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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Congolese migrants and South African language appropriation
Author:Dekoke, Taty
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (ISSN 1753-5395)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Congolese (Democratic Republic of Congo)
African languages
English language
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10228195.2016.1147594
Abstract:Migration, the phenomenon of leaving one's country for another, is one of the most salient causes of language contact in the present era. Previously, migrants left their countries for ideological monolingual countries where they were presumed to learn only the language of the receiving countries. Nowadays, migrations have changed the face of the world, in that migrants from multilingual countries move to other multilingual countries. This is especially the case for African migrants relocating to other African countries. The present study focuses on the experiences of Congolese migrants' appropriation of South African languages in the Vaal Triangle area. The phenomenon is investigated with the traditional sociolinguistic methodologies of questionnaires and interviews. The main finding of the study is that English holds a complex symbolic power because of its symbolic capital. Moreover, African languages (such as Afrikaans, Sotho and Zulu) play an important role in the migrants' language repertoires. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]