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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Who calls the tune in language matters? A look at some language services in South Africa
Author:Jenkins, ElwynISNI
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:language policy
language usage
Abstract:This article examines the role of three bodies that advise or give rulings on language matters in South Africa: the English Usage Advisory Service of the English Academy of Southern Africa, known as 'Grammarphone', the Language Advisory Committee of the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation), and the National Place Names Committee. An outline of the work of the members of these bodies indicates that the language questions on which they are asked to make judgements, go beyond the merely technical. Particularly in the SABC, much of the work concerns matters of taste, situation and style. The author compares the approach of each of the bodies by looking at different dimensions of language use: the dimension of time, and geographical and social dimensions. The language practitioners who serve on the three bodies find themselves engaged, not in the descriptive activities of pure linguistics, but in what verges on prescriptive and proscriptive practice. With the recent constitutional and social changes in South Africa the demands on language practitioners seem to increase. Bibliogr.