Language mixing in the social network of a South African student

Werner Botha, Susan Coetzee-van Rooy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the dynamics underlying a particular feature of South African Englishes – language mixing – and how such mixing practices and the use of English form part of the social identity of the interactions between speakers in their respective social networks. The approach to this current study was adapted from Milroy's (1980) research on social networks in order to provide access to participants’ most natural use of languages – that is, their ‘vernacular’ in the Labovian sense. This study investigates various aspects of the multilingual language practices of speakers in South Africa and reports on the social motivations and the social contexts of language mixing in the personal lives of these speakers in the context of other languages and language varieties.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalWorld Englishes
Early online date5 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • World Englishes
  • Sociolinguistics
  • South Africa

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