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ERIC Number: EJ882070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Tracking the Demographics of (Urban) Language Shift--An Analysis of South African Census Data
Deumert, Ana
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v31 n1 p13-35 Feb 2010
This paper provides an analysis of language shift from African languages to English (and Afrikaans) in South Africa, using home language data from the South African population census (1996 and 2001). Although census data have been criticised for its "essentialist" construction of language, they nevertheless provide sociolinguists with a unique opportunity to analyse language choice and shift across large populations, based on a full head-count rather than statistical sampling. The focus of the discussion is on the metropolitan city of Cape Town (with its three-language profile, Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa). The methodology uses small-area statistics to understand the role of social variables (social class, age and gender) in structuring processes of past and present language shift. The results show that language shift (a) has considerable historical depth in South Africa, (b) shows clear patterns of spatial and social variation and (c) is not limited to the middle classes which linguists have often seen to be at the centre of the process. (Contains 8 tables, 10 figures, and 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Cape Town)