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Description - African Languages, Development and the State by Richard Fardon

Multilingualism is a fact of African life; multilingualism is Africa's lingua franca. Why then is African multilingualism so often seen as a handicap to development? The contributors to African Languages, Development and the State argue that multilingualism needs to be developed as a strength, not castigated as a failure. The contributors, Africans and Europeans, examine the rhetoric of language policy and also present detailed case studies of local outcomes. They believe that African language planning must be based on the researched facts of African life and not on preconceived ideas of the relations that should hold between entities called language, development and the state. Since most of Africa has now gained over thirty years of post-colonial experience in language planning, it is possible to assess the legacy of these years and to compare the best and worst practices. Particular attention is paid to the Nigerian experience which, as the most populous of the African states with many years' experience in the formulation of language policy, furnishes an invaluable intra-African example for policy makers in other parts of Africa, particularly in South Africa, where crucial decisions on language policy are currently under discussion. The essays in this volume clearly show that multiculturalism, pluralism and multilingualism as facts of African life have to be seen positively as resources upon which development must be built and not as impediments to national unity and development. The contributors' cross-disciplinary approach demonstrates the basic fact that all facets of social life, from the farm and the factory to the home or the debating chamber, are embedded in language.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415094764
ISBN-10: 0415094763
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 140mm x mm)
Pages: 268
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 25-Nov-1993
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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