The Linguistic Landscape of Post-Apartheid South Africa Politics and Discourse Author: Liesel Hibbert

Hardback - 184 pages
24 Jun 2016
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


The appointment of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa in 1994 signalled the end of apartheid and transition to a new democratic constitution. This book studies discursive trends during the first twenty years of the new democracy, outlining the highlights and challenges of transforming policy, practice and discursive formations. The book analyses a range of discourses which signal how and by what processes the linguistic landscape and identities of South Africa’s inhabitants have changed in this time, finding that struggles in South African politics go hand in hand with shifts in the linguistic landscape. In a country now characterised by multilingualism, heteroglossia, polyphony and translanguaging, the author debates where the discourse practices of those born post-1994 may lead.


The linguistic landscape of post-apartheid South Africa is of a bewildering complexity. Liesel Hibbert's study admirably aims to paint a picture that does justice to the different voices and viewpoints in this constellation. Her book is essential reading not only for those wishing to learn more about the sociolinguistics of contemporary South Africa, but also for readers with a more theoretical interest in linguistic pluralism in a conflict-ridden postcolonial setting.

- Michiel Leezenberg, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This is a welcome contribution on post-apartheid discursive practices in the media and other modalities, as well as on discourses of identity, diversity, empowerment and socio-economic transformation in the new South Africa. The book will definitely appeal to language practitioners, linguistics students and academics as well as those in the fields of literary studies, history, sociology, economics and politics.

- Felix Banda, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Author Biography:

Liesel Hibbert is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa. Her interests include discourse studies, South African writing, linguistic ethnography, political rhetoric, stylistics, the bilingual classroom and higher education pedagogy. Her previous publications include Multilingual Universities in South Africa (Multilingual Matters, 2014), which she co-edited with Christa van der Walt.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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