À la recherche des Ètats-Unis D'Afrique: une approche linguistique

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University of Alabama Libraries

After centuries of colonization, the African continent saw most of its present nation-states emerge from colonization and achieve independence in the 1960s. Sixty years later, various formidable obstacles have hampered the development of the continent. In view of previous studies pointing toward a solution in the form of a continent-wide federal union of Africans, why does the advocated federation remain a dream? As demonstrated in the present study, the linguistic component of any projected African federation, taking into account both exogenous and endogenous obstacles, must be accorded its due importance in contributing to a successful outcome overall. The present study seeks to outline the salient issues involved and to analyze potential linguistic approaches that might play a role in preparing Africans’ minds for the advocated ambitious project of the ‘United States of Africa’, as a necessary component in the promotion of a new politico-cultural structure characterizing the development of the continent. Clearly, African languages must be promoted, but European languages need not be abandoned. What is crucial is that the overall configuration must not continue on as a haphazard relic of colonization imposed from without, but rather it must be an outgrowth of a real African-inspired development that promotes unity. Although the idea of the United States of Africa is not new and has been discussed by the pioneers of African independence over many decades, the originality of this study resides in the consideration of the unity of Africans from the perspective of a linguistic federation. It is understood that the linguistic union of Africans would be a complex and formidable undertaking, but carefully planned first steps in that direction must be taken in order to facilitate a successful federal integration of Africa. Therefore, this study aims to discuss the role of an African continent-wide lingua franca language planning in the layout of a potential union of Africans, as a corollary of great importance in a real and complex federal integration of the African continent.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Sociolinguistics, African studies, Linguistics