Africa’s diversity is best illustrated linguistically. Thousands of endogenous and exogenous languages are linked to and central to the identity and reality of Africans. Language is a vital lens for analyzing these multifaceted challenges in Africa, where a deeper understanding of the entire linguistic landscape is germane to understanding sociopolitical and cultural systems. Concentrating on instrumental and emblematic functions of language in Africa, Language, Society, and Empowerment in Africa and Its Diaspora argues for the critical value of African languages beyond functionality into philosophical consideration of their importance for African unity and advancement. Akinloyè Òjó calls for the development and empowerment of African languages to serve in various domains, including the support of basic literacy and daily survival of their users. Òjó propagates ways to empower African languages for African sociocultural and economic development in the twenty-first century. The author productively engages works by linguists and language pedagogues to provide an ardent case for the empowerment of African languages in the renewed era of globalization, the internet, and an emergent Global Africa. Òjó posits and accentuates some of the notable modalities for empowering African languages in specialized domains for national and continental development.
Akinloyè Òjó is associate professor of comparative literature and intercultural studies, adjunct associate professor of linguistics, affiliate faculty of the Institute of African American Studies, and a faculty member at the African Studies Institute at the University of Georgia.
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Chapter 1: Language in Africa: A General Introduction
Chapter 2: Classifications of Languages in Africa
Chapter 3: Language, Ethnic Identity and Multilingualism in Africa
Chapter 4: A Panorama of Language Planning across Africa
Chapter 5: Language-Based Problems and National Development in Africa: Nigeria as a case study
Chapter 6: Empowering African Languages for Socio-Cultural and Economic Development in the 21st Century
Chapter 7: The Emergent Field of African Language Pedagogy in North America and Western Europe
Chapter 8: Language Variation and Ethnicity: The Case of African American English (AAE)
About the Author
"Linguists and laypeople will find in Language, Society, and Empowerment in Africa and Its Diaspora an ambitious, methodical, and optimistic approach to positioning African language as fundamental to identity, economic advancement, and unity on the continent and in the diaspora. Professor Òjó’s mapping of practical pathways for African economic and socio-cultural strength through indigenous language promotion and use will be a beneficial guide for students, educators, leaders, and policy makers. His examination of the connections between African and African American language patterns is a compelling and useful demonstration of the role language can play in identity and empowerment in the African diaspora, and bravely posits language as a unifying force on both the continent and in the diaspora."