Research trip to Durban, South Africa

fieldtrip SA

To conduct further research on microvariation in isiZulu/isiNdebele, I spent April 2023 in Durban (South Africa) after having done fieldwork in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) the year before. This was my first time in the capital of Kwa-Zulu-Natal. As I got to know some parts of the city, I met young people who work in the streets in the informal sector (uber drivers, beach and street vendors, artists, etc.). Through interviews, participant observation and focus group recordings, I learnt that slang and youth language are a multilayered phenomenon in Durban. While isiTsotsi/tsotsitaal is s commonly used street language of the (young) people of Durban with origins in language practices of criminal sectors, more registers and ways of speaking have emerged in the prisons. The gangs that emerge in prison are based on numbers that people “earn” through certain behaviour, and every gang has their own language (register), for example the language of number 26 is Istaliyane while the language of number 28 is called Isnongoloza. These registers exhibit small variations with regard to greetings and terms of address, among others. A fruitful new research area for our study of microvariation in Bantu youth language practices.

Andrea Hollington

Andrea Hollington

Post Doc, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

More Activities

about the project

Workshop: What is Innovation? 1-2 October 2022

Workshop 1-2 October 2022 What is innovation? On the first weekend of October, our project team and our advisory board members met at the University
Read More
workshop malawi

Workshop Malawi: Youth language practices and morphosyntactic variation

As part of the 9th conference on Bantu languages at MUST in Blantyre, Malawi, our project team organized an interdisciplinary and versatile workshop on Youth
Read More
zimbabwe outline

Fieldwork in Zimbabwe April 2022

Eita, how far? As I came to know this is one of the most frequent greetings among young people in Bulawayo. After having focused on
Read More
Meeting research partners and team members in Bulawayo and Harare, Zimbabwe,

Meeting research partners and team members in Bulawayo and Harare, Zimbabwe, May 2022

From mid-May to early June 2022, I spent time in Zimbabwe to meet team member Prof. Sambulo Ndlovu and other colleagues from Great Zimbabwe University
Read More
Fieldwork Nassenstein

Fieldwork in Kinshasa, DR Congo, March-April 2022

In March I traveled to Kinshasa, the capital of the DR Congo, to collect data on “Lingala ya BaYankee”, the Yankees’ Lingala or urban youth
Read More
Interview Andrea Hollington Hatua kwa Hatuna

Hatua kwa Hatua – Interview with Andrea Hollington

Andrea Hollington was interviewed about her research on lugha ya mtaani by Muslim Nassor for Hatua kwa Hatua
Read More