Identity construction through phonetic crossing among young Capetonian gang members

Chariatte, Nadine (2016). Identity construction through phonetic crossing among young Capetonian gang members. Sociolinguistic Studies, 10(1-2), pp. 45-66. Equinox 10.1558/sols.v10i1-2.27930

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Uncountable gangs operate in post-Apartheid South Africa, particularly in greater Cape Town, competing over turf and controlling the drug trade. Consequently, gang violence is rife in Western Cape and especially widespread in urban areas. In this paper young Capetonians’ narratives of gang violence are analyzed. In the narratives of attacks on Black or White South Africans by Coloured gang members, the Coloured narrators make use of their victims’ varieties of English, more precisely, of phonetic features. Hence, the aggressors do language crossing towards their targets when narrating their feats. Rampton (1995a:485) considers language crossing a ‘code alternation by people who are not accepted members of the group associated with the second language that they are using (code switching into varieties that are not generally thought to belong to them)’. This switching involves a transgression of social or ethnic boundaries that allows the young gangsters to construct, negotiate, uphold and manage their social identities, as language still functions as an utterly important identity marker in post-Apartheid South Africa.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Spanish Languages and Literature > Linguistic Studies
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Spanish Languages and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Chariatte, Nadine

Subjects:

800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 860 Spanish & Portuguese literatures
400 Language > 460 Spanish & Portuguese languages

ISSN:

1750-8649

Publisher:

Equinox

Language:

English

Submitter:

Nadine Chariatte

Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2016 14:26

Last Modified:

09 Sep 2017 07:24

Publisher DOI:

10.1558/sols.v10i1-2.27930

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Phonetic Crossing, Gangs, Identity, Cape Town, South Africa

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.84011

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/84011

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