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Title:The power and authority of the dominant to name: a case study of selected Nyanja and isiZulu linguistic expressions regarding 'national assets'
Author:Amtaika, Alexius
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Geographic terms:South Africa
minority groups
language usage
Nyanja language
Zulu language
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696815.2013.823856
Abstract:There is a connection between chosen linguistic elements used in national assets, the ruling party and a group understood to be dominant. Within this connection are a series of activities that lead to excluding minority language groups. Such exclusionary practices may lead to perceptions of a devaluation of ethnolinguistic groups that are neither in the majority nor are significantly represented within the ruling party. In this article the author presents selected examples of what he terms 'national assets' as evidence of instances where dominant groups in South Africa and Zambia have used their linguistic elements to name national assets. He reasons that the manner in which national assets are named endorses the dominance of the dominant groups in national affairs, while at the same time excluding linguistic minorities - a practice that runs against linguistic human rights, to which both countries overtly subscribe. The article investigates the impacts of dominant languages on the plight of the languages of minority groups in multilingual societies/communities, such as South Africa and Zambia. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]