English in french-speaking african countries: the case of Gabon

  • A number of historically French-speaking countries have adopted English as second or one of the official languages. This does not only pose a problem of multilingualism at State level as well as at social level, but it also questions the actual status of English as a language at both levels. In fact, English does not only have to compete with French, but also with native African languages. This article gives an insight into the status of English in Gabon – a French-speaking country in western central Africa. Gabon has not (yet) adopted English as one of the official languages, but the status of the language needs to be investigated from a sociolinguistic perspective. The paper retraced the story of English in Gabon by outlining three periods of contact between the English language and the populations of Gabon. The presence of English throughout the three periods is then linguistically attested through an empirical study of English loanwords in the general vocabulary of Gabonese native languages. The second topic that the article covers is the contemporary situation of the language in the country whose policy refers to it as foreign language. Meanwhile, the influence of the American lifestyle and music, the education system and the elites that were educated in English-speaking countries produce a different social view on the language. This growing social status may signal prominent new developments in the future. This leads the author to set perspectives of the language as it is spoken in Gabon.

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Author:Hugues Steve Ndinga-Koumba Binza
Parent Title (German):The Study and Use of English in Africa: A Review, ed. y Arua, A. E., Bagwasi, M. M., Sebina, T. and Seboni, B.
Publisher:Cambridge Scholars Publ.
Place of publication:Newcastle upon Tyne
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2009
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2009/04/20
Source:The Study and Use of English in Africa: A Review, ed. by Arua, A. E.... http://langues-gabonaises.refer.ga
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 49 Andere Sprachen / 490 Andere Sprachen
Sammlungen:Afrika südlich der Sahara
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht