n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Anticipating language shift : Afrikaans speakers moving to New Zealand

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



`The study of language maintenance and shift is concerned with the relationship between change and stability in habitual use, on the one hand and ongoing psychological, social or cultural processes, on the other hand, when populations differing in language are in contact with each other' (Fishman et al. 1966, 424). This article reports on the initial stages of language shift on a micro level, in a study carried out on 15 Afrikaans speakers, all of whom were in the final stages of preparing to emigrate to New Zealand. The study explores the linguistic attitudes of the emigrants, both to their mother tongue (Afrikaans) and to English and their vision of what lies ahead, linguistically and offers a view on possible long-term linguistic outcomes for these families.

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