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French in and out of France

Language Policies, Intercultural Antagonisms and Dialogue


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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Patrick Corcoran - Language and Cultural Affiliation in West Africa: The Case of Ahmadou Kourouma 313


PATRICK CORCORAN Language and Cultural Affiliation in West Africa: The Case of Ahmadou Kourouma Situating Ahmadou Kourouma in a linguistic or cultural context is not an easy task. He is generally described as an Ivory Coast novelist, but for a variety of reasons Kourouma is a much travelled man. His particular brand of cosmopolitanism may be essentially African, but it nevertheless makes any attempt to categorise him exceptionally difficult. This is true for two chief reasons. Firstly, there is the fact that Kourouma originates from a princely Islamic family, and the family connections and networks that provided a practical infrastructure shaping his early experiences and upbringing bear no correspondence to the national boundaries that stu- dents of modern Africa would easily recognise. Secondly, Kourouma has never been reticent about giving voice to his political beliefs and has never shrunk from translating the convictions that flow from these beliefs into actions and decisions that have frequently incurred the wrath of professional politicians in the region. On several occasions, both in the period prior to the wave of African countries gaining independence in the 1960s and subsequently, Kourouma has been obliged to make deci- sions about how and where to earn his living on the basis of expediency rather than on the basis of free choice. He has frequently seen doors closed on him, both metaphorically, as posts to which he was appointed were suddenly no longer available, and physically, as he endured im- prisonment during the period ofHouphouet-Boigny's 'faux complots' in...

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