Original Research

The onomastic possibility of renaming the Sepedi and Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho) language names to restore peace, dignity and solidarity

Tebogo J. Rakgogo, Evangeline B. Zungu
Literator | Vol 42, No 1 | a1696 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v42i1.1696 | © 2021 Tebogo J. Rakgogo, Evangeline B. Zungu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 April 2020 | Published: 26 August 2021

About the author(s)

Tebogo J. Rakgogo, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of African Languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Evangeline B. Zungu, Department of Applied Languages, Faculty of Humanities, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of African Languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

The study embraced the onomastic possibility of renaming the Sepedi and Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho) language names that have caused and are still causing onomastic confusion to the first language (L1) speakers of the language under scrutiny, and also to the speakers of other languages. The study was conducted in 2019 at five selected South African universities – University of Johannesburg, University of South Africa, University of Limpopo, University of Venda and Tshwane University of Technology – which offered the language under investigation as an L1 module. In addition, language experts (practitioners) at the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) and its sub-structures and the National Department of Arts and Culture, including Limpopo and Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, were also involved in the study. Quota sampling was used to select all the 267 participants in the study. The study found that both Sepedi and Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho) language names are rejected by onomastic principles of naming an official language. An overwhelming majority of the participants opined that this language should be renamed, with the anticipation that the new name will bring peace, unity and solidarity to the L1 speakers of Sepedi.

Keywords

Onomastics; Sepedi, Sesotho sa Leboa; Northern Sotho; Critical Discourse Analysis; Constitution; colonial name; decoloniality and solidarity

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