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Setswana - language change in a changing society

Participants Tore Janson, Joseph Tsonope

The project traces the development of Setswana from the earliest known records to its present status as a national language in Botswana. The complex relationship between nation, language and society is treated in detail, with reference to both historical and geographical influences. Special emphasis is placed on the linguistic consequences of the great social changes brought about by independence in 1966.

The project has resulted in a book called Birth of a national language: the history of Setswana, published by Heinemann in 1991 (see further below).

Project-related publications

Janson, Tore. 1985. Labialization in Setswana: phonetics and phonology. In: Phonologica Africana 1984 (Wiener linguistische Gazette, supplement 5), pp 73-84. Vienna.

Janson, Tore. 1987. What happen's to Setswana? In: Dumela, vol 87(4), p 11. Gaborone.

Janson, Tore. 1990. Language change and metalinguistic change: Latin to Romance and other cases. In: Latin and the Romance languages in the early middle ages, pp 19-28. Edited by Roger Wright. Routledge. London.

Janson, Tore & Joe Tsonope. 1991. Birth of a national language: the history of Setswana. Heinemann Botswana & the National Institute of Development Research and Documentation (NIR) at the University of Botswana. Gaborone. Pp vi, 165. ISBN 0-435-91620-3.

  1. Introduction, 3
  2. Language, nation, change, 5
  3. Language in Botswana: setting and basic facts, 18
  4. Linguistic change before independence, 33
  5. The new state and its language problems, 67
  6. Setswana language usage and attitudes, 90
  7. Lexical and semantic change in present-day Setswana, 116
  8. 8. Conclusions, 128

Appendices, 137
References, 155
Index, 163


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Sidansvarig: Fredrik Fällman|Sidan uppdaterades: 2010-06-30

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