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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The language of politics in Malawi: influences on the Chichewa vocabulary of democracy
Author:Chimombo, MoiraISNI
Year:1994
Periodical:Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere: Schriftenreihe des Kölner Instituts für Afrikanistik
Issue:38
Pages:197-208
Language:English
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:democracy
loan words
Chewa dialect
Abstract:When Malawi became independent from Britain on 6 July 1964, Chewa, the national language, had already absorbed some of the vocabulary of politics into its lexicon. This vocabulary was, however, limited, since until July 1993 Malawi had only one party and no recognized opposition. This paper identifies the shift in vocabulary occurring from before the referendum of 14 June 1993, in which Malawians voted in favour of multiparty democracy, to after that date. The author examined 22 issues of ten different newspapers published between 21 May and 9 September 1993. In these 22 issues only 26 out of 190 pages were devoted to Chewa. New vocabulary items include 'riferendamu' (referendum), 'chisankho' (election), 'matipate' (multiparty) and 'kabineti' (cabinet). The majority of new words are clearly influenced by English, either directly as loanwords or by translation. What is perhaps more significant than the form of the new words, however, is the shift, often subtle, in meaning. Notes, ref.
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