Redakteursnota, deel 2

Prof. Quentin Williams se vooruitsigte vir sy termyn as leerstoelhouer: “Ek het ’n paar dinge te sê oor Afrikaans, Kaaps en Afrikaaps.”

Earl Basson


Professor Quentin Williams, verbonde aan die Departement Taalwetenskap aan die Universiteit Wes-Kaapland en redaksionele werkgroeplid, is onlangs aangewys as die nuwe leerstoelhouer (2020/2021) vir die studie van Suid-Afrikaanse tale, literature, kultuur en maatskappy aan die Universiteit van Gent. Hy volg die voetspore van vorige aanstellings soos prof. Hein Willemse (UP), prof. Wannie Carstens (NWU) en prof. Louise Viljoen (US).

In ’n e-pos aan die uitgaweredakteurs, beskryf hy sy vooruitsigte vir sy termyn soos volg:

This is an excellent opportunity to advance a new, inclusive vision, theory, an approach for Being in Afrikaans and its varieties in South Africa. I do not take this task lightly. We are in desperate need to rethink creatively new theories and methodologies to advance a non-racial approach to Afrikaans.

In a post-apartheid South Africa, for about three decades now, Afrikaans as a ´language´ has experienced enormous, rapid transformation that has outpaced our theories and methodologies inherited from an old, apartheid sociolinguistics that refuses to recognize that Being in Afrikaans today, in whatever variety, forms part of an urgent existential struggle by many historically marginalized and racialized Afrikaans speakers who use Afrikaans as a resource to refashion themselves (ontologically) for a not-yet non-racial multilingual future.

We desperately need fresh, creative ideas, theories, methodologies from a new, younger generation of scholars of Afrikaans. For example, speakers of a variety such as Kaaps and the new register (style of speaking), Afrikaaps, are a young generation of Afrikaans speakers without a sufficient literature in both varieties, but who rely wholeheartedly on both ways of speaking to refashion who they are and who they want to be in this world. We cannot deny them that.

So, the honour of this Chair will help me to illustrate how such developments have thrown into sharp relief not only how ill-equipped, limiting and outdated our theories and methodologies (inherited from apartheid sociolinguistics) are, when it concerns the study of Afrikaans speakers and their varieties, but on the other hand, I will also suggest some necessary pathways and trajectories we must take in order to open up and sustain a non-racial (socio)linguistic approach to the study of Afrikaans.

Lesers kan boonop in 2022 uitsien na ’n spesiale uitgawe van Stilet gesentreerd rondom “The Sociolinguistics of Afrikaans: History, issues and future trajectories”.  Hierdie uitgawe sal deur prof. Williams in samewerking met dr. Marcelyn Oostendorp (US) en dr. Johanita Kirsten (NWU) saamgestel word.


Quentin is deel van se editorial working collective