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The Transformative Power of Language
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: July 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781108671088
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Book description

Language has played a pivotal role in societal transformation in postcolonial Africa towards the creation of globally competitive knowledge societies; however so far, this role has been under-researched and under-estimated. This volume addresses this gap in the literature, by bringing together a team of globally-recognised scholars to explore the effect of language on African postcolonial societies, and how it has contributed to achieving 'mental decolonisation'. A range of languages are explored, both imported (ex-colonial) and indigenous African, and case studies from different spheres of public discourse are investigated, from universities to legal settings. Demonstrating that multilingualism is a resource for, rather than barrier to, successful transformation, this book brings the intellectualisation and institutionalisation of African languages to the forefront of development discourse, and provides an insightful snap-shot of how current academic research, public discourse, political activism and social community engagement have contributed to societal transformation in South Africa.

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