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Language and Development in Africa
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Book description

Development is based on communication through language. With more than two thousand languages being used in Africa, language becomes a highly relevant factor in all sectors of political, social, cultural and economic life. This important sociolinguistic dimension hitherto remains underrated and under-researched in 'Western' mainstream development studies. The book discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development. From a novel 'applied African sociolinguistics' perspective it analyses the continuing effects of linguistic imperialism on postcolonial African societies, in particular regarding the educational sector, through imposed hegemonic languages such as Arabic and the ex-colonial languages of European provenance. It offers a broad interdisciplinary scientific approach to the linguistic dimensions of sociocultural modernisation and economic development in Africa, written for both the non-linguistically trained reader as much as for the linguistically trained researcher and language practitioner.

Reviews

‘Language and Development in Africa is generally a very straightforward, practical guide to broaching the complex linguistic situation across the continent. Because all but one of the chapters are grounded in the twenty themes established in the introductory chapter, the reader remains constantly aware of the overarching goals of this book, viz. to improve and widen understanding of the complexity of language usage and policies in Africa, and also to effect change on the continent as it concerns the interaction of language and development … the extensive maps, figures, and tables serve as effective illustrations of the longer, textual explanations. Most surprisingly, two other sections are provided to share with the reader additional scholarly sources for consultation and an exhaustive glossary of all linguistic terms referenced in the text.’

Troy E. Spier Source: LINGUIST List (https://linguistlist.org)

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Contents

The following lists of sources contain (1) works cited in this book and (2) a highly selective choice of publications that have been found useful and informative on the subject and that, over the years, have informed the present book without being quoted therein. The second list includes a number of previous publications by the present author and offers both introductory and further reading on issues regarding Applied African Sociolinguistics in general, and language and development and language in education in Africa in particular.

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