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Sociolinguistics from the Periphery

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Academic Paper


Title: “The smuggling of La Francophonie”: Francophone Africans in Anglophone Cape Town (South Africa)
Author: Cecile B Vogouroux
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Focusing on Black Francophone migrants in Cape Town, it is argued that a locally based Francophone identity has emerged in South Africa that questions the institutional discourse of La Francophonie as the organization of French-speaking states. The new identity has little to do with the organization's ideology of a transnational community of people united by a common language and culture. This is shown by deconstructing the category of (literally ‘smugglers of la Francophonie’ as practice) to which the organization assigns migrants in non-Francophone countries who allegedly spread the French language and Francophone culture. It is argued that the notion of “Francophone” must be grounded empirically and approached in relation to the social environment of the relevant speakers. The post-apartheid South African setting assigns it a meaning different from what it has in Francophone states.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 37, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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