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Functional Seclusion and the Future of Indigenous Languages in Africa: The Case of Cameroon
Eric A. Anchimbe
94-103 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper reviews the language policy of Cameroon, outlining the various unfavorable decisions it has taken towards the indigenous languages (completely stopping education in these languages in 1965, confiscating indigenous language teaching material, for instance, in Dschang in 1966—which Momo (1997:13) describes as "an act of vandalism in a period when the government did not take account of cultural treasure," and so forth) and proposing integrative and functional motivations for the acquisition of these languages in Cameroon. These motivations range from obligatory public examinations in regional indigenous languages, dedicating areas of national life to indigenous languages just as French is the language of the military, to implementing language policies that grant these languages some functions: in local administrations, in church and so forth. In this way a future may be guaranteed for these languages.

Published in

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
Printed edition: $280.00