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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Taalwetgewing in Suid-Afrika

 

Abstract

Taalwetgewing word toenemend beskou as 'n belangrike meganisme by die inrig van 'n ampstaalbestel in meertalige lande. As besonderse vorm van intervensie rondom die gebruik van 'n taal kom wetlike intervensie meestal in die vorm van grondwetlike taalbepalings voor (hetsy in uitgebreide of in minder uitgebreide vorm) en in die vorm van 'n sentrale taalwet, soos byvoorbeeld die Quebec Official Language Act (Q.O.L.A. 1974). Laasgenoemde is 'n voorbeeld van wetgewing wat uitsluitlik daarop gerig word om die gebruik van 'n gebied se ampstale te reguleer. Wetlike intervensie kom ook voor waar algemene taalwetgewing taalbepalings insluit, soos byvoorbeeld rondom uitsaai- en onderwyswetgewing. Voorts kan wetlike intervensie ook die vorm van regulasies met betrekking tot taal wat deur staatsdepartemente uitgevaardig word of selfs as hofuitsprake rondom taal aanneem. Wetlike intervensie by taal veronderstel dus in 'n mindere of meerdere mate 'n vorm van taalvoorskriftelikheid, 'n wesenlike kenmerk van die pre-1994-taalbestel in Suid-Afrika. Die relatiewe sukses van die RSA se vorige ampstaalbestel kan teruggevoer word na die beginsel van "statutêre tweetaligheid", 'n grondwetlik verskanste vorm van amptelike tweetaligheid. Met die inwerkingtreding van die post-1994 bestel word opvallend weggeskram van oormatige taalvoorskriftelikheid, hoewel 'n vorm van amptelike tweetaligheid nogtans vereis word. Hierdie artikel stel ondersoek in na die wetlike meganismes wat na 1994 ingestel is om die RSA se "nuwe" vorm van amptelike tweetaligheid te reguleer. Dit word gedoen aan die hand van 'n analise van drie stelle taalwetgewing wat in ander lande 'n kardinale rol rondom die inrig van 'n ampstaalbestel speel, te wete voorskrifte rondom die amptelike tale van wetgewing, burgerskapverwerwing en die howe. Een van die sentrale bevindinge is die gebrek aan belyning tussen die 1996 grondwetlike bepalings rondom amptelike tweetaligheid en taalbepalings in die drie stelle taalwetgewing wat ondersoek is. Hierdie dissinchronie lei daartoe dat regsgronde geskep word vir die vestiging van Engels as supra-ampstaal en van 'n nuwe vorm van taalhiërargie. Aangesien hierdie verwikkelinge strydig is met die grondwetlike taalbepalings, word besluit dat 'n terugkeer na 'n meer pertinente vorm van taalvoorskriftelikheid waarskynlik onvermydelik geword het.

Language legislation is increasingly seen as an important mechanism in establishing an official dispensation in multilingual countries. As a unique form of intervention in the use of a language, legal intervention usually features in the form of constitutional language provisions (in either an extensive or a less extensive format) and in the form of a central language act, such as the Quebec Official Language Act (Q.O.L.A.1974), in other words, legislation which is solely aimed at regulating the use of an area's official languages. Legal intervention can also occur in more general legislation which includes language provisions, as is the case in broadcasting legislation, legislation in education, etc. Legal intervention could, furthermore, also feature as regulations with regard to language drawn up by state departments or even as case law on language. Legal intervention in the use of language thus presupposes, to a greater or lesser degree, a form of language prescriptivism, an essential characteristic of South Africa's pre-1994 language dispensation. The relative success of the RSA's previous official languages dispensation can be related to the principle of "statutory bilingualism", a constitutionally entrenched form of official bilingualism. With the institution of the post-1994 dispensation attempts have been made to avoid an extreme form of language prescriptivism despite the fact that a form of official bilingualism is still required. This article investigates the legal mechanisms that have been put in place since 1994 in order to regulate the RSA's "new" form of official bilingualism. This is done by analysing three sets of language legislation which are considered to play a cardinal role in the establishment of an official language dispensation in other countries, i.e. directives on the use of official languages in legislation, citizenship and the courts. One of the central findings is the lack of alignment between the 1996 constitutional provisions regarding official bilingualism and the language provisions of the three sets of language legislation investigated. This dissynchrony leads to the establishment of legal grounds for English to be elevated as a supra-official language and to a new form of language hierarchy. As these developments are contrary to the constitutional language provisions, it is concluded that a return to a more pertinent form of language prescriptivism has probably become unavoidable.

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/content/litnet/6/3/EJC62233
2009-12-01
2016-12-03
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