Original Research

Toe die vierde Taalkommissie in sy spore gestuit is

Christo van Rensburg
Literator | Vol 39, No 2 | a1488 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v39i2.1488 | © 2018 Christo van Rensburg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 February 2018 | Published: 05 November 2018

About the author(s)

Christo van Rensburg, Research Unit Languages and Literature in the SA context, North-West University, South Africa


When a language commission was stopped in its tracks. In the course of the standardisation of Afrikaans, the first two editions of the Afrikaanse woordelijs en spelreëls, published in 1917 and 1918, were heavily inundated with Dutch words. During that time Afrikaans was a well-known spoken language, and since 1860 it was sporadically written as well, without any uniformity, however. In the third edition of the Afrikaanse woordelys en spelreëls of 1921, the third spelling commission made some telling changes to the first editions, and a good part of the Dutch content was replaced with Afrikaans words, and spelling rules were altered for the spelling of Afrikaans as well. The fourth edition of this publication tried to follow suit, but contrary to expectations, was subjected to some changes by a conference chaired by the minister of education in 1930. This conference requested for the content of this edition to be Dutchified in some important ways, shortly before its publication in 1931. These changes didn’t satisfy the delegates of a second conference, held in 1932. An unheard-of decision was subsequently taken: corrections were published in 1932 to accompany the fourth Afrikaanse woordelys en spelreëls. This decision wasn’t very effective and resulted in much uncertainty about the spelling of Afrikaans until the publication of the next Afrikaanse woordelys en spelreëls, of 1937.


The elevation of Afrikaans; competition between written Afrikaans and written Dutch; Dutchifying of Afrikaans; language planning; politics and language functions; standardization and language replacement


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