Discourse on linguistic diversity in Africa

Sassongo Jacques Silue


The prevailing linguistic literature typically depicts the African linguistic landscape as the most heterogeneous in the world. Surely linguistic diversity of the African continent cannot be denied, however, it can be noted that the mere evocation of this natural manifestation of language change is on the agenda, which sounds excessive compared to actual facts. The discourse on African linguistic diversity has steadily stemmed from a biased Eurocentric ideology. Explorers first invented the ethnic group; then the colonial administration strove to partition functionally homogeneous communities into countless ethnic groups, and missionaries, using questionable linguistic methods, have encouraged linguistic distinctiveness so further emphasizing the sentiment of linguistic fragmentation.


Linguistic diversity, ethnic group, missionary, explorers, linguistic landscape, writing.

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