Vernacular Palaver: Imaginations of the Local and Non-Native Languages in West Africa

Author: Moradewun Adejunmobi

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Hardback, Ebook(PDF)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm

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Vernacular Palaver examines the continuing appeal of the idea of ‘the local’ for cultural brokers in West Africa, even in instances where they have a growing interaction with diverse global and continental languages of wider communication. It highlights the contribution of foreign and indigenous languages of wider communication to the formation of the new alliances and sodalities that are testing the relevance of locality, and reshaping the concept of local culture, in West Africa. The author traces the role of discourse about language in West African identity politics from the cultural nationalists of the early 20th century to the religious transnationals of the contemporary period. Using examples from video film, popular literature, the activity of religious associations, and educational practice, this book seeks to advance our understanding of the varied functions of non-native languages in multilingual societies.

Moradewun Adejunmobiis an Associate Professor in the African American and African Studies Program of the University of California, Davis, USA. She has also taught at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and the University of Botswana. Her current research interests are in questions of language and identity in African literature and popular culture. She has also worked on Malagasy literature in French and is the author of JJ Rabearivelo, Literature and Lingua Franca in Colonial Madagascar.

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