Debate around the interpretation of the official language policy principles of the interim constitution in the printed media - a content analysis

The concept of language and culture is of great importance in the world today. It is obvious that it would also be the case in South Africa with its diversity of languages and cultures. Using a number of national newspapers and periodicals as basis a content analysis of the debate around language po...

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Published in: Southern African linguistics and applied language studies Vol. 19; no. 1-2; pp. 23 - 41
Main Authors: Lubbe, Johan, du Plessis, Theo
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: Taylor & Francis Group 02-01-2001
NISC Pty Ltd
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Summary: The concept of language and culture is of great importance in the world today. It is obvious that it would also be the case in South Africa with its diversity of languages and cultures. Using a number of national newspapers and periodicals as basis a content analysis of the debate around language policy principles of the Interim Constitution was undertaken. The point of departure was the three orientations distinguished by Ruíz (1988), viz. language-as-problem, language-as-right, and language-as-resource. Within each of these three orientations two further orientations can be distinguished, viz. 'language as sentimental attachment', and 'language-as-means'. In analysing the data a distinction was made between 1) reporting of events; 2) editorial comment on events; 3) comment of freelance co-workers in columns and in-depth articles, and 4) spontaneous comment in letters to the press. Twelve categories of arguments were distinguished and a number of tendencies established. On the basis of the analysis a correlation between language orientation and language policy was determined. Any discussion of language planning must first take into account the underlying orientation.
ISSN: 1607-3614
1727-9461
DOI: 10.2989/16073610109486273