Original Research

Oor Austro-Nederlands en die oorsprong van Afrikaans

C. de Ruyter, E.F. Kotzé
Literator | Vol 23, No 3 | a347 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v23i3.347 | © 2002 C. de Ruyter, E.F. Kotzé | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2002 | Published: 06 August 2002

About the author(s)

C. de Ruyter, Skool vir Tale, Media & Kommunikasie, Universiteit van Port Elizabeth, South Africa
E.F. Kotzé, Skool vir Tale, Media & Kommunikasie, Universiteit van Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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On Austro-Dutch and the origin of Afrikaans

A widely accepted view of the origin of Afrikaans holds that the new language developed autochthonously, after 1652 when the language of the early Cape settlers was influenced by imported slaves speaking Malay and Portuguese, and by the pidgin talk of the Cape Khoikhoi. This “autochthonous hypothesis”, however, does not take cognizance of the fact that shortened (deflected) Dutch verb forms found in Afrikaans, for instance, are also found in loan words in the Ceylon-Portuguese creole, as well as in Indonesian, and Malay-influenced languages of Indonesia. Moreover, large numbers of Dutch East India Company sojourners, who had acquired an “adapted” form of Dutch during their stay in the East, spent a significant time at the Cape on their return voyage. The argument is put forward that they brought with them a number of language features clearly comparable with “distinctive features” in incipient (and developed) Afrikaans, such as the shortened verb and the use of the perfect instead of imperfect verb forms to indicate a simple past tense. The variety of Dutch spoken by them is called Austro-Dutch, which, it is argued, forms the basis of an “oceanic hypothesis” to add a new dimension to theories about the formation of Afrikaans.


Batavia; East India; Origin Of Afrikaans; Language Transfer; Malay


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Crossref Citations

1. Arabic Afrikaans – early standardisation of Afrikaans orthography: A discussion ofThe Afrikaans of the Cape Muslimsby Achmat Davids
Ernst Kotzé
Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies  vol: 30  issue: 3  first page: 413  year: 2012  
doi: 10.2989/16073614.2012.739331