Vol. 47 No. 2 (1999)
Research Article

Personal Names as Neglected Sociolinguistic Resource: Use of English in Botswana

Published 1999-06-01



Studies of the use of English around the world take a variety of forms, but most take a narrow view of language that excludes personal names and thus fail to gain the fuller perspective that names provide. This study draws upon descriptions of the use· of English in Botswana and a recent questionnaire study of personal names and shows parallels between early contact with English and the use of Christian names. Although English is increasingly the language of official and educational communication in Botswana, the practice of giving English names is declining. Moreover, attitudes towards English names are more ambivalent than the positive attitudes reported for English generally.


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