ABSTRACT

The ways in which English lingua franca communication manifests in South Africa is characterized by disruption and innovation. This chapter challenges conceptualizations of English as a lingua franca as a bound entity with a single ontological grounding. Against the background of the previous chapters which portrayed ideological conceptions of what English is and does, this chapter provides a text/discourse analytical approach to show that what English currently constitutes in the South African landscape offers much insight into new ontological and epistemological possibilities for English as a lingua franca. I discuss the politics of belonging through the lens of English translingual writing. Selected pieces from the Mail & Guardian weekly newspaper, as well as a rap poem are used to illustrate English embedded translingualism. The texts of the young English lingua franca users are representative of a generation of artists who are in the process of reclaiming their various languages, cultures, and identities but through innovative English lingua franca translingualism and by demonstrating linguistic citizenship. English is, in these contexts, not a bound entity; rather it represents an open platform which takes its sources from other languages, cultures, and identities in order to dialogue work on the creation of a politics of belonging for all South Africans.