This is a mograph examining English as it is spoken by the Xhosa people in South Africa. English is a global language which has spread historically through imperialism and more recently through communication networks throughout the world. In each location in which English is spoken it absorbs some of the idiosyncracies of the language native to that region, and one of the most fascinating areas of research for World Englishes is the African context. This research mograph examines English as it is spoken by the Xhosa people in South Africa, and is based primarily on an extensive spoken corpus of Xhosa English. Vivian de Klerk presents a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the historical development of this variety of English, and of English in South Africa more generally. The book outlines how the corpus of spoken Xhosa English was designed and compiled, and discusses the criteria relating to informants, the use of spoken rather than written data, and the codes and transcription conventions. The syntactic and pragmatic features of Xhosa English as demonstrated by the corpus are described in detail, and two chapters focus on the use of the discourse markers 'actually' and 'well'. The second section of this book examines the implications of the corpus findings. Vivian de Klerk looks at the implications of the use of this variety of English in educational, legal, social, cultural and everyday contexts. The final chapter of the book speculates as to the future of this fascinating variety of English in a globalised world. This cutting-edge study will be of interest to researchers in world Englishes, language variation and corpus linguistics. The Corpus and Discourse series consists of two strands. The first, Research in Corpus and Discourse, features invative contributions to various aspects of corpus linguistics and a wide range of applications, from language techlogy via the teaching of a second language to a history of mentalities. The second strand, Studies in Corpus and Discourse, is comprised of key texts bridging the gap between social studies and linguistics. Although equally academically rigorous, this strand will be aimed at a wider audience of academics and postgraduate students working in both disciplines.
Professor Vivian de Klerk is the Head of the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Rhodes University, South Africa. She is the editor of Focus on English in Southern Africa, John Benjamins: 1996.