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PIENAAR, Marné. What is the Meaning of B(b)oer in 2022?. Lexikos [online]. 2022, vol.32, n.spe2, pp.191-214. ISSN 2224-0039.

This article investigates the meaning of the words Boer and boer in Afrikaans. The study is the result of an incident in 2015 when the Afrikaans Language Commission considered the possibility of omitting the word Boer from the Afrikaanse woordelys en spelreëls. The rationale was that other race sensitive items, such as hotnot, kaffer and koelie, had been scrapped from the word list long ago. The proposal to omit Boer created havoc. in the following discussion, the encyclopaedic approach to meaning is used to determine what Boer and boer currently mean. An investigation into the lexical meaning of these two words is supplemented by highlighting one of the assumptions of the encyclopaedic approach to meaning, namely that encyclopaedic knowledge is dynamic in nature and furthermore that meaning is always constructed in the context of use. The current day use and meanings of Boer and boer are indicated via examples from newspaper articles, literary texts, lyrics, a brand name as well as the corpus of the Language Commission. A radiating lattice diagram for the words Boer and boer is provided to show how the various meanings of the words are related to one another and how they form a polysemous semantic network.

Keywords : boer; encyclopaedic approach; polysemy; radiating lattice diagram; semantics.

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