The Semiotics of New Spaces: Languaging and Literacy Practices in one South African Township

145 pages
Paperback / softback (9781928357988)
Digital download (9781928357995)

In South Africa, the township or sub-economic state housing development has achieved a very significant position as a site for sociolinguistic research. The book looks at the ways in which people are responding, through their semiotic practices, to the intense socio-historical changes taking place in post‑apartheid South Africa. The study is set against the backdrop of Wesbank – one of the first racially mixed housing developments in the Western Cape. The result is a range of related topics, such as how cross-cultural and cross-linguistic families influence the language practices of their younger members; the impact of translingual friendships on language practices and attitudes; the ways in which older people use their existing literacies to negotiate the multilingual realities of the township and aspects such as identity, voice and agency as markers of a developing participatory citizenship.

Part One: Background
Chapter 1 A Society on the Move and a Township of Migrants
Chapter 2 Language Maintenance and Translanguaging: The Impact of Migration in Wesbank
Part Two: Multilingual Literacies
Chapter 3 Literacy, Language and Ideologies flowing into Wesbank
Chapter 4 Portable Multiliteracies: Theory and Practice in Wesbank
Chapter 5 Emotion, Voice and Agency in the Journals of Wesbank Women
Part Three: A ‘Messy Linguistic Market’
Chapter 6 The ‘Messy Linguistic Market’ of Wesbank
Chapter 7 Truncated Multilingualism: Theory and Practice
Chapter 8 Peripheral Normativity in Language Classrooms at Wesbank High School
Part Four: Conclusion
Chapter 9 Becoming a Channel for Voices from the Periphery: The Role of the Socially Responsible Sociolinguist
Afterword: Towards Equal Multilingualisms – Quentin Williams
Selected Bibliography