Bemused / Betrayed / Brazen: An overview of aspects of the current debate about Afrikaans

J.W. Alant

Abstract


The current debate about Afrikaans among Afrikaners is characterized by dismissive and engaged attitudes. Those who are dismissive believe that the debate is out of tune with the demands of time and should not be taking place. Those who are engaged believe it is crucial for identity and for giving substance to the spirit of the Constitution. In this article, these
perspectives are juxtaposed with those raised during debates about the 'future of Afrikaans' in the I 980s and I 990s. Some 'dismissive' perspectives can be traced back to the Juture' debate: Afrikaans should exist 'naturally'; Afrikaans should be Jreed' from Afrikaner nationalism and be understood as the language of a much larger group of speakers. The 'engaged' debate has, however, brought to the fore significant developments that were largely unforeseen: the generation conflict within Afrikaner ranks (the 'Boetman' debate), and the reappraisal
of Afrikaner nationalism (by those who had supported the political changes of the 1990s) as a means of asserting Afrikaans language rights, thereby giving impetus to a new language struggle (taalstryd). While this 'struggle' is ostensibly for multilingualism rather than for Afrikaans per se, many regard it as politically insensitive. Greater participation in the debate by black Afrikaans speakers could change this perception. Meanwhile the very existence of a debate about Afrikaans is an indication of a certain distinctiveness of linguistic experience - and language attitude - on the part of many Afrikaans speakers, which future
language policy should be flexible enough to recognize.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/18-1-842

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Per Linguam

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

Powered by OJS and hosted by since 2011.

http://perlinguam.journals.ac.za/public/site/images/scholar/logo_copy_241

Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help