LINGUIST List 21.2238

Sun May 16 2010

Books: Pragmatics/Sociolinguistics: Bwenge

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <>

        1.    Ulrich Lueders, The Tongue Between: Bwenge

Message 1: The Tongue Between: Bwenge
Date: 06-May-2010
From: Ulrich Lueders <>
Subject: The Tongue Between: Bwenge
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Title: The Tongue Between Subtitle: Swahili & English in Tanzanian parliamentary discourse Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Pragmatics 19 Published: 2010 Publisher: Lincom GmbH

Author: Charles Bwenge Paperback: ISBN: 9783895862366 Pages: 110 Price: Europe EURO 53.60

The Tongue Between attempts to untangle a communicative puzzle pertainingto a mixed code that has become a variety of choice within aninstitutionalized diglossic policy prescribing a choice between twoofficially recognized languages. Tanzanian national parliament (the Bunge)presents a perfect communicative site for illustrating this phenomenon.While the Bunge's parliamentary proceedings language policy haspersistently remained 'Swahili or English', the actual communicativeinteractions have persistently been dominated by the alternation between a'standard' form and a 'mixed' form of Swahili, respectively referred tohere as standard Swahili (SS) and elite Swahili (ES).

Drawing on the language use as a social act[ion] perspective, the bookmakes two major claims: first, ES is a distinct variety in its own rightand second, its persistent occurrence in the Bunge's discourse is bothpragmatically and symbolically motivated - thus manifesting as a site wherethe society's linguistic culture is clearly articulated and representedalongside demonstrating a communicative innovation and dynamics, but alsohighly contested trend. In this regard, historical and synchronic analysisis considered essential for a better understanding of the phenomenon. Thisbook provides insightful clues for scholars and students in languagepolicy, language mixing, identity construction, and political discourse inan African setting.

Charles Bwenge is an Assistant Professor of African sociolinguistics at theUniversity of Florida. He earned his PhD from the University of Virginia.His research focuses on institutional communicative interactionsparticularly in political and commercial advertisement discourses in theSwahili-speaking east African region. His most recent published articlesinclude "Language choice in Dar-es-Salaam's billboards (a chapter in FionaMc Laughlin, ed. 2009. The languages of urban Africa. London) and"Codeswitching in Tanzanian parliamentary discourse: a communicativeinnovation" (Issues in Political Discourse Analysis, Vol. 2(1).

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics                             Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s): English (eng)                             Swahili (swh)
Written In: English (eng )

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Page Updated: 16-May-2010