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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The contemporary Anglophone Cameroon writer and the French language: extending the debate
Author:Njende Ubanako, ValentineISNI
Periodical:Annales de la Faculté des Arts, Lettres et Sciences Humaines
Geographic term:Cameroon
English language
French language
Abstract:Cameroon is a multilingual and multicultural society with close to 300 linguistic and ethnic affinities. The issue of language in such a complex context is not only important, but it is very strategic. Erstwhile Anglophone Cameroon writers have over the years considered themselves victirns of linguistic and cultural imperialisrn and marginalization and this is reflected in the linguistic choices in their writings. From some linguistic elements, it has become almost commonplace to tell if the author of a particular piece of work is an Anglophone or not. The Anglophone writers believe that the only way they can reassert their Anglophone identity amidst linguistic, social and political adversity is through language. From elected works by prominent Anglophone Cameroon writers like John Nkemngong Nkengasong ('Across the Mongolo'), Ambanasom ('Son of the Native SoiI') and Alobwed'Epie ('The Death certificate'), it is noticed that there is an extensive use of Cameroon Pidgin English (a great marker of Cameroon Anglophone identity), the use of Home Language items which can be traced to the English-speaking zone of Cameroon as well as the extensive use of French. Using the Accommodation Theory propounded by Howard Giles and the Register Theory propounded by Michael Halliday, this paper lays emphasis on the use and status of French in Cameroon Anglophone writing. An interview was conducted with one of the authors whose novel is under study in this article. Also, an interview granted a few years ago to one of Cameroon Anglophone's most prolific writers, Bate Besong was revisited. This paper thus seeks to examine the place of French in Anglophone Cameroon writing, pointing out some of the reasons of the use of French in literary productions, the role in promoting official bilingualisrn and social cohesion. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. (Journal abstract)