’n Verkenning en Vergelyking van Houdings en persepsies rakende afrikaans in die khomasstreek van Namibië ná drie Dekades van Onafhanklikheid

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University of Namibia
Given the chequered history of Afrikaans in Namibia, it is to be expected that a range of attitudes and perceptions regarding Afrikaans have existed and still exist among its own speakers as well as among non-speakers who are in contact with the various groups within its speech community. After three decades of Namibian independence, these attitudes and perceptions remain largely undocumented. Therefore, this study aimed to document these attitudes and perceptions. It was, however, not possible to gather the clear majority of the Khomas region’s residents’ attitudes towards and perceptions about Afrikaans. Therefore, a convenience sample was drawn, which entails that the results are not necessarily representative of the entire population. The study focused on perceptions and attitudes as they are indirectly observed, and not necessarily on the reasons for such perceptions or attitudes. Attitudes and perceptions were measured only within the parameters of the variables that are represented in the research instrument, and they pertain to the Afrikaans language as a construct rather than the Afrikaans speech community. A mixed method research design was used for this exploratory research, utilising a survey methodology. The study was mostly qualitative in that it reported subjective results, because participants’ attitudes and perceptions will form the basis of iii conclusions. Quantitatively, attitudinal variables within and across groups were quantified and processed statistically. Quantitative variables like age, and gender binaries were also involved for purposes of comparison, as well as the following various groups: Afrikaans speaking respondents, non-Afrikaans speaking respondents and multilingual speaking respondents (Afrikaans and other languages). The electronic questionnaire was distributed in May 2020 with a link via email and social media, while the printed questionnaires were distributed by hand to potential respondents who could not access the online questionnaire. There were 266 responses on the electronic questionnaire and 34 respondents completed the printed questionnaire – thus 300 respondents in total. There was a question in the biographical part of the questionnaire that requested the respondent to indicate how long he/she has been living in the Khomas region. This ensured that any questionnaires of non-residents of the Khomas region could be excluded from the data analysis. After last mentioned exclusion, the respondents were deducted to 275 respondents. The results contain different attitudinal profiles (positive, neutral, and negative attitudes), which were constructed from certain questions and their possible responses. The responses of the three different groups – Afrikaans speaking respondents, non Afrikaans speaking respondents and multiple language speaking respondents (Afrikaans and other languages) were divided into the relevant profiles. Lastly, the respondents’ perceptions regarding Afrikaans were also documented. The research and results show that the majority of respondents mainly have a positive attitude towards languages in general, as well as towards Afrikaans. However, there is a misperception among the younger generations of Afrikaans speakers about how Afrikaans originated in Namibia. A recommendation for future studies is to involve a larger part of the Khomas region, or perhaps even all the regions of Namibia, to get a clearer idea of the attitudes towards and perceptions about Afrikaans in Namibia as a whole.
’n tesis voorgelê ter nakoming vir die graad Master of Arts (Afrikaans studies)
Afrikaans in Namibia, Perceptions, Attitudes