Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe
On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751
KIRSTEN, Johanita. Totius and the standardisation of early modern Afrikaans verbs. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2013, vol.53, n.1, pp.60-75. ISSN 2224-7912.
In the diachronie studies of Afrikaans in the past, the focus used to be on the origin and early development of Afrikaans from Dutch. During the twentieth century the philological school, with a tradition of researching all Cape Dutch flavoured texts in detail, was established through the work of J. du P. Scholtz and his students. Through their analyses, they estimated the stabilisation of Afrikaans to have been as early as the end of the eighteenth century (for example Raidt 1991:145; Ponelis 1994:229). In the past few decades, however, this estimation has begun to receive criticism from other scholars, including Roberge (1994:159) and Deumert (2004:20). With the help of a corpus, Deumert (2004) has shown that there is substantial variation in Afrikaans letters as late as the early twentieth century, and this study expands on her work by researching the variation in published writing in the early twentieth century. This is done by focusing on verbs, as there is significant change from the Dutch verbal system to the Afrikaans verbal system. This study uses corpus linguistic research methods, and researches Dutch-Afrikaans variation in verbs in published Afrikaans texts, compiled in three corpora. The main corpus was compiled from all the Afrikaans writings of Totius (J.D. du Toit) in the publication Het Kerkblad from 1916 to 1922. Two control corpora are also used: the first was compiled from excerpts from published Afrikaans books for the same period, and the second was compiled from excerpts from Afrikaans periodicals for the same period. In order to compensate for the shortcomings of corpus data alone, normative works on Afrikaans from the relevant period are also taken into account. The study accounts the recommendations made by these works about the relevant constructions, and how the corpus data correlates with these recommendations.
Keywords : Afrikaans; Dutch; verbs; Totius; corpus; corpus linguistics; written language; variation; norms; standardisation.