Morpho-syntactic Properties of Black South African English: An Investigation of Institutionalization Trends in Limpopo Province


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


This project investigates morpho-syntactic features of an emerging English variety spoken by speakers with indigenous African language backgrounds: Black South African English (BSAE). This variety has gained importance since the post-Apartheid socio-political dispensation that linguists predicted would influence the current English standard, which might need to be (re) standardized. Yet, very little is known about its morpho-syntactic features, their geographical spread, and the degree to which they are shared and understood across a wider spectrum of the educated Black population (institutionalized). This project fills this gap through a systematic account of morpho-syntactic features prototypical in BSAE, using descriptive and experimental designs to elicit reliable oral and written data from educated participants at selected sites in Limpopo Province. Categorical analysis, MANOVA, and aegression analyses will be employed. The project unearths fresh insights on the study of English and language development in Africa.