The Linguistic Formation of South African English


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




This project focuses on the linguistic formation of South African English (SAE). It provides evidence for a three-stage koineization model of the formation of this dialect of English: the 1820 settlement of the Eastern Cape; the 1840-50 colonisation of Natal; and the late nineteenth-century gold-rush to Johannesburg. The reconstruction of SAE's formation provides valuable insight into SAE's role vis-à-vis a number of theoretical frameworks and issues. In particular, it provides valuable information for ongoing international research into koinization (e.g. Cheshire et. al. 2011), new-dialect formation (Trudgill 2004), and the role of language and dialect contact in the etiology of language change.