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The English Language and the Construction of Cultural and Social Identity in Zimbabwean and Trinbagonian Literatures

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Edmund O. Bamiro

This study is unique in that it blends insights from post-colonial literary theory, sociolinguistics, and the social psychology of language use to compare the nature, function, and meaning of English in the delineation of cultural and social identities in anglophone Zimbabwean and Trinbagonian literatures. These identities are communicated through certain nativization strategies and the power and politics of English. The study emphasizes that the variations in the linguistic practices of Zimbabwean and Trinbagonian (and, indeed, other post-colonial) writers cumulatively establish different meanings (identities/subjectivities) from those of the users of the hegemonic or putative standard English linguistic code.