By Richard Fardon
This indicates that multilingusim doesn't pose for Africans the issues of verbal exchange that Europeans think and that the mismatch among coverage statements and their pragmatic results is a much more major problem for destiny improvement
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Extra resources for African Languages, Development and the State
Experience, however, shows that there are viable nations which are multilingual and yet get on very well while operating in two or more languages, with none of them common to the entire populace. Canada operates with English and French, Switzerland operates with French, German and Italian. Hence, it is true that a common language ‘is not a necessary condition for a unified state and that one or more major language groups can coexist in a system with minimal conflict between them’ (Kelman 1971:34).
But it is not obvious that the state will be able to afford to implement its policy, or indeed have the political means or will to do so. As van Binsbergen emphasizes, state apparatuses function at numerous levels (from the national to the local), and the political aspects of language and ethnicity are not necessarily consistent between these situations. More generally, Laitin assumes that decisions concerning language will be made through legitimate state apparatuses and that this will occur as part of a process of state-building.
Which of many dialects is to be adopted as the standard written form? What are to be the hegemonic implications of the fillip given to the growing Ñnakenyaré Chamba lingua franca spoken around the local Government headquarters at Ganye—both in relation to Chamba dialects which will become subordinated and to the languages spoken by local minorities (Koma, Vomni, and—in this context of reversal—even Fulfulde)? CONCLUSION The current Nigerian policy of encouraging knowledge of at least one and often two of the three major lingua francas at school level aims both to encourage language versatility and to reduce the links between language, 24 African languages, development and the state ethnicity and political affiliation.
African Languages, Development and the State by Richard Fardon