n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die vroegste Khoi-Afrikaans

Volume 56 Number 2-1
  • ISSN : 0041-4751



is a study about the variety Khoi Afrikaans as the first form of Afrikaans. A traditional view has it that Khoi influenced Afrikaans in some way or another. With Khoi Afrikaans as the original form of Afrikaans, this cannot be the case: Khoi Afrikaans was already Afrikaans. Khoi Afrikaans refers to the new language of the Khoi-Khoin at the Cape in the course of the first half of the seventeenth century. This language originated from contact between the Khoi- Khoin and visiting seafarers, especially from the Netherlands, which started with the visit from De Houtman in 1595. In this learner's variety, the first building blocks of the latter-day Afrikaans can be found. This was the earliest Afrikaans, which originated between 1595 and 1652, the first period in the history of Afrikaans. The database of this first period consists of 54 items, accumulated from Khoi word lists, as well as other sources, and it is distinguishable by the features of Afrikaans that they exhibit. The interpretation of this material pursues earlier work done by H. Den Besten and G. S. Nienaber. These data conform to the field of "bad" data that Janda and Joseph (2003) distinguish, but contribute, nevertheless, to language forms that are not usually considered in the debate on the earliest forms of Afrikaans. Elements from a collection of bad data, as is shown here, survived steadily in the history of Afrikaans, which accentuates the importance of recognizing the role of the Afrikaans dialects in construing its history, in accordance with the view of Bergs (2012). Words for bread that were recorded before 1652, still survive, perhaps surprisingly so, in present-day varieties of Afrikaans where words like pereb conserved their Khoi Afrikaans origin, and did not become familiar Afrikaans words. They are used in diglossic situations beside words that later became Afrikaans words, like brood (bread), that lost most of their Khoi morphological trimmings (such as the word final [+ masculine] -b/p).

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error