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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - 'n Taalwet vir Suid-Afrika? Die rol van sosiolinguistiese beginsels by die ontleding van taalwetgewing

 

Abstract

Cornelus Lourens se onlangse beroep op die Noord-Gautengse Hooggeregshof het die soeklig weer op die noodsaak al dan nie van 'n nasionale taalwet laat val en ook weer vrae oor die geskiktheid van die kontensieuse South African Languages Bill (SALB) as uiteindelike taalwet na vore gebring. Kan 'n nasionale taalwet sukses behaal as wetlike intervensie by die implementering van 'n taalbeleid, en onder watter omstandighede word sodanige sukses behaal? In hierdie artikel word aangevoer dat 'n tipologie van sosiolinguistiese beginsels by taalwetgewing gebruik kan word om 'n taalwet inhoudelik te ontleed ten einde te kan vasstel of dit kan slaag al dan nie. So 'n tipologie word dan inderdaad ontwikkel aan die hand van verskillende stelle beginsels van taalwetgewing en word getoets aan die hand van drie verteenwoordigende nasionale taalwette, naamlik dié van Wallis, Kanada en Estland. Dit word gevolg deur 'n volledige oorsig oor die ontstaan van die SALB en 'n kritiese inhoudsontleding van hierdie wetsontwerp wat in 2003 bestem was om as die Suid-Afrikaanse Talewet (SAT) gepromulgeer te word. Die ontleding wys uit dat die SALB wel in bepaalde opsigte voldoen aan die vereistes van 'n nasionale taalwet, maar dat daar ook ernstige leemtes voorkom wat reggestel sou kon word. In die artikel word aangevoer dat 'n saak uit te maak is vir die herindiening van die SALB in gewysigde vorm ten einde die Suid-Afrikaanse regering in staat te stel om sy wetlike mandaat betreffende die regulering en monitering van sy gebruik van die ampstale deur te voer.


Cornelus Lourens's recent appeal to the Northern Gauteng High Court has once again focused the spotlight on the necessity or otherwise of a national language act, and has also raised questions regarding the appropriateness of the contentious South African Languages Bill (SALB) as the ultimate language act. Could a national language act prove to be a successful legal intervention in the implementation of a language policy, and if so, under what circumstances would such success be achieved? In this article it will be argued that a typology of sociolinguistic principles could be used in language legislation in order to analyse a language act in terms of its contents, with a view to determining whether it would be likely to be successful or not. Such a typology will then be developed in this article on the basis of various sets of language legislation principles, and will be tested on the basis of three representative national language acts, namely those of Wales, Canada and Estonia. Thereafter, a comprehensive review of the development of the SALB will be provided, as well as a critical content analysis of this languages bill, which was originally meant to be promulgated in 2003 as the South African Languages Act. In the analysis it is pointed out that in certain respects, the SALB does, in fact, fulfil the requirements of a national language act, but that it also contains serious deficiencies which should be rectified. It will also be argued that a case can be made for the resubmission of the SALB in an amended form in order to enable the South African government to fulfil its legal mandate concerning the regulation and monitoring of its use of the official languages.

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/content/litnet/7/2/EJC62256
2010-08-01
2016-12-04
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