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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Language activism in Zimbabwe: grassroots mobilisation, collaborations and action
Author:Nyika, NicholusISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa
Volume:39
Issue:1
Pages:3-17
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:indigenous languages
minority groups
language policy
interest groups
Abstract:This article describes grassroots forms of language activism undertaken by Zimbabwean minority language groups - Tonga, Nambya, Kalanga, Sotho, Venda and Shangani - in order to develop and promote their languages for use in significant domains, particularly education. The article focuses on the strategies employed by these marginalized language groups in order to attain ideological consensus as they pursued the struggle for their language rights. These initiatives are undertaken in a context in which the government's language-in-education policy overtly and covertly betrays assimilationist tendencies. The article draws on the case of initiatives by Zimbabwean minority language groups such as ZILPA (Zimbabwe Indigenous Languages Promotion Association) to challenge the linguistic status quo and demand their linguistic human rights, to argue that it is important to embark on those measures that ensure that speakers of the non-dominant languages assume a prominent role in such processes. The article concludes by suggesting a research agenda which places speakers of non-dominant, marginalized languages at the centre of language revitalization initiatives. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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