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Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities

Language Policy and Economics: The Language Question in Africa

Authors: Kamwangamalu, Nkonko M., Kamwangamalu, Nkonko M.

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Hardcover $99.00
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  • ISBN 978-0-230-25172-4
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About this book

This book addresses the perennial question of how to promote Africa’s indigenous languages as medium of instruction in educational systems. Breaking with the traditional approach to the continent’s language question by focusing on the often overlooked issue of the link between African languages and economic development, Language Policy and Economics argues that African languages are an integral part of a nation’s socio-political and economic development. Therefore, the book argues that any language policy designed to promote these languages in such higher domains as the educational system in particular must have economic advantages if the intent is to succeed, and proposes Prestige Planning as the way to address this issue. The proposition is a welcome break away from language policies which pay lip-service to the empowerment of African languages while, by default, strengthening the stranglehold of imported European languages.

About the authors

Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu is Professor of Linguistics at Howard University, Washington, DC. He is co-Editor of Current Issues in Language Planning, author of The Language Situation in South Africa (2004), of articles in Chicago Linguistic Society, Georgetown Roundtable on Language and Linguistics, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Multilingua, Applied Linguistics, World Englishes, Language Problems and Language Planning, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Studies in the Linguistics Sciences, to name a few, and of chapters in edited collections.

Reviews

“Kamwangamalu’s book is an addition to literature concerning African languages, demonstrating that they constitute elements in socio-political and economic development. Policy designed to promote languages in higher domains like education must demonstrate that they produce economic advantages for speakers. Previous studies of language planning have discussed responses to planning rather than acceptance or rejection of policy outcomes. Colonial and indigenous languages must participate equally in education, politics and economics. Kamwangamalu shows language economics and game theory contributing to Prestige Planning and development of benefits to citizens’ educational, economic and political results. This is a splendid, important book, overdue in literature on African languages.” (Robert B. Kaplan, Emeritus Professor, University of Southern California, United States)

“This volume is an ambitious undertaking, fruit of meticulous research and deep reflection.  Professor Kamwangamalu’s panoramic assessment of language planning, economics and game theory in colonial, post-colonial and globalised sub-Saharan African settings brilliantly deploys notions of 'Prestige Planning' to recurring dilemmas about the choices of medium of instruction in schooling and language choices in public and private institutions.  This volume is groundbreaking theoretically and methodologically, but remains grounded in the real world needs of diverse African communities in their unique historical experiences of colonialism and their modern trajectories in an increasingly interlinked world. Professor Kamwangamalu’s reinvigoration of the framework of ‘prestige’ in language and how it can be activated adds great practical value to his impressive scholarly achievement.” (Joseph Lo Bianco, Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia)

“The language issue reminds us all of the latent and recurrent challenges facing Africa in its search for inclusive sustainable development. Any discussion of language policy and planning in this context always raises the daunting question: "what solution do you propose?" To this question, Kamwangamalu's answer is Prestige Planning; that is to say, "African languages must be shown to have tangible economic return for their speakers to be viewed as viable alternatives to colonial languages".” (Paulin G. Djité, Professor, Université Felix Houphouët Boigny, Côte d'Ivoire)

 

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • The Language Question in Africa

    Kamwangamalu, Nkonko M.

    Pages 1-34

  • Language Planning and Ideology in Colonial Africa

    Kamwangamalu, Nkonko M.

    Pages 35-54

  • Language Planning and Ideologies in Postcolonial Africa

    Kamwangamalu, Nkonko M.

    Pages 55-81

  • Globalization, the Spread of English, and Language Planning in Africa

    Kamwangamalu, Nkonko M.

    Pages 83-104

  • Language Planning and the Medium-of-Instruction Conundrum in Africa

    Kamwangamalu, Nkonko M.

    Pages 105-123

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-31623-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-25172-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Language Policy and Economics: The Language Question in Africa
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-31623-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-31623-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-25172-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXV, 232
Topics