[ The full report can be downloaded on the right ]
The report comprises of sections A, B and C:
Section A: provides Chair holder’s details.
Section B: is intended to provide a reflection on the progress made in the reporting period starting from the commencement date of the Chair in January 2008 to December 2012.
Section C: will provide a proposed research plan and deliverables for the next five-year cycle for renewed Chair.
Prof. Mesthrie was awarded the South African Research Chair in view of the significance of sociolinguistics in understanding heritage, culture and social change in a multilingual society, one in which migration has been a salient feature in its past history and present composition. Sociolinguistics offers tools to examine interactions between different languages (and thus of their speakers) and to examine at a very sensitive level the degree of social change occurring in society. While language can be used as a tool of domination, it can also be used to bring people together and to afford them new opportunities. The research details new ways of understanding sociolinguistic practices, especially that of the younger generation. It also covers linguistic adaptations made by new African and Asian migrants as they attempt to assimilate to older South African society.