It is not clear which population group most qualifies as the ‘founders’ of Namibian English. While Namibia's historical Afrikaans-speaking settler population has a tradition of Afrikaans-English bilingualism, English as a lingua franca was first introduced after independence by returning Black Namibian exiles with mostly Oshiwambo as a first language. This study seeks to determine which ethnolinguistic group plays the largest part in shaping contemporary Namibian English. Based on phonetic and ethnographic data, the findings suggest a loosening continuum between a White variety aligned with South African models and more locally rooted varieties. This partly reflects local language ideologies, which among the Blacks involve the pursuit of a Namibian urban identity set against both Namibian Whiteness and traditional Namibian ethnicities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Sociology and Political Science
- Linguistics and Language