Zur Seitenansicht


 Das Dokument ist frei verfügbar

Over the last couple of years, Namibia has been receiving increased attention by World Englishes (WE) researchers (cf. Buschfeld & Kautzsch 2014; Stell 2016; Steigertahl 2019; Schröder fc.2021) and Namibian Englishes (NamEs) are slowly emerging from South Africa’s shadow. Namibia constitutes an interesting case in the WE context as its status as post-colonial variety of English is debatable or very atypical, to say the least, and, thus, presents a challenge for WE models (cf. Buschfeld & Kautzsch 2017; Schröder & Zähres 2020). Recent studies have also shown that NamEs should not simply be understood as being “of a South African type” (Trudgill & Hannah 2017: 127) since uniquely Namibian features appear to exist on the levels of lexicon and morpho-syntax (cf. Kautzsch 2019), pragmatics (cf. Schröder & Schneider 2018) as well as regarding phonetic and phonological variation (cf. Kautzsch & Schröder 2016). Also, NamE is not a monolithic entity and subject to intranational variation as suggested by recent phonetic and phonological studies (cf. Stell & Fuchs 2019; Schröder et al. 2020; Schröder et al. fc.2021). At this point, the question of norms remains, however – i.e. which variety of NamE is regarded as the nation’s norm variety and how much exo- or endonormative influence is present in Namibia?

The video sharing platform YouTube has received even less attention than NamE in the WE context despite its world-wide omnipresence and wealth of multimodal data. While it can be tricky to navigate for researchers (cf. Schneider 2016), YouTube offers a variety of data types that can differ immensely from data found in traditional mass media or elicited via

(socio-)linguistic methods and, thus, complement existing approaches to paint a more complex picture for inquiries in variational linguistics and WE research in particular (cf. e.g. Lee 2017; Rüdiger 2020; Zähres fc.2021).

This study investigates phonological norms of NamE by analyzing speakers’ vowel spaces in two different types of YouTube data via acoustic phonetic means: a) formal news reports by the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation and b) informal vlogs by Namibian YouTubers. Both types of data shed light on the performance of (endo-)normative realizations of NamE, which especially highlight the similarities and contrasts to South African Englishes as well as previous studies on ethnic varieties of NamE.


Buschfeld, Sarah & Alexander Kautzsch. 2014. English in Namibia: A first approach. English World-Wide 35(2). 121-160.

Buschfeld, Sarah & Alexander Kautzsch. 2017. Towards an integrated approach to postcolonial and non-postcolonial Englishes. World Englishes 36(1). 104-126.

Kautzsch, Alexander. 2019. Namibian English on the web: Lexical and morphosyntactic features in a Corpus of Namibian Online Newspapers (CNamON). In Esimaje, Alexandra U., Ulrike Gut & Bassey E. Antia (eds.), Corpus linguistics and African Englishes, 232-258. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kautzsch, Alexander & Anne Schröder. 2016. English in multilingual and multiethnic Namibia: Some evidence on language attitudes and on the pronunciation of vowels. In Ehland, Christoph, Ilka Mindt, & Merle Tönnies (eds.), Anglistentag 2015 Paderborn: Proceedings, 277-288. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.

Lee, Sarah. 2017. Style-shifting in vlogging: An acoustic analysis of “YouTube voice.” Lifespans and Styles 3(1). 28-39.

Rüdiger, Sofia. 2020. Dinner for one: The use of language in eating shows on YouTube. In Rüdiger, Sofia & Susanne Mühleisen (eds.), Talking about food: The social and the global in eating communities, 145-165. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Schneider, Edgar W. 2016. World Englishes on YouTube: Treasure trove or nightmare? In Seoane, Elena & Cristina Suárez-Gómez (eds.), World Englishes: New theoretical and methodological considerations, 253-282. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Schröder, Anne (ed.). fc.2021. The dynamics of English in Namibia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Schröder, Anne & Klaus P. Schneider. 2018. Variational pragmatics, responses to thanks, and the specificity of English in Namibia. English World-Wide 39(3). 338-363.

Schröder, Anne & Frederic Zähres. 2020. English in Namibia: Multilingualism and ethnic variation in the Extra- and Intra-territorial Forces Model. In Buschfeld, Sarah & Alexander Kautzsch (eds.), Modelling World Englishes A joint approach to postcolonial and non-postcolonial varieties, 38-62. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Schröder, Anne, Frederic Zähres & Alexander Kautzsch. 2020. Ethnic variation in the phonology of Namibian English: A first approach to Baster English. English World-Wide 41(2). 193-224.

Schröder, Anne, Frederic Zähres & Alexander Kautzsch. fc.2021. The phonetics of Namibian English: Investigating vowels as local features in a global context. In Anne Schröder (ed.), The dynamics of English in Namibia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Steigertahl, Helene. 2019. English(es) in post-independence Namibia: An investigation of variety status and its implications for English language teaching. Bern: Peter Lang D.

Stell, Gerald. 2016. Trends in linguistic diversity in post-independence Windhoek: A qualitative appraisal. Language Matters 47. 326-348.

Stell, Gerald & Robert Fuchs. 2019. Intergroup dynamics and variation in postcolonial ESL varieties: A preliminary view of Namibian English vowel systems. English World-Wide 40(2). 143-168.

Trudgill, Peter, & Jean Hannah. 2017. International English: A guide to varieties of English around the world, 6th edn. London: Routledge.

Zähres, Frederic. fc.2021. Broadcasting your variety: Namibian English(es) on YouTube. In Anne Schröder (ed.), The dynamics of English in Namibia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.