This contribution intends to offer a prospective glimpse of what could be the future relations between French and the linguae francae and/or minority languages of West Africa starting from a synthesis of the historical, socio- linguistic and literary analysis of the encounters, clashes and mix-ups that have characterised them from the colonial period until today. France, although formally a Republic, at the time of the colonisation of Africa from 1881 onwards, behaved in the occupied territories in a very authoritarian way, adopting a rigid stance, under the banner of linguistic and cultural assimilation of the local communities. Without any ambition to offer a complete picture of the issue, the contribution will discuss the changing attitudes of politicians, intellectuals, and ordinary people from the 1920s until today towards the French language, as well as towards vehicular and local languages. An attempt will also be made to give an account of how these changes are linked both to the adoption of specific linguistic, economic, educational and social policies and to the linguistic practices that have characterised every aspect of daily life. In her final remarks, the author will attempt to outline some hypotheses for the future, considering a possible repositioning of the various parties involved.

Languages and Empires in French West Africa: encounters, clashes and mixing from the colonial era to the present time

Ilaria Micheli
2022-01-01

Abstract

This contribution intends to offer a prospective glimpse of what could be the future relations between French and the linguae francae and/or minority languages of West Africa starting from a synthesis of the historical, socio- linguistic and literary analysis of the encounters, clashes and mix-ups that have characterised them from the colonial period until today. France, although formally a Republic, at the time of the colonisation of Africa from 1881 onwards, behaved in the occupied territories in a very authoritarian way, adopting a rigid stance, under the banner of linguistic and cultural assimilation of the local communities. Without any ambition to offer a complete picture of the issue, the contribution will discuss the changing attitudes of politicians, intellectuals, and ordinary people from the 1920s until today towards the French language, as well as towards vehicular and local languages. An attempt will also be made to give an account of how these changes are linked both to the adoption of specific linguistic, economic, educational and social policies and to the linguistic practices that have characterised every aspect of daily life. In her final remarks, the author will attempt to outline some hypotheses for the future, considering a possible repositioning of the various parties involved.
978-88-3613-322-2
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3036318
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