By Gerda Mansour
This booklet is interdisciplinary, drawing at the sociology and politics of language, African linguistics, African heritage and social heritage typically. It specializes in some of the matters relating to multilingualism in West Africa, yet can be appropriate to multilingual occasions in 3rd international nations as a rule. even though the publication is aimed toward the trained normal reader, it may even be of curiosity to language experts and scholars of 3rd global politics.
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Extra info for Multilingualism and Nation Building (Multilingual Matters, No 91)
USA: 1900 Frost Road, Suite 101, Bristol, PA 19007, USA. Box 6025, 83 Gilles Street, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Copyright © 1993 Gerda Mansour. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed and bound in Great Britain by the Longdunn Press, Bristol. Page v Contents Introduction 1 1 Language Diversity in Africa: Myth or Reality? 11 Defining linguistic diversity 12 A sociolinguistic assessment of linguistic diversity 16 Multilingualism and communication 20 History and environmenttwo factors conditioning language use 21 2 The Spread of the Manding Language and the Emergence of Vertical Multilingualism 26 Manding origins and environment 28 Long distance trade, state formation and language spread 31 Language spread in the conquered territories 36 Socio-cultural identity and language 39 3 Linguistic Fragmentation in the West African Coastal Belt 45 Environmental impact on social and linguistic development 46 Social organization and language use in autonomous village societies 49 Fragmentation and language shift among small stratified societies 51 4 Arrested Development and Regression 56 The sociolinguistic consequences of the slave trade 56 The establishment of colonial rule: Divide and conquer 58 The growth of multilingual urban centres 61 The sociolinguistic inheritance of the independent West African states 64 5 Multilingualism and Social Transition in Contemporary West Africa 73 A sociolinguistic profile of West African countries 73 Language policy: Before and after independence 77 The growing importance of lingua francas 81 Page vi Oral communication, education and literacy in the multilingual context 84 6 The Role of Language in Internal Conflicts 91 Language policy and ethnic conflict in Mauritania 92 Language issues and the Nigerian civil war 94 7 Policy Options: Assimilationist or Pluralist?
Sociolinguistics-Africa, West. Series. 4'46'096-dc20 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 1-85359-175-0 (hbk) ISBN 1-85359-174-2 (pbk) Multilingual Matters Ltd UK: Frankfurt Lodge, Clevedon Hall, Victoria Road, Clevedon, Avon BS21 7SJ. USA: 1900 Frost Road, Suite 101, Bristol, PA 19007, USA. Box 6025, 83 Gilles Street, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Copyright © 1993 Gerda Mansour. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.
This chapter therefore aims at coming to terms with the real motives behind such policies and their likely outcome. It further presents the arguments in favour of a pluralist solution and outlines what this might entail, particularly in the light of present political regimes in Africa. Page 11 1 Language Diversity in Africa: Myth or Reality? A great many books, articles and conference papers dealing with African languages and the African language situation state that Africa suffers from an extraordinarily high degree of linguistic diversity.