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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Language use in multi-ethnic Christian congregations: the case of the Evangelical Church of Cameroon
Authors:Kouega, Jean PaulISNI
Ndzotom, WillyISNI
Periodical:Annales de la Faculté des Arts, Lettres et Sciences Humaines
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:African Independent Churches
language usage
Abstract:This paper examines language use in the religious practices of one Christian congregation, the Evangelical Church of Cameroon, known by its French appellation the Église Évangélique du Cameroun (EEC). The setting for the study is the Oyomabang parish, a residential area in the city of Yaoundé. The paper begins with an overview of the language situation in Cameroon and background information on the EEC. Using a structural-functionalist model proposed by J.P. Kouega in 2008, it segments religious services into constituent parts and analyses what language is used in what part and for what reason. The analysis of the data collected reveals that a church service in this parish, like in other EEC parishes, is divided into some 15 sections, which can be grouped into three major parts, with the initial part ending with announcements, the middle part ending with pastoral acts, and the final part ending with blessings. The dominant language used is French. Other languages used, most frequently in songs, are two indigenous languages, viz. Medumba and Ghomala. Occasionally, songs in Duala and English were heard. The dominant factor accounting for the choice of languages is the historical background of the EEC. App., bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract, edited]