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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Standards in South African English
Author:Jeffery, Chris
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:language policy
English language
Abstract:The author first discusses objections raised against the recommendation by the English Academy of Southern Africa (1992) that the official standard of English in South Africa be standard British English. Next he examines the possibilities for a South African standard English (SAStdE). He first deals with written English and argues that two kinds of modification are possible. The rigid standard English (StdE) spelling system could be relaxed, and features peculiar to the grammar of South African English (SAE) could be admitted. The author argues that it should be possible to make some principled decisions about SAStdE once his project to collect a million-word corpus of SAE is complete. He then turns to spoken English. A two-week survey of all the English-language broadcasting available in Port Elizabeth, aimed at a wide audience, shows that conservative/cultivated SAE, which is closely similar to British RP (received pronunciation), predominates. The conclusion is that if South African society at large regards British RP as the appropriate standard for spoken English, it is not unlikely that they also regard British StdE as the appropriate standard for written English. Bibliogr., notes, ref.