Fanakalo

The use of Fanakalo pidgin was one of the ways in which inter-ethnic communication was achieved in 19th Century South Africa, first among speakers of Zulu, Xhosa, English and Afrikaans in different contexts in the Eastern Cape and Natal. It later spread to incoming Indian migrants from the 1860s onwards and was used in the gold mines of the 1880s and became closely associated with the mining industry. Grammatical and lexical differences across the country are minor, though there is some phonetic variation according to speakers’ L1s. The grammatical descriptions in the APiCS contribution draw on a variety of written and oral sources, including the academic writings of Trapp (1908), Cole (1953), Mesthrie (1989), and Adendorff (1995) as well as descriptions in handbooks put out by the mining houses or by authors aiming to promulgate the pidgin in contexts of domestic or farming employment. Where necessary the intuitions of Mesthrie and his farming relatives were used, supplemented by recordings of White, Zulu and Indian speakers by Clarissa Surek-Clark. The sample of Fanakalo speech provided for the APiCS contribution is drawn from two Indian women in a rural context who had no other common means of speaking. This Indian variety may thus at a pinch be considered the default Fanakalo lect in the APiCS contribution. In this regard it is noteworthy that some authors had earlier considered Fanakalo an Indian invention or characteristically Indian phenomenon (Trapp 1908, Cole 1953).

Glossed text (64.1KB, application/pdf)
No. Feature Value % Details Source
No. Feature Value % Details Source

Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Special segments

mbprenasalized voiced bilabial plosive - Exists only as a minor allophone
kʼʷlabialized voiceless velar ejective plosive - Exists only as a minor allophone
ɮvoiced lateral fricative - Exists only as a minor allophone

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % Details Source