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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reassessing the impact of colonial languages on the African identity for African development
Author:Okolo, M.S.C.ISNI
Year:2005
Periodical:Africa Media Review (ISSN 0258-4913)
Volume:13
Issue:2
Pages:85-103
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:English language
African identity
language
Language and languages--Economic aspects
sociolinguistics
nationalism
Abstract:The question of African development is examined as a close nexus between development and language. Language alone affects, structures, defines, and interprets all other aspects of human life. On the other hand, when we think of development, we think of human resources, about people who are the active agents in bringing about accomplishments in any field of endeavour. We cannot have a critical mass of human capital if the constituents are people who are defined by others through pejorative words and have, unreflectively, accepted these words as an indicator of their true identity. The focus of this article is on the English language, which embodies attitudes, referential meanings and perceptions that have greatly helped to distort the identity of Africans. Given that words act as guides to the interpretation of social reality, Africa, caught on the wrong side of the colonial language, cannot make meaningful progress in its spiritual and material civilization. The article concludes that until linguistic imbalances that demean the African are reviewed and righted, Africa's strivings towards sustained development will continue to be severely checked. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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