We are driven by the following line by Carmen Fought*:
"More research on communities outside the USA, particularly in areas where ethnic differences are an important part of the social structure, is also critical. For example, South Africa, post-apartheid, may be the most interesting setting for sociolinguistic research in the world right now"
While LaPASC reflects on traditional sociolinguistic concerns (language variation, language change, indexicality, co-variation with social variables such as class, ethnicity, age, etc.) across all linguistic levels (i.e. phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics/discourse), the effects of sudden, large-scale social change is explored in particular. A specific focus is the effects of dialect and language contact between the various varieties and languages concerned, mainly because of the sudden increased mobility between and across different ethnolinguistic groups that has taken place since the advent of the New South Africa. In the short term, however, the project has begun by focusing its research on sound change and variation in the two Afrikaans-speaking communities of Potchefstroom (white and coloured).
Additional resources that relate to the current research focus can be found here:
*Carmen Fought in her chapter "Ethnicity" in the Handbook of Language Variation and Change, 2013 (2nd. edition), J.K. Chambers & N.Schilling (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell: Malden, MA & Oxford, pages 388-406.