Firstcomer-newcomer dualisms and language territorialisation
(SOAS, University of London)
Paper short abstract:
Patterns of social and spatial organisation that differentiate between firstcomers and newcomers are widespread in Africa. This paper explores their impact on the association of languages with spaces in configurations that are not built around the notion of the ethnolinguistic nation state.
Paper long abstract:
Patterns of social and spatial organisation that differentiate between firstcomers and newcomers are widespread in Africa. Communities are built on the premise of heterogeneity to facilitate the accommodation of strangers, and movement and migration (of women, children, members of professional groups, labour migrants, etc.). This paper explores the impact of this dualism on the association of languages with spaces. On which basis are languages linked to spaces? To what extent are the multilingual repertoires of their inhabitants included in or erased from their ideological representations? And what is the meaning of 'language' in places that defy ethnonationalist notions of language territorialisation?
Language and the political imagination: connections and disruptions