LINGUIST List 23.753

Tue Feb 14 2012

Books: Language Policy/Sociolinguistics: Koffi

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <>

Date: 14-Feb-2012
From: Julia Ulrich <>
Subject: Paradigm Shift in Language Planning and Policy: Koffi
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Title: Paradigm Shift in Language Planning and Policy Subtitle: Game-Theoretic Solutions Series Title: Contributions to the Sociology of Language [CSL] 101 Published: 2012 Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL:

Author: Ettien Koffi Electronic: ISBN: 9781934078112 Pages: 328 Price: Europe EURO 99.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9781934078105 Pages: 328 Price: Europe EURO 99.95

The book proposes a paradigm shift in language planning and language policyin Africa. For the past fifty years, the dominant model has been thehegemonic model whereby a language of wider communication (LWC) isimposed on minority languages. It is now time for a paradigm shift in favor ofa more egalitarian model in which all the languages spoken in the samecountry, irrespective of their size, are planned. The paradigm shift concernsfour critical areas: status planning, cost-benefit planning, acquisition planning,and corpus planning.

Such a shift is justified for the following reasons: First, the hegemonic modelhas a dismal track record of success in Africa and elsewhere. Second, thehegemonic model exacerbates linguistic conflicts in many countries.Consequently, policy makers shun it for fear of jeopardizing the fragile socialfabric in their respective countries. Last, a shift away from the hegemonicmodel is recommended because it is too costly to implement. The"democratic model" is undergirded by the Strategic Game Theory proposedby David Laitin. It forecasts a 3±1 language outcome for most Africancountries. This outcome supports the "three language formula" now called forby the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics                             Language Policy                             Sociolinguistics
Written In: English (eng)

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