Accepted paper:

A tenuous belonging: Notebooks and narratives in Marché Centenaire, Dakar's Chinese market

Authors:

Fiona McLaughlin (University of Florida)

Paper short abstract:

This paper takes a first look at spoken and written language practices in Marché Centenaire, Dakar's Chinese market, in order to explore the ways in which Chinese merchants first established a tenuous belonging in the market.

Paper long abstract:

Pidgins are ways of speaking born of necessity in interactions between strangers whose linguistic repertoires have little or no overlap. This paper explores the emergence of a pidgin in Dakar's Chinese market, Marché Centenaire. Beginning in the late 1990s, a new type of small-scale entrepreneurial migration from China took root in Senegal, and by the early to mid-2000s the Chinese presence in the city had diversified from that of the engineers and manual laborers who worked on large, Chinese government funded building projects to include a modest merchant class whose collective businesses have made the name Centenaire synonymous with the Chinese market. This paper takes a first look at language practices, both spoken and written, within the Centenaire market to explore the ways in which Chinese merchants first established a tenuous belonging in the market.

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