Research Trip to Johannesburg (South Africa) and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)

Research Trip to Johannesburg (South Africa) and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)

To follow-up with and finalize research on youth language practices in South Africa and Zimbabwe, I went on a research trip to Johannesburg and Bulawayo in March-April 2024. In Johannesburg, I continued my research on youth language practices which I had started the year before in Durban. It was interesting to notice differences and variation between the language practices in both cities. The local language expert and isiZulu teacher Celimpilo Ndebele contributed greatly to the project through his knowledge and assistance. Together we discussed and worked through language data and collected new linguistic material. The highlight of the research trip was a visit to Soweto and an interview with Bra Nani and his colleagues in which we gained insights into various youth language practices and their social and geographical contexts.

In Bulawayo we met up with speakers of Zimbabwean slang and continued the research started in 2022. This also included visiting events and places of youth culture in the city. The main focus of the short time spend in Bulawayo was on completing the transcriptions, translations and analysis of the youth language conversations recorded for our corpus in 2022 together with our local research assistant Keith Moyo. In particular, I learned a lot about similarities between isiNdebele and isiZulu in general and with regard to youth language practices and was able to understand and analyze examples of noun class variation.

Picture of Andrea Hollington

Andrea Hollington

Post Doc, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

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