New Talatala publication from the Department of Afrikaans: The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims by Achmat Davids
Posted on 19 May 2011
Profs. Hein Willemse (University of Pretoria) and Suleman E. Dangor (University of Kwazulu-Natal) co-edited The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims, a path-breaking study authored by the late Achmat Davids (1939-1998).
The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims examines the Arabic-Afrikaans literary tradition of the Cape Muslim community. The author traces the emergence of Afrikaans a’jami texts, i.e. Afrikaans texts written in Arabic script and distributed or published at the Cape of Good Hope, since the early nineteenth century.
The study is divided into two distinct parts. In the first two chapters Achmat Davids traces the historical and linguistic development of Afrikaans as it is spoken in the Cape Muslim community, the vehicles through which it was perpetuated and the literature that was produced. Subsequent chapters explore the development of Arabic-Afrikaans as a written script with a distinctive alphabet.
In a study that already contributes so much to our understanding of the linguistic and literary development of Afrikaans, Davids’s major contribution is his rereading of Arabic-Afrikaans texts in terms of the Islamic reading practice of tajwÓd. He was able to determine what early Afrikaans sounded like. The study is concluded with a discussion of the relationship between the Afrikaans language and the literature of the Cape Muslim community.
The book can be ordered from Protea Boekhuis.