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The use of slang among black youth in Gauteng

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dc.contributor.author Bembe, Magdeline Princess
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-13T08:41:20Z
dc.date.available 2008-05-13T08:41:20Z
dc.date.issued 2008-05-13T08:41:20Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/371
dc.description.abstract Gauteng is one of South Africa’s nine provinces, and is representative of a diversity of languages and cultures. It is a linguistic and cultural melting pot with all eleven official languages spoken in the province. Because of the language contact situation in this province, languages tend to influence one another and this results in situations wherein a majority of speakers are bi- or multilingual. Instances of code-switching, code-mixing, and lexical borrowing (or adoption) are also abounding. In Gauteng, young and old black people tend to use black urban speech varieties. Nonstandard black urban speech varieties such as Tsotsitaal and Is’camtho have been studied extensively in South Africa. The study of black urban language varieties in Gauteng, particularly in English, has not received much attention from sociolinguists and has only been discussed in passing by scholars (see Calteaux, 1994). Studies on Tsotsitaal and Is’camtho have attempted to discuss the structure of and reasons for the employment of these varieties. In conducting the research on black youth slang in English, this study is an attempt at contributing to available research on slang in South Africa. Studies on slang have focused on other language groups and regions. However, no attempts have been made at describing the slang of black youth in Gauteng Province, particularly those who are not L1 speakers of English. The present study aims at contributing to the study of non-standard black urban speech varieties such as Tsotsitaal and Is’camtho. The current study tries to provide a sociolinguistic description of the slang used by black youth in Gauteng, who use English as a second language (L2) or additional language (AL). The research begins with definitions and explanations of concepts relevant to the investigation. The study defines such terms as ‘slang’, ‘black’, ‘youth’ and ‘youth culture’ amongst others. The theoretical approach used in this study is also discussed in this section. Black youth slang in English (hereafter referred to as BYSE) in Gauteng (GP) is discussed in relation to other non-standard black urban language varieties such as Tsotsitaal and Is’camtho. This serves to explain how BYSE differs from the two varieties. The functions of slang as outlined by previous researchers on the subject are also discussed, with the intention of using these as a benchmark to the present study. This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods of research. These included a combination of written questionnaires, interviews (group discussions), and personal observations. The two methodologies were necessary in an attempt to arrive at a better comprehension of the slang used by the group under investigation. The data gathered served to investigate the reasons for using slang and the functions the words they employ serve, by looking at the slang as used in particular contexts as well as at the lexical items they employ. The study also looks at how their use of slang tends to draw on the lexicon from other languages spoken in the Province. The data gathered from the written questionnaires was then sent to Statkon, at the University of Johannesburg, for analysis. The researcher further used interviews (group discussions) and personal observations to augment the results from the questionnaires. The researcher adopts the notion of slang as a register according to use and discusses the findings according to Halliday’s theoretical stance of language as social practice (1978). Emphasis is on dimensions such as field, mode and tenor of discourse as relevant to this study in an attempt to explain the contexts of situation in which the youth under investigation use slang. The research also considers other social aspects of language variation as relevant to this study. The study concludes with recommendations on the need for further research on the language of youth. Amongst others is the recommendation it makes about the study of youth language (particularly slang) and its educational implications in the language classroom. en
dc.description.sponsorship Dr. Anne-Marie Beukes en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Youth language en
dc.subject Mixed languages en
dc.subject Language and culture en
dc.subject African languages en
dc.subject African languages' usage en
dc.subject English language usage en
dc.title The use of slang among black youth in Gauteng en
dc.type Thesis en

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