Academic journal article African Research & Documentation

Repertoires and Choices in African Languages

Academic journal article African Research & Documentation

Repertoires and Choices in African Languages

Article excerpt

Repertoires and Choices in African Languages, by F. Lüpke & A. Storche. Boston, MA: Walter de Gruyter, 2013. + 405pp. ISBN 978-1-61451-251. $140.00.

As a result of reading this book, I was inspired to register for a course on "Globalization and Linguistic Human Rights in Education". During the preparation of course assignments, I referred to information in Repertoires and Choices in African languages to support various arguments concerning the situation in various African countries. I used it as a reference to compare situations in Africa with similar situation around the world such as special purpose registers: play, secrecy, medicinal purposes, genders, honorific, youth, and so forth. The professor plans to add sections of the book to the reading list.

Repertoires and Choices in African Languages is the 5th volume in the series Language Contact and Bilingualism edited by Yaron Matras. The two authors, Friederike Lüpke and Anne Storch, draw on their German education and fieldwork in Africa from different perspectives. Their points are supported by scholars of African languages around the world. Lüpke concentrates on Atlantic and Mande linguistics, with a focus on syntactic and semantic typology, the influence of cognition, culture and contact on language, and the use of non-Roman scripts for the writing of West African languages. Since 2008, she has expanded her research focus to include (nominal) classification systems, in particular in the Baïnounk language cluster of Senegal. In contrast, Storch specializes on Benue-Congo, Nilotic and the Atlantic areas with fieldwork in Nigeria, Sudan, and Uganda.

This book seeks to "draw attention to some general characteristics of African multilingual societies that are of particular relevance not just for an understanding of Africa's linguistic landscape, but also for an understanding of multilingualism and language survival in general". This volume investigates African minority languages in the context of changing patterns of multilingualism and of existing influential vitality scales. Important aspects are the speakers' choices, their repertoires of registers, and the multiplicity of language ideology associated with different ways of speaking and cultural practices.

The authors share the writing responsibilities and divided the book into six chapters: "Multilingualism on the ground," (Lüpke) "Doing things with words," (Storch) "Language and Ideology," (Storch) "Language and knowledge," "Language dynamics," and "Not languages: repertoires as lived and living experience. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.