Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 10, No 1-2 (2016)

Metaphor in South African tsotsitaal

Ellen Hurst
Issued Date: 4 Jun 2016

Abstract


Halliday’s concept of ‘anti-language’ has been applied to a number of African Urban Youth Languages (AUYLs) in recent literature. Halliday described the concept of antilanguage as a language generated by an ‘anti-society’ which is set up as a conscious alternative to established societal norms. Anti-language, then, is a conscious alternative to the language of the wider society and it distinguishes itself primarily through relexicalization (the principle of same grammar, different vocabulary) and metaphor. Halliday states that in an anti-language, metaphor goes ‘all the way up and down the system’ – that an anti-society is a metaphorical variant of society, an anti-language is a metaphor for an everyday language, and the language itself employs metaphorical variants to distinguish it, including phonological metaphors, grammatical metaphors (morphological, lexical, and syntactic) and semantic metaphors. This article presents natural speech data from a multi-sited research project in South Africa, in order to analyze the use of metaphor in tsotsitaal – the South African AUYL used amongst peers in South Africa’s townships. The analysis considers how metaphor is used at three different levels – the level of lexical items; phrases; and social structure. Processes of innovation and creativity will be described, and the article will evaluate the use of the term anti-language to describe tsotsitaal (and, by implication, other AUYLs). The findings suggest that the term is a useful one to understand the metaphorical processes in AUYLs, but that it needs to be cautiously applied.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v10i1-2.27922

References


Allen, I. L. (2001). Slang: Sociology. In R. Mesthrie (Ed.), Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics 265–270. Oxford: Elsevier.

Aycard, P. (2007). “ Speak As You Want To Speak : Just Be Free ” A linguistic-anthropological monograph of first-language Iscamtho-speaking youth in White City, Soweto. Leiden University.

Beyer, K. (2015). Youth languages in Africa: Achievements and Challenges. In N. Nassenstein and A. Wolvers (Eds.), Youth Language Practices in Africa and Beyond. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Brookes, H. (2004). A repertoire of South African quotable gestures. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 14(2), 186–224.

Brookes, H. (2014). Gesture in the communicative ecology of a South African township. In M. Seyfeddinipur and M. Gullberg (Eds.), From Gesture in Conversation to Visible Action as Utterance: Essays in honor of Adam Kendon 59–73. John Benjamins.

Cameron, L. (2008). Metphor and talk. In R. W. Gibbs Jr. (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought 197–211. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

De Klerk, V. (1995). Slang in South African English. In R. Mesthrie (Ed.), Language and social history: Studies in South African sociolinguistics 265–276. Cape Town: David Philips.

Drew, P., and Holt, E. (1988). Complainable matters: the use of idiomatic expressions in making complaints. Social Problems, 35(4), 398–417.

Gibbs, R. W. (Jr.) (2008). Metaphor and thought: The state of the art. In R. W. Gibbs Jr. (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought 3–16. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Githinji, P. (2008). Sexism and (mis)representation of women in Sheng. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 20(1), 15–32.

Gunnink, H. (2014). The grammatical structure of Sowetan tsotsitaal. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 32(2), 161-171.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1976). Anti-Languages. American Anthropologist, 78(3), 570–584.

Hurst, E., and Buthelezi, M. (2014). A visual and linguistic comparison of features of Durban and Cape Town tsotsitaal. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 32(2), 185-197.

Hurst, E., and Mesthrie, R. (2013). “When you hang out with the guys they keep you in style”: The case for considering style in descriptions of South African tsotsitaals. Language Matters, 44(1), 3–20.

Kiessling, R., and Mous, M. (2004). Urban Youth Languages in Africa. Anthropological Linguistics, 46(3), 303–341.

Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M. (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Li, K. (2014). Analysis of Anti-languages in Chinese Raps. US-China Foreign Language, 12(4), 276–283.

Makalela, L. (2013). Translanguaging in kasi-taal: Rethinking old language boundaries for new language planning. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus, 42, 111–125.

Makhudu, K. D. P. (1995). An introduction to Flaaitaal. In R. Mesthrie (Ed.), Language and social history: Studies in South African sociolinguistics 298–305. Cape Town: David Philips..

Mallik, B. (1972). Language of the Underworld of West Bengal. (Research series No. 76). Calcutta: Sanskrit College.

Maribe, T., and Brookes, H. (2014). Male youth talk in the construction of black lesbian identities. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 32(2), 199-214.

McLaughlin, F. (Ed.) (2009). The Languages of Urban Africa. London: Continuum.

Mensah, E. O. (2012). Youth Language in Nigeria: A Case Study of the ÁGábá Boys. Sociolinguistic Studies, 6(3), 387-419.

Mesthrie, R., and Hurst, E. (2013). Slang registers, code-switching and restructured urban varieties in South Africa: An analytic overview of tsotsitaals with special reference to the Cape Town variety. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 28(1), 103–130.

Molamu, L. (2003). Tsotsi-taal : a dictionary of the language of Sophiatown (1st ed., p. 130). Pretoria: University of South Africa.

Mugaddam, A. H. (2009). Aspects of youth language in Khartoum. In M. . A. M. F. Brenziger (Ed.), The 6th World Congress of African Languages 87–98. Rudiger Koppe Verlag.

Ning Yu. (2008). Metaphor from body and culture. In R. W. J. Gibbs (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought 247–261. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Parker Lewis, H. (2006). God’s Gangsters?: the history, language, rituals, secrets and myths of South Africa's prison gangs. Cape Town: Ihilihili Press.

Podgórecki, A. (1973). “Second Life” and its implications. Mimeograph.

Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, F. J., and Pérez Hernández, L. (2011). The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor: Myths, Developments and Challenges. Metaphor and Symbol, 26(3), 161–185.

Stern, J. (2008). Metaphor, semantics and context. In R. W. J. Gibbs (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought 262–279. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stone, G. L. (1991). An ethnographic and socio-semantic analysis of lexis among working-class Afrikaans-speaking coloured adolescent and young adult males in the cape peninsula, 1963-1990. University of Cape Town.

Widawski, M. (2013). Semantic Change in African American Slang. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 48(1), 29–44.

Zimmermann, K. (2009). A theoretical outline for comparative research on youth language: With an outline of diatopic-contrast research within the Hispanic world. In A.-B. Stenström and A. M. Jørgensen (Eds.), Youngspeak in a Multilingual Perspective 119–136. Amsterdam; Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy