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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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Gabrielle Parker - France and Southern Africa: Culture, Co-operation and Language Policy 291

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GABRIELLE PARKER France and Southern Africa: Culture, Co-operation and Language Policy The French system of co-operation was comprehensively overhauled in 1998. The new titles adopted in the reorganisation is significant: the country now has a single Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, which in- cludes within its remit Cooperation and Francophonie. It is in the context of this new institutional framework, itself reflecting policy changes in response to a 'New World Order', that the evolution of French policy towards Southern Africa in matters of culture, co-operation and language is examined in this chapter. According to the French Ministere des Af- faires Etrangeres, the three key words that characterise France's African policy are 'Fidelite, adaptation, ouverture' .1 The reformed system presents Ia Francophonie as an essential part of international cooperation as a result of the values it conveys through its shared culture: co-operation takes place at one and the same time on the linguistic and cultural levels as well as on the economic, social and politicallevels.2 Image- and the influence attached to it- is of special importance. That the two missions- co-operation, Francophonie- should be yoked together is more important than an acknowledgement of a hitherto implicit reality: co-operation assists the spread of the language, and language acts as a medium for co-operation. It is also a recognition that making this link explicit will help to embed it in the consciousness of all parties participating in the process. However, the word Cooperation can have different meanings, de- pending on the standpoint adopted. For...

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