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UFS launches journal on name change
2008-11-14

 

At the launch of the journal on name change were, from the left: Prof. Johan Lubbe, research associate of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS and guest editor of the magazine, Dr Lucie Möller, expert on geographical names and place name expert - and also an occasional member of the United Nations' committee of experts, Dr Peter Raper, research associate of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS, and Prof. Theo du Plessis, Director of the Unit for Language Management at the UFS. The magazine is dedicated to Dr Möller.
Photo: Lacea Loader

UFS launches journal on name change

From all the language issues coved in the English and Afrikaans printed media, the name change of place names is receiving the most attention. This is according to Prof. Johan Lubbe, research associate from the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Unit for Language Management, during the recent launch of a journal on name change on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

In the journal it is found, among other, that, as a result of the nature of the new democratic foundation of the ANC controlled government which puts the interests of the majority first, there is a move in the thinking and execution of name change. In this way not only names change but art, culture and heritage matters are democratically thought through and planned.

“As a directive from the South African Language Board (Pansalb), the Unit for Language Management at the UFS annually compiles the SA Language Monitor which reports on the language rights situation in South Africa as mainly reported by the print media. Issues about name change appeared throughout and this is why the unit decided to publish a journal with various perspectives on this,” said Prof. Lubbe, who is also the guest editor of the journal.

Other topics discussed in the journal include, among others, language visibility, a historical overview of the change in place names, the Khoisan influence on naming and naming amongst Xhosa speakers.

In a contribution on language visibility it is found that geographical naming policy and the national language policy does not correlate and language visibility as language mechanism is not considered. In a historical overview on the change of place names it is found that name change was never a calculated, political process and only after 2000 mention was made of a conscious, orchestrated process of name change.

In a further contribution on the name change of Johannesburg International airport, it was found that the government, by ignoring the sentiments of the minority, made itself guilty of splitting the nation in spite of pronunciations that nation building is a priority. Where African languages are concerned, it was found that the English name is increasingly being discarded in favour of the Xhosa name. This is apparently connected to the language debate in South Africa.

The journal, “Kritiese perspektiewe op naamsverandering” (“Critical perspectives on name change”) is a supplement to the “Acta Academica”, an accredited national journal that is independently publishing selected research articles in the human sciences and interdissiplinary fields. Nine cooperators from across the country made contributions to the journal.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 November 2008
 

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