of the English language by introducing vocabulary from their native language when speaking English. This gives the South African English variety a great individual flavour that distinguishes it from the British English and other varieties of the English language. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Feminism Essay by Helene Cixous "Sorties"

    Although in the first part of her essay; "she refuses to accept the binary opposition of femininity and masculinity, Cixous frequently insists upon her own distinction between masculine and feminine libidinal economy."6 At the same time she denounces any type of essentialism, claiming that the female body as a place of where women can claim back their sexuality.

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    Prefer heat to cold. Love France and Italy, people watching, sightseeing and chilling out in the shade. favorite things: Love to read, listen to music and getting together with friends. I like to shop and enjoy nice things. Togetherness/sharing is great! Enjoy crosswords and sudoku. Would love to be able to dance properly ...

  1. An investigation into the similarities and differences between written social interactions through the new ...

    take it eezy bruv, sfe. frm Student B. Text D - This is a responsive e-mail from Student A to Student B's initial e-mail: Wagwaan, Ime chillin, how u been??? yeh i know its been a loooooong time since we linked up and dat. i just had beeeeeeeeeeer wrk 2 do, u know how it iz.

  2. Which English? Whose English?

    level of language skills to be able to manipulate its application in unusual ways to their own advantage. Whilst many will agree that such language empowerment is desirable in a democratic world, the challenge facing educators and learners of English as an international language is in how to achieve this.

  1. "I always considered it my duty to develop a good accent and command of ...

    (Suzanne Romaine) Steven style-shifts in order to achieve his idea of Dignity, which he believes stems from serving your employer with the utmost of "professionalism" (Ishiguro) an idea that stems from the Victorian ideology Stevens also adopts when taking on the language.

  2. The Influence of English Mass Culture on Estonia

    Years ago, America's foods began to affect the rest of the world - not only raw staples such as wheat and corn, but with a new American cuisine that spread worldwide. American emphasis on convenience and rapid consumption is best represented in fast foods such as hamburgers, french fries, and soft drinks, which virtually every American has eaten.

  1. The language situation in Kenya, and in particular the shift and choice of English, ...

    period, the rural urban migration, increased interethnic interaction, and interethnic marriages, amongst others (Seldak, 1974). Effect of education and language policy in Kenya on the language shift and choice: Kenya as a multilingual country, with many different indigenous languages spoken by the numerous tribes, has had controversies as to which language to consider for the education of children.

  2. Distinguish between pidgins and creoles and explain how their distinctive grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary ...

    (Patrick 2003, pp 1). Here we can see that neither pidgins nor creoles are formed via normal language transmissions. Rather the development of pidgins and creoles is linked to the contact of two or more different languages. By studying them, we can come to understand language change and contact, and also help us see how new languages may then evolve.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work