A multifactorial analysis of contact-induced change in speech reporting in written White South African English (WSAfE)

Haidee Kruger, Bertus Van Rooy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article presents a corpus analysis of changes over a period of two centuries in speech-reporting constructions in written White South African English (WSAfE), a native variety of English that has been in contact with Afrikaans throughout its history. The analysis is based on register-differentiated comparable diachronic corpora of WSAfE, its parent variety, British English (BrE), and the contact language, Afrikaans. Three related reported-speech constructions are analysed, focusing on changes in the relative frequencies of variants of each construction. These constructions show ongoing change, with similar trajectories of change for WSAfE and BrE in some cases, but divergent trajectories in others. In the latter case, WSAfE and Afrikaans converge on similar frequency distributions, which follow from an accelerated rate of change or a slowing down of the rate of change for particular features in WSAfE in comparison to BrE. Descriptive findings are supported by conditional inference tree modelling. The effect of frequency on reinforcing similar patterns of change in WSAfE and Afrikaans, as well as simplification through the levelling of register differences in WSAfE and Afrikaans are proposed as explanations. The study highlights the importance of converging norms in a multilingual publication industry as a site of contact.

LanguageEnglish
JournalEnglish Language and Linguistics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2019

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contact
frequency distribution
levelling
parents
Contact Induced Change
South African English
industry
history
language
Afrikaans Language
British English
Trajectory

Cite this

@article{172714bb0ed74f6f9f52654a9732adff,
title = "A multifactorial analysis of contact-induced change in speech reporting in written White South African English (WSAfE)",
abstract = "This article presents a corpus analysis of changes over a period of two centuries in speech-reporting constructions in written White South African English (WSAfE), a native variety of English that has been in contact with Afrikaans throughout its history. The analysis is based on register-differentiated comparable diachronic corpora of WSAfE, its parent variety, British English (BrE), and the contact language, Afrikaans. Three related reported-speech constructions are analysed, focusing on changes in the relative frequencies of variants of each construction. These constructions show ongoing change, with similar trajectories of change for WSAfE and BrE in some cases, but divergent trajectories in others. In the latter case, WSAfE and Afrikaans converge on similar frequency distributions, which follow from an accelerated rate of change or a slowing down of the rate of change for particular features in WSAfE in comparison to BrE. Descriptive findings are supported by conditional inference tree modelling. The effect of frequency on reinforcing similar patterns of change in WSAfE and Afrikaans, as well as simplification through the levelling of register differences in WSAfE and Afrikaans are proposed as explanations. The study highlights the importance of converging norms in a multilingual publication industry as a site of contact.",
author = "Haidee Kruger and {Van Rooy}, Bertus",
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journal = "English Language and Linguistics",
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A multifactorial analysis of contact-induced change in speech reporting in written White South African English (WSAfE). / Kruger, Haidee; Van Rooy, Bertus.

In: English Language and Linguistics, 29.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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