English is a global language which has spread historically through
imperialism and more recently through communication networks throughout the
world. In each location in which English is spoken it absorbs some of the
idiosyncracies of the language native to that region, and one of the most
fascinating areas of research for World Englishes is the African context.
This research monograph examines English as it is spoken by the Xhosa
people in South Africa, and is based primarily on an extensive spoken
corpus of Xhosa English.
Vivian de Klerk presents a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the
historical development of this variety of English, and of English in South
Africa more generally. The book outlines how the corpus of spoken Xhosa
English was designed and compiled, and discusses the criteria relating to
informants, the use of spoken rather than written data, and the codes and
transcription conventions. The syntactic and pragmatic features of Xhosa
English as demonstrated by the corpus are described in detail, and two
chapters focus on the use of the discourse markers 'actually' and 'well'.
The second section of this book examines the implications of the corpus
findings. Vivian de Klerk looks at the implications of the use of this
variety of English in educational, legal, social, cultural and everyday
contexts. The final chapter of the book speculates as to the future of this
fascinating variety of English in a globalised world.