On reconstructing variation in Cape Dutch (1710-1840)

  • Paul T Roberge University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


In this essay I shall address some methodological issues concerning the reconstruction of variation in the early history of Afrikaans (roughly 1710-1840), with a view toward theorizing the mechanisms and sociolinguistic forces that underlie the formation of this language. Since discussions of the methodology of evaluating our Cape Dutch source material have been mostly sketchy, and since most scholars have neglected to make their methodology explicit, it is natural that much has been assumed that will not bear up under close scrutiny.


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