Bokomo-brekfisbrief; 25/06/08: Afrikaans/Kreools vir Themba Faasen en ander

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In my loopbaan in die staatsdiens het ek hoofsaaklik met syfers gewerk, maar hier in die ouderdom moet ek nou my hand waag aan die taalkunde. Ek sukkel nog om presies te verstaan wat bedoel word met die kreolisering van Afrikaans. Dit gaan blykbaar nie net om die woordeskat nie, maar ook oor die verandering van die grammatika en sinskonstruksie. In Afrikaans het ons bv nie al die verskillende vorms van die werkwoord volgens die persoon (enkelvoud en meervoud) wat die handeling pleeg nie. Blykbaar ook nie al die tye (tenses) nie. Kyk na die Duits:

Ich bin
Du bist
Er ist
Sie (mv) sind

(Ek hoop ek het hierdie eenvoudige Duits darem nog reg.)

Omtrent al wat ʼn taal is op aarde het seker woorde gekry uit ander tale. Engels is ʼn voorbeeld van ʼn taal wat deur verskillende ander tale beïnvloed is en daarby is sy grammatika redelik vereenvoudig in vergelyking met tale soos Duits en Frans, as ons bv let op al die vorms (tye) en persoonsuitgange van werkwoorde in laasgenoemde twee tale. Maar ek glo nie iemand sal Engels vandag as gekreoliseer beskou nie. Dit is eerder ʼn krioeltaal, want dit krioel op aarde van mense wat Engels praat of wíl praat. Ek kyk kortliks na Engels aan die hand van ʼn artikel wat in Maart 1996 in die Reader’s Digest verskyn het:

Wallies, Gaelies en Bretons is die “afstammelinge” van die tale wat oorspronklik in Brittanje gepraat is. Engels het toe nog nie bestaan nie.

Latyn: Die Romeine val Engeland binne in 55vC. Latynse woorde word waarskynlik in die plaaslike tale opgeneem, grammatika seker ook.

Germaans: Die Angels en die Sakse uit die huidige Duitsland en die Jute uit Denemarke emigreer na Engeland. (Jaartal 500-700 nC)

Christendom se koms: Woorde uit Grieks en Latyn word opgeneem.

Invalle deur Wikings 800-1100 nC.

Frans: Normandiërs val Engeland in 1066 binne en Die Franse taal oorheers lank, veral onder die aristokrate.

Nou-ja, met Engeland se Empaaier wat regoor die wêreld gestrek het, is nog baie meer woorde in die taal opgeneem. Selfs Afrikaans dra woorde by: veld, aardvark, meerkat is voorbeelde. Geen wonder dat Engels vandag so ‘n groot woordeskat het nie, hulle het nooit geskroom om te leen by ander tale nie.

Terug by Afrikaans – ek het ongelukkig nie veel bronne oor kreolisering hier wat ek kan naslaan nie. Die HAT sê in ʼn nota onder “Kreools” die volgende:

“Mengeltaal onstaan tussen ʼn Europese taal en ʼn taal in ʼn ander wêrelddeel, bv in die Wes-Indiese Eilande, die Ooste, die Stille Oseaan; in breër opvatting, enige taal wat die vermenging van meer as een taal is.

Nou-ja, hiervolgens is Afrikaans (en seker Engels ook) Kreools.

In die Encarta Ensiklopedie is daar ʼn artikel oor Kreools as taal wat ek byna volledig hier aanhaal. Besluit maar self tot watter mate dit van toepassing is op Afrikaans. Vir my is die bottomline vandag: MAAK DIT ENIGSINS SAAK? Ons het ons taal mos nou mooi ontwikkel en ons kan hom lekker vorentoe vat, sonder om te worry oor waar hy vandaan kom. Onthou, die eerste tale van die oermense was maar net gromgeluide!

“Creole (language), language that began as a pidgin but has become the native language of a community. Creoles and pidgins develop as a means of communication between members of two mutually unintelligible language communities. Both creoles and pidgins have simple grammatical structures and limited vocabularies, although the grammar of a creole is more complex than that of a pidgin. Moreover, the rules of creole grammar remain uniform from speaker to speaker, whereas pidgin grammar varies among speakers. Pidgins have no native speakers; when a pidgin does acquire native speakers through years of use it is called a creole.

Creole languages exist throughout the world, although they develop primarily in isolated areas, especially islands, in which colonial governments have established economies based on immigrant or slave labor. The creole that develops merges elements of the colonial language, especially vocabulary, with elements of the language or languages of the laborers, typically grammatical structure. The primary creoles spoken in North America and the Caribbean include English-based Gullah, French-based Louisiana Creole, English-based Jamaican Creole, and French-based Haitian Creole. All of these creoles draw upon African languages.

Linguists have noted similarities in grammatical structure among all creole languages. Common features include the use of repeated adjectives and adverbs to indicate intensity and the use of particles to change verb tense. Scholars suggest differing hypotheses to account for this uniformity across diverse creole languages. One theory states that all creole languages descend from the same 15th-century Portuguese pidgin, used by Portuguese explorers throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. When this pidgin came in contact with the languages of later colonizers, the basic grammar remained while the vocabulary incorporated new words from such languages as French and English. However, this hypothesis does not explain why some pidgins and creoles that developed with little or no contact with European languages still share grammatical features. Other scholars suggest that the shared grammatical features come from basic linguistic preferences for certain word order and for simplified, uninflected forms of verbs and other parts of speech.

One feature that distinguishes a creole language from English is the use of the anterior tense, which resembles the past perfect tense in English. The anterior tense uses bin or wen instead of the suffix -ed, so that hadwalked in English becomes bin walk in creole. Some common linguistic characteristics of the various creole languages include questions and statements being identified by intonation alone, and patterns in verb conjugation. For example, Krio, the English-based creole of Sierra Leone, and Guianese Créole, the French-based creole of Guiana, follow similar patterns of adding verb particles to change tense. In Krio the word chop for “eat” becomes a chop to indicate “I ate”and a de chop for “I am eating.” In Guianese Créole the word mãze for “eat” becomes mo mãze to mean “I ate” and mo ka mãze to indicate “I am eating.”

A creole language often changes as its speakers become linguistically assimilated into the dominant society. This transformation is known as decreolization. In the case of Gullah, a creole language spoken along the southeastern coast of the United States, decreolization involves a gradual decrease of African linguistic components and an increase in English components.”

Ons Afrikaanspraters sal seker ge-dekrioliseer wees as ons almal begin Engels praat. Moenie worry nie, watch net.

Groete,

Tiens Pretorius

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