7 Camfranglais in a historical perspective
← 66 | 67 →7 Camfranglais in a historical perspective
As suggested by Kießling and Reuster (2006), urban youth languages and varieties are distinct from other phenomena that give rise to languages, such as pidginisation and creolisation, as well as from language contact phenomena like codeswitching.
Camfranglais in Cameroon is not the outcome of what Kießling and Reuster-Jahn term “referential emergency,” which they explain as “an urgent need of communication in situations where interacting groups have no common language, but need to create one, which is the prototypical scenario of pidginisation and creolisation.” This communicative function is covered by French and Pidgin English, as well as by regional lingua francae in Cameroon. This study puts forth the argument that the rise of Camfranglais is due to the desire to create an unmarked urban youth identity. This unmarked identity is contrasted with marked ones like those attached to Mboko, Pidgin English and local languages. Indeed, Mboko is viewed as a language variety of thieves and rascals, and Pidgin English appears to be for the uneducated and for Anglophones in Cameroon. It should also be noted that Camfranglais offers (urban) youths the possibility of an ethnic-group neutral language. Speaking Camfranglais is now an expression of a Cameroonian (youth) identity.
As has already been established, Camfranglais is an outgrowth of a high language contact situation. It arose in the dense language contact situation of the Littoral region of Cameroon, and many previous researchers have identified the Douala seaport as one on its main foyers. In the birth...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.