n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Die internet as dinamiese taalomgewing : taalveranderingsverskynsels in Internetafrikaans : research article

Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
  • E-ISSN: 2219-8237



It is generally accepted that the growing interest in the Internet has openedup new horizons for language research. Chenault (1997:1) asserts that theInternet is not about technology or information, but about communication.
The aim with this article is to explore the Internet as a dynamic languageenvironment in which emerging patterns of language change in moderndayAfrikaans could be traced. Firstly, attention is paid to ways in which theinternet speech community could be defined as a coherent speechcommunity. A second aim with this article is to scrutinise the dichotomybetween spoken and written language. This is done in order to indicate thatlinguistic innovations, which usually emerge from social interaction, findtheir way into written language in digital communication. The third aim is totake a close look at various forms or patterns of language change inAfrikaans as they are presently used in Afrikaans chat rooms on theInternet.
The article concludes that Internet Afrikaans could be regarded as anaspect of virtual reality for Afrikaans because systematic patterns oflanguage change which started long ago in Afrikaans are confirmed by theInternet language environment.

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