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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Een- of meertalige openbare tekens? Perspektiewe op die regulering van taalsigbaarheid en die Suid-Afrikaanse linguistiese landskap
Author:Du Plessis, TheodorusISNI
Periodical:Tydskrif vir geesteswetenskappe
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:official languages
language policy
Abstract:This article addresses an under-researched aspect of language policy in South Africa, i.e. the display of more than one official language on public signs, a language policy phenomenon usually referred to as language visibility. Three functions of the linguistic landscape are discussed, the informational, symbolical and mythological. In conjunction with the theoretical positions held in this field of research, the article argues the case for the display of more than one official language on public signs on symbolic, rather than functional grounds. It also stresses the need for policy directives regarding language visibility. It investigates the current position with regard to language visibility policy in South Africa, covering core documents regulating language policy within the three tiers of government, as well as the standardization of geographical names and policy on public signage. It shows that language visibility is not promoted by national policy documents. Most provinces are currently in the process of drafting new language policies, and there are indications that language visibility does feature as a policy concept at this level. At the local government level, language visibility appears to receive more detailed attention. However, policy directives noticeably steer clear of overly prescriptive measures. With regard to the standardization of geographical names, policy on language visibility is relatively absent. Policy regarding signage in public is also vague with regard to language visibility, in particular as far as signage on road and traffic signs is concerned. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in Afrikaans and English, text in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]