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The historical and contemporary sociolinguistic status of selected minority languages in civil courts of Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.advisor Mutasa, D. E.
dc.contributor.advisor Kadenge, M. Kufakunesu, Patson 2018-01-31T14:19:16Z 2018-01-31T14:19:16Z 2017-07
dc.identifier.citation Kufakunesu, Patson (2017) The historical and contemporary sociolinguistic status of selected minority languages in civil courts of Zimbabwe, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <>
dc.description.abstract This study examines the historical and contemporary sociolinguistic status of three minority languages, namely Shangani, Kalanga and Tonga in Chiredzi, Plumtree and Binga respectively within the civil courts of Zimbabwe. This research problematizes the issue of language choice and usage in civil courtroom discourse by native speakers of the languages under study. The background to this research endeavor is the historical dominance of English, Shona and Ndebele in public institutions as media of communication even in areas where minority languages are dominant, a situation that has resulted in minority languages having a restricted functional space in public life. Respondents in this research included native speakers of the languages under study who have attended civil courtroom sessions either as accused persons or complainants, members of rural communities including community leaders, court interpreters stationed at Binga, Chiredzi and Plumtree magistrates‟ courts and members of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). Data was also collected from minority language advocacy groups including Tonga Language and Cultural Committee (TOLACCO), Shangani Promotion Trust (SPAT) and Kalanga Language and Culture Development (KLCDA) using semi-structured interviews. In addition, participant observation of civil courtroom proceedings involving native speakers of Kalanga, Tonga and Shangani was done. Documentary analysis of colonial and postcolonial language policies in Zimbabwe was also done. Data was analyzed using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Ecology of Language theories. The findings for this research revealed that historically, language policy making in Zimbabwe has impacted negatively on the functional roles of Shangani, Tonga and Kalanga in civil courtroom communication because of the lack of implementation clauses in national constitutions. Furthermore, language attitudes that were analyzed in conjunction with a number of factors including age, demographics, naming of provinces, awareness of constitutional provisions on language and language-in-education policies were found to be key determinant factors influencing the sociolinguistic status of Kalanga, Tonga and Shangani in civil courtroom discourse. Court interpreting and initiatives by language advocacy groups also impacted on the sociolinguistic status of the languages under study in civil courtroom interaction. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Linguistic rights en
dc.subject Language planning en
dc.subject Language policy en
dc.subject Status planning and courtroom discourse en
dc.subject Minority language en
dc.subject Official language en
dc.subject Court interpreting en
dc.subject Court interpreter en
dc.subject Multilingualism en
dc.subject Indigenous language en
dc.subject.ddc 344.9
dc.subject.lcsh Zimbabwe -- Languages en
dc.subject.lcsh Sociolinguistics -- Zimbabwe en
dc.subject.lcsh Linguistic minorities -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Zimbabwe en
dc.subject.lcsh Linguistic rights -- Zimbabwe en
dc.subject.lcsh Language policy -- Zimbabwe en
dc.subject.lcsh Court interpreting and translating -- Zimbabwe en
dc.subject.lcsh Multilingualism -- Zimbabwe en
dc.subject.lcsh Kalanga language (Botswana and Zimbabwe)
dc.subject.lcsh Tsonga language
dc.title The historical and contemporary sociolinguistic status of selected minority languages in civil courts of Zimbabwe en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Linguistics and Modern Languages en D. Phil. (Language, Linguistics and Literature) en

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