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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage

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Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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French and English in Cameroon: Pluricentricity in the context of multilingualism and nativisation

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Abstract

At the upsurge of the late 19th Century colonial expansion, two European languages, English and French spread to Cameroon and co-existed with about 279 Cameroon indigenous languages. As one linguistic outcome of languages in contact, multilingualism shaped the linguistic repertoire of most Cameroonians. English and French were the exogenous languages, and the indigenous speakers learnt them in a non-native context, thereby nativising the exogenous language structures on predominantly endogenous or Cameroon ethnic language structures. Today, English and French continue to be nativised in Cameroun to generate indigenous varieties such as Cameroon English (CamE) and its non-dominant varieties, Cameroon French (CamF) and its non-dominant varieties, determining pluricentricity of French and English languages. As the processes of nativisation of French and English in multilingual Cameroon keep evolving their pluricentricity could be systematically traced in form and usage of the phonology, grammar, and lexical semantics of the English and French spoken in Cameroon.

1.   Introduction

Based on theories and features of pluricentric languages and their non-dominant varieties (see Clyne, 1992; Muhr, 2012, 2015), and the title of this chapter “English and French in Cameroon: Pluricentricity in the context of multilingualism and nativisation”, five sections are explored to proof the pluricentricity of English and French. These include Section 1 with subsections on the linguistic overview of Cameroon; the pluricentricity of dominant languages; pluricentricity in the context of multilingualism in Cameroon; and nativisation of pluricentric languages, English and French in Cameroon. Section 2 highlights the methodology...

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