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Worried about the future of African languages, this panel seeks critical and reflective contributions that examine the entrapment and stagnancy of African indigenous languages in informality, and pursue ways of elevating them to formal scientific linguistic devices.
One of the paradoxes of African scholarship and epistemologies, as this abstract itself suggests, is the expression of the African world through non-African language(s). Despite the traceable popularity of languages such as Hausa, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba, and the adoption of Swahili as the official language of the African Union, indigenous languages policies have not been implemented to pass the test of linguistic viability for science and technology. Beyond their use in informal settings and in other areas such as arts and culture, tourism and religion, indigenous African languages are mere archival resources. This development is attributable to either the colonial language pedagogy initiative which tended to be self-serving rather than indigenous people-centred, or the inability of postcolonial indigenous language pedagogy to thrive within a dominant colonial heritage. All of this assumes a state of entrapment and stagnancy in indigenous African language development. It is also argued in some quarters that given this state of aporia in Indigenous African language pedagogy, indigenous languages not only risk extinction, they also have dire consequences for human resources development, knowledge production and social relations. But is that really the case? Is the future of African languages, and by extension, its development goals tied to powers outside Africa? Is the sustainability of African languages entangled with global power dynamics? This panel, therefore, seeks critical and reflective contributions that examine the entrapment and stagnancy of African indigenous languages in informality and pseudo-formal settings, and seek ways of elevating them to formal scientific linguistic devices.
Accepted papers:Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Peter Chonka (King's College London) Stephanie Diepeveen (University of Cambridge) Yidnekachew Haile (Royal Holloway University of London)
Adedoyinsola Eleshin (University of Lagos)
Feyisayo Ademola-Adeoye (University of Lagos)
Bolatito Kolawole (University of Lagos)