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Conference Information

Full Title: Urbanized African Sociolinguistics - Questioning Research Foci

Short Title: ECAS 2017
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Start Date: 29-Jun-2017 - 01-Jul-2017
Contact: Helene Steigertahl
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: This panel H 01 ''Urbanized African Sociolinguistics - Questioning research foci'' is part of the 7th ECAS (European Conference on African Studies) in Basel, Switzerland in Summer 2017. The conference's topic is ''Urban Africa - Urban Africans: New encounters of the rural and the urban''.

In the sociolinguistic description of language(s) in Africa, there is a dichotomy between approaches focusing on urban as opposed to rural areas. The panel intends to unite theoretical and methodological approaches to urban and rural spaces to account for language use in Africa more realistically.

Rural Africa being considered ''backward'' (Wang et al. 2013: 14), sociolinguistic studies in Africa have often focused on urban areas, where globalization and communication are supposedly taking place.

This creates a dichotomy between approaches focusing on urban centers with newly developing linguistic codes, language used by the elite, as opposed to approaches concentrating on language documentation in rural areas.

Several studies concentrate on youth languages (Kiessling&Mous 2004; Nassenstein&Hollington 2015), varieties of English (e.g. International Corpus of English project), and the use and attitudes towards English in e.g. capitals and universities. Most of the data on African Englishes has been collected in these urban centers among the educated elite (e.g. Arua 2004, Bekker 2008, Hoffmann 2010&2011, Kadenge 2009, Skandera 2003, Stell 2014, van Rooy 2007). In contrast, data collected in rural areas rather focuses on smaller languages and only little research has been conducted on language use, especially of English (Nassenstein forthc.; Wang et al. 2013).
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; Language Documentation; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
LL Issue: 27.4905

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