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Van Rooy & Van Huyssteen 2000

Van Rooy, Bertus, and Gerhard B. Van Huyssteen. 2000. “The vowels of BSAE: current knowledge and future prospects.” South African Journal of Linguistics:15-33.

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English: Black South African English, BSAE, phonology, vowel

Afrikaans: fonologie, Swart Suid-Afrikaanse Engels, SSAE, vokaal


English: The vowels of Black South African English (BSAE) are investigated in this article. Available research findings are summarised and presented alongside new data from two experiments. The results indicate that BSAE differs widely from 'White' (Respectable) South African English as far as monophthongs and diphthongs are concerned. The major monophthong characteristics of BSAE are the neutralisation of the tense/lax contrast; the absence of central vowels and the absence of vowel reduction in unstressed syllables. The research literature present contradictory claims about diphthongs. They are reported to become sequences of two vowels or monophthongs. New evidence reported here show a much stronger preference for monophthongisation than for diphthongs with two clear acoustic targets. Some directions for future research are offered in the concluding section.


Afrikaans: Die vokale van Swart Suid-Afrikaanse Engels (SSAE) word in hierdie artikel ondersoek. Bestaande navorsingsbevindings word opgesom en bespreek naas data van twee nuwe eksperimente. Die bevindinge dui daarop dat SSAE heelwat verskil van 'Wit' Suid-Afrikaanse Engels wat sowel monoftonge as diftonge betref. Die vernaamste monoftong-eienskappe van SSAE is die neutralisasie van die gespanne/ongespanne-onderskeid; die afwesigheid van sentrale vokale en van vokaalreduksie in onbeklemtoonde sillabes. Bestaande navorsing bied botsende aansprake oor diftonge. Daar word beweer dat hulle reekse van twee vokale of monoftonge word. Nuwe bevindinge wat hier gerapporteer word; dui op 'n baie sterker voorkeur vir monoftongisering as vir diftonge met twee duidelik verskillende akoestiese teikens. Enkele rigtingaanduidings vir toekomstige navorsing word in die slotafdeling voorgehou.

In: English

On: English