Language in African urban contexts

Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung

Book 31
LIT Verlag Münster
1
Free sample

This volume contains the results of the Bayreuth SFB research program "Effects of globalisation processes on the vitality of languages in West African cities". Two towns with different historical and colonial background, Maiduguri in Nigeria and Banfora in Burkina Faso, were selected as research areas. The contrast between language and social institutions is most obvious in the colonial and post- colonial world in Africa. Colonization was characterized by the importation of European institutions which were of a qualitatively new nature linked to the globalising forces. This qualitative newness is captured in our term "direct globalisation". A basic observation is that the globalising forces led to a hierarchicalisation of languages in Africa which is not obviously attested in the institutions of direct globalisation. Our term "indirect globalisation" describes the alignment of local practices to the external forces and institutions introduced during a globalising colonial and post-colonial experience.
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Publisher
LIT Verlag Münster
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Published on
Dec 31, 2007
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9783825803889
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Africa / General
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This content is DRM free.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Africa in Translation is a thoughtful contribution to the literature on colonialism and culture in Germany and will find readers in the fields of German history and German studies as well as appealing to audiences in the large and interdisciplinary fields of colonialism and postcolonialism."
---Jennifer Jenkins, University of Toronto

The study of African languages in Germany, or Afrikanistik, originated among Protestant missionaries in the early nineteenth century and was incorporated into German universities after Germany entered the "Scramble for Africa" and became a colonial power in the 1880s. Despite its long history, few know about the German literature on African languages or the prominence of Germans in the discipline of African philology. In Africa in Translation: A History of Colonial Linguistics in Germany and Beyond, 1814--1945, Sara Pugach works to fill this gap, arguing that Afrikanistik was essential to the construction of racialist knowledge in Germany. While in other countries biological explanations of African difference were central to African studies, the German approach was essentially linguistic, linking language to culture and national identity. Pugach traces this linguistic focus back to the missionaries' belief that conversion could not occur unless the "Word" was allowed to touch a person's heart in his or her native language, as well as to the connection between German missionaries living in Africa and armchair linguists in places like Berlin and Hamburg. Over the years, this resulted in Afrikanistik scholars using language and culture rather than biology to categorize African ethnic and racial groups. Africa in Translation follows the history of Afrikanistik from its roots in the missionaries' practical linguistic concerns to its development as an academic subject in both Germany and South Africa throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Sara Pugach is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles.

Jacket image: Perthes, Justus. Mittel und Süd-Afrika. Map. Courtesy of the University of Michigan's Stephen S. Clark Library map collection.

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Remade in France: Anglicisms in the Lexicon and Morphology of French chronicles the current status of French Anglicisms, a popular topic in the history of the French language and a compelling example of the influence of global English. The abundant data come from primary sources-a large online newspaper corpus (for unofficial Anglicisms) and the dictionary (for official Anglicisms)-and secondary sources. This book examines the appearance and behavior of English items in the lexicon and morphology of French, and explains them in the context of French neology and lexical activity. The first phase of the latest contact period (1990-2015) has its own complex linguistic characterization, including a significant influx of nonce borrowings and very low frequency Anglicisms, heterogeneous and creative borrowing outcomes, and direct phraseological borrowing. This book is a counterargument to the well-known criticism that Anglicisms are lexical polluters. On the contrary, the use of Anglicisms requires the inventive application of complex linguistic rules, and the borrowing of Anglicisms into the French lexicon is convincing proof that language change is systematic. The findings bring novel interdisciplinary insights to the domains of borrowing in a non-bilingual contact setting; global English as a source of lexical creativity in the French lexicon; the phases, patterns and processes of integration of English loanwords; the morphology of borrowing; and computational corpus linguistics. The appended database is a snapshot of a synchronic period of linguistic contact and a useful lexicographic resource.
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