Taalbeplanning : die stand en toekoms van taalbeplanning vir Afrikaans in 'n multitalige Suid-Afrika / Maria Magdalena Verhoef
Verhoef, Maria Magdalena
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LANGUAGE PLANNING: THE PRESENT SITUATION AND THE FUTURE OF LANGUAGE PLANNING FOR AFRIKAANS IN A MULTI-LINGUAL SOUTH AFRICA. The hypothesis underlying this study is the following: The fact that the position of Afrikaans is under siege at present can be attributed, among others, to the years of uncoordinated, strategyless involvement with language by anyone who felt the urge to do so. In order to prove this hypothesis to be either true or false, the broad objective with this study was posited as being the determination of the status of language planning for Afrikaans against the background of the theory of language planning. In order to achieve this objective, the following specific objectives were striven after: To determine what methodological principles underlie the science of language planning; by way of empirical study to make a situation analysis of the status of language planning activities for Afrikaans; to measure the practice of micro level and macro level planning for Afrikaans against language planning theory in order to determine to what extent the theory and practice tie in with or differ from each other; and by way of a conclusion to make recommendations with regard to a possible language plan for Afrikaans. In chapter 2 the theory of language planning is discussed. On the basis of certain distinguishable elements the following working definition of language planning can be accepted: Language planning is a future-directed, language problem-solving action which manipulates a purposeful language change in accordance with a set of objectives and which, in the course of this process of change, keeps cognizance of the sociocultural environment in which the language problem manifests itself. It becomes clear that language planning is a scientific sub discipline with strong fundamental and methodological bases. When language planning activities are robbed of this fundamental aspect, there is the danger that language planning can be used as an instrument to effect mere social or political change. It is therefore imperative that any language planning project should answer to this theoretical demand. In order to measure the language planning activity for Afrikaans against language planning theory, it is necessary to do a situational analysis of the status of actual and putative language planning for Afrikaans. The situational analysis of the status of language planning for Afrikaans is given in chapter 3. In chapter 4 the micro level language planning activities for Afrikaans are measured against language planning theory. It emerges clearly from an analysis of the activities of organizations and institutions that language promotion does enjoy the attention of certain institutions. The problem is, however, that these activities are occurring in a loose, unstructured and uncoordinated fashion, so that one finds both overlap and duplication. This planless promotion of Afrikaans cannot be called language planning. In chapter 5 the macro level language planning situation in South Africa is studied. At the outset an outline is provided of the applicable macro level language planning theory, following which it is applied to the South African situation. It becomes clear from the research that true macro level language planning activities for Afrikaans (and in actual fact for all languages in South Africa) have not yet become reality. The recommendation that eventually has to be made is that the government has to enter into the discussion on language in South Africa because a language policy can achieve little until it attains some measure of official status. By way of conclusion it can be said that, although one can observe traces of language planning theory in the activities of various organizations or institutions which are working towards the status of Afrikaans, one cannot really speak of true language planning. This uncoordinated, strategy-less language involvement (which clearly does not comply with the demands of the theory of language planning) has the result that there is now an undignified scramble in progress about the future of Afrikaans. In order to execute the fourth objective, recommendations are made in chapters 6 and 7 with regard to language planning for Afrikaans in a multi-lingual South African society. The study is concluded with a preamble to a possible language plan for Afrikaans.
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