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French in and out of France

Language Policies, Intercultural Antagonisms and Dialogue

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Edited By Kamal Salhi

This book examines policy planning and implementation and language variation in the realm of intercultural communication in France, Europe, the Americas, Australia, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The book aims to discern trends in the development of the capacity of Francophone speakers to engage in dialogue across linguistic boundaries. Each study in the volume seeks to evaluate and analyse the antagonistic situations that have resulted from colonial culture and the post-independence hegemonic cultures. These situations are investigated through their expression in the French language and the languages with which it coexists in the countries considered here. The expertise of linguists and language specialists in this volume provides formalist and structural insights and an innovative phenomenology of language and newly available quantitative and qualitative studies of synchronic language. These methodologies are applied to a wide range of subject areas: law, history, literature, politics and society. Taken as a whole the book offers a fresh perspective on the issues surrounding French within and beyond France in the post-colonial and Francophone contexts.

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Gabriella Parker - The Fifth Republic and the Francophone Project 11

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GABRIELLE PARKER The Fifth Republic and the Francophone Project The launch of the Francophone Project and the establishment of the Fifth Republic did not coincide exactly. The Fourth Republic invested in the promotion of French language, and its successor pursued largely the same policy and collected the dividends. Both the word, and the notion of, francophonie re-emerged in 1962, four years after the foundation of the Republic 1 and long after the word was originally coined at the end of the nineteenth century. Language policy was elaborated over the years, and adapted to international circumstances and the particular approach taken by each successive President. In the course of time structures were devel- oped to provide the framework for, and means to implement, these poli- cies. The Secretariat d'Etat charge de Ia Francophonie, for instance, was only created in 1986. Continuity and a large measure of consensus have been the hall- marks of French language policy. France's linguistic and cultural policies are subsets of the country's foreign policy. The French language is per- ceived as the symbol of French identity. In consequence, to promote the language is to promote France and French interests; to protect the lan- guage is to protect French interests; to protect French interests is to protect the language: 'La defense de Ia langue fran~aise est devenue, au til du temps, un enjeu identitaire largement consensuel. ' 2 There has been continuity in two specific areas throughout the four decades of the Fifth Republic: the political consensus...

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