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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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Farid Aitsiselmi - Language Planning in Algeria: Linguistic and Cultural Conflicts 377


FARID AITSISELMI Language Planning in Algeria: Linguistic and Cultural Conflicts This chapter analyses the linguistic situation in present-day Algeria and assesses the future of the French language as a result of the language policies implemented since the country gained independence from France in 1962. Despite the numerous Arabi sat ion laws introduced with the aim of imposing Arabic as the sole national language, Algeria is still a multi- lingual country where at least three languages are in competition.' The first language is Berber or Tamazight, which is the language of the indigenous people of North Africa. Although this language is men- tioned in none of the country's constitutions, it has succeeded in achiev- ing a certain degree of official recognition as a result of social pressure- including strikes, riots and demonstrations-from the Tamazight-speaking populations. The second language is Arabic, a diglossic language whose High variety has been declared constitutionally the national and official language of the country. It is used in all key domains, such as religion, government, education, the mass media, law, etc. The Low variety is viewed as a degraded form of pure Arabic and therefore has no official status. Like Tamazight, it is classed in the derogatory category 'dialect'. The objective of all governmental linguistic laws has been to eliminate all dialects and replace them with High Arabic. The third language is French, which is the country's linguistic inheritance from the colonial period. It has also been under attack, and its status as the main foreign language...

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