Linguistiese eienskappe en konvensionalisering in Zefrikaans op die WatKykJy?-blog: ’n korpuslinguistiese ondersoek
Van der Walt, Amanda
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Previous research on Afrikaans on the internet has mainly focused on older Web 1.0 web applications and not so much on the newer Web 2.0 web applications. Zefrikaans, a variety of Afrikaans, on the internet has been researched in terms of identity (du Preez, 2011; Marx & Milton, 2011, Barnard, 2012; Engel, 2017) and postural verbs (Breed, 2017). Linguistic phenomena, that could be unique to Zefrikaans on the internet, have not yet been investigated. This study investigated particular language phenomena, as manifested online, from a sociolinguistic perspective. It has been determined that the WKJ?-blog can be seen as a virtual community, where participants use Zefrikaans online to display a certain zef identity. The language used in this blog contributes to a feeling of group solidarity and also establishes a zef identity. A corpus-based approach was used to investigate the linguistic phenomena on the WKJ?-blog. WordSmith 7 was particularly useful in making wordlists, as well as calculating the concordance of each keyword. This corpus was availed to me by CText in Potchefstroom. The data were split into year periods, and a distinction was drawn between comments made by readers and fixed webcontent. Wordlists were extracted using WordSmith 7, and the concordance function was used to determine the context of the linguistic phenomena on the blog. This made it possible to determine if the use of particular phenomena changed over time, as well as whether it became conventionalised in the blog. The linguistic phenomena that were discussed in this study are: * The omission of diacritics, where the data has shown that initially this phenomenon contained several non-standard innovations, but towards the end of the selected data periods there was a return to standard language usage, and omission became less. * Multiple punctuation marks were conventionalised in the comments but not in the webpage content. * Non-standard spelling is not unique to online environments. In this study non-standard spelling was sub-classified and supported with examples from actual usage. * Neologisms and coinages. With the creation of a zef slang wordlist, several coinages made its way into the blog. Some of them became conventionalised, while others had a much shorter lifespan in the blog. * Loan morphology is characteristic of spoken language as well and cannot be seen as unique to online communication or Zefrikaans. Several of these loan morphological words were conventionalised in the blog, while others were used very infrequently. * Taboo words have been used excessively since the onset of the WKJ?-blog. More socially acceptable words (according to the taboo scale) were used by women, while obscene words were mostly used by men. The use of taboo words became conventionalised in the blog. The data showed that there were no completely new linguistic phenomena that could be ascribed to Zefrikaans, which had not been known in advance from previous research. However, the use of the phenomena in Zefrikaans (like loan morphology and taboo words) might differ dramatically from other online practices. Although there were linguistic phenomena which showed a return to standard language usage (like omission of diacritics, and multiple punctuation in the webcontent), there were phenomena that became conventionalised in the blog.
- Humanities