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Patagonian Afrikaans: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Oliver Mayeux.

This presentation explores a 120 year old community of Afrikaans speakers in Patagonia, Argentina, from an historical and a contemporary perspective. Immigrant languages usually survive for only 30-50 years (two to three generations). However, unique historical, social and geographic circumstances resulted in Afrikaans surviving in this community for more than a century (although the language is now moribund in this community and will likely survive for only another 10-20 years). In this presentation, I will review some of the unique features of the variety of Afrikaans spoken in the community, and show how these features can help date when certain changes entered the Afrikaans language. I will also show how some features of Patagonian Afrikaans can be used to augment the scant historical records about the geographic origin in South Africa of the original Afrikaans Patagonian settlers. Although I will focus mostly on phonetic features of Patagonian Afrikaans, I will also discuss some morphosyntactic features of the language.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group series.

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