This paper presents an ethnographic analysis of how Francophone Afro-Islamic women of Niger Republic access the various streams of orality and literacy that exist in their societies. These include the tradition of Ajami literacy in local languages (through the adaptation of the Arabic script), Arabic language literacy, and the European legacy (especially in French, and to a lesser extent English, and literacies based on the Roman alphabet). Special attention is paid to the psycholinguistic dimensions of literacy acquisition and the politico-economic relations of power and forces of globalization that impact on and shape this process both at the community and national levels. Finally, the paper examines the actual uses to which women put these literacies in their daily lives, how these skills are translated into concrete and multifarious texts that women produce and the transformative potential and outcomes (both advertent and inadvertent) arising from the texts.
Selected Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages and Linguistics in Broad Perspectives
edited by John Mugane, John P. Hutchison, and Dee A. Worman Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-410-2 library binding
v + 283 pages
publication date: 2006
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA