Negotiating Language Development and Growth Through Social Interactions: The Case of Setswana


In most modern African societies, identity through language is extremely a rare phenomenon. This is because most communities are multilingual and there is usually more than one language spoken. The presence of more than one language and other social factors affect the development and growth of the mother tongue in any given community. These social factors include, among others, intermarriages, migration and the introduction or use of modern technology. Taking the Mmabatho, Mafikeng situation as an example, this paper highlights some of the problems and challenges that language planners and researchers encounter in their effort to develop and grow standard Setswana as one of the official languages in the province. It focuses specifically on how these phenomena have affected the ‘purity’ of the language. This study is mainly qualitative and examines the current state of affairs regarding the use of standard Setswana in Mafikeng, South Africa. Contributions from students, observations and focus group discussions were used to collect data. The significance of the study is that it exposes how social factors and technology could lead to the decline in the use of African languages in a given community. This situation needs to be checked in order to preserve, protect and promote the standard form of Setswana in Mmabatho, Mafikeng.

Author Information
Paul Nepapleh Nkamta, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2018
Stream: Culture and Language

This paper is part of the ACLL2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon