Structure dataset 29: Afrikaans

This language is described more fully in survey chapter 29.

Afrikaans is the first language of more than 6 million speakers in South-Africa, Namibia, and the south of Botswana, and second language to many more. There are three main varieties of Afrikaans: Kaaps Afrikaans (Cape Afrikaans) is spoken by coloured people in the South Western part of South Africa, roughly in a circle of around 200-250 km around Cape Town. Oranjerivier-Afrikaans (Orange River Afrikaans) is mainly spoken by coloured people in the south of Free State, the North-Western Cape, and Namibia. Oranjerivier-Afrikaans has much more Khoekhoe influence than Kaaps Afrikaans. Oosgrens-Afrikaans (Eastern Cape Afrikaans) is the variety on which Standard Afrikaans is based. It is spoken by white people in the North Eastern part of South Africa. Standard Afrikaans is spoken throughout South Africa and is the language that most of the white people speak. The default lect used for the description in APiCS is Standard Afrikaans.

No. Feature Value Details Source
No. Feature Value Details Source


Pulmonic Consonants
Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
↓ Manner Bilabial Labio­dental Linguo­labial Dental Alveolar Palato-
Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal
/ Epiglottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop p b t d c k g
Sibilant affricate t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Non-sibilant affricate
Sibilant fricative s z ʃ ʒ ç
Non-sibilant fricative f v x h
Approximant l j
Flap or tap
Trill r
Lateral affricate
Lateral fricative
Lateral approximant
Lateral flap


Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Close Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open ihigh front unrounded vowel yhigh front rounded vowel long high front unrounded vowel long high front rounded vowel uhigh back rounded vowel long high back rounded vowel ehigher mid front unrounded vowel long higher mid front unrounded vowel ohigher mid back rounded vowel long higher mid back rounded vowel əmid central unrounded vowel ɛlower mid front unrounded vowel ɛːlong lower mid front unrounded vowel ɛ̃nasalized lower mid front unrounded vowel ɔlower mid back rounded vowel ɔːlong lower mid back rounded vowel ɔ̃nasalized lower mid back rounded vowel æraised low front unrounded vowel æːlong raised low front unrounded vowel alow central unrounded vowel ɑːlong low back unrounded vowel

Special segments

Other segments
 w  voiced labial-velar glide
 ǝi  diphthong falling from mid central unrounded vowel to high front unrounded vowel
 ɔu  diphthong falling from lower mid back rounded vowel to high back rounded vowel
 œy  diphthong falling from lower mid front rounded vowel to high front rounded vowel


       Exists (as a major allophone)
       Exists only as a minor allophone
       Exists only in loanwords
No. Feature Value Details Source