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The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience - Ali AlʼAmin Mazrui, Ali A. Mazrui, Alamin M. Mazrui - Google Books

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The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience

Ali AlʼAmin Mazrui, Ali A. Mazrui, Alamin M. Mazrui University of Chicago Press, Aug 3, 1998 - Foreign Language Study - 228 pages 0 Reviews Linguists estimate that there are currently nearly 2,000 languages in Africa, a staggering figure that is belied by the relatively few national languages. While African national politics, economics, and law are all conducted primarily in the colonial languages, the cultural life of the majority of citizens is conducted in a bewildering Babel of local and regional dialects, making language itself the center of debates over multiculturalism, gender studies, and social theory. In The Power of Babel, the noted Africanist scholar Ali Mazrui and linguist Alamin Mazrui explore this vast territory of African language.

The Power of Babel is one of the first comprehensive studies of the complex linguistic constellations of Africa. It draws on Ali Mazrui's earlier work in its examination of the "triple heritage" of African culture, in which indigenous, Islamic, and Western traditions compete for influence. In bringing the idea of the triple heritage to language, the Mazruis unravel issues of power, culture, and modernity as they are embedded in African linguistic life.

The first section of the book takes a global perspective, exploring such issues as the Eurocentrism of much linguistic scholarship on Africa; part two takes an African perspective on a variety of issues from the linguistically disadvantaged position of women in Africa to the relation of language policy and democratic development; the third section presents a set of regional studies, centering on the Swahili language's exemplification of the triple heritage.The Power of Babel unites empirical information with theories of nationalism and pluralism—among others—to offer the richest contextual account of African languages to date. Preview this book »

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Title Page
Table of Contents
Index
References

Contents

Africas Linguistic Legacy 1 Global Africa 11 Continental Africa 67 Regional Studies 123 References 212 Index 221 Copyright

Other editions - View all

The Power of Babel: Language & Governance in the African Experience
Ali AlʼAmin Mazrui,Alamin M. Mazrui
Snippet view - 1998
The Power of Babel: Language & Governance in the African Experience
Ali AlʾAmin Mazrui,Alamin M. Mazrui
Snippet view - 1998
The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience
Ali A. Mazrui,Alamin M. Mazrui
No preview available - 1998
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Common terms and phrases

acquired administration African American African countries African languages African nations Afrikaans Afro-ethnic languages Afro-Islamic languages Afro-Western languages Ali Mazrui Amharic Anglophone Arabic language areas assimilation Baganda Bantu became become bilingual British century Christian civilization colonial communication Congo continued counter-penetration cultural democracy democratic diaspora East Africa economic elite English and Kiswahili English language ethnic languages Eurocentric European languages example factor Fanon favour French language Gikuyu global Hausa heritage identity impact imperial language indigenous languages integration Islamic Kenya Kiswahili language policy languages in Africa lingua franca linguistic nationalism major Mazrui missionaries Muslim Nairobi national language nationalist native speakers Ngugi official language oral pan-African parliament partly pidgin political population post-colonial president promotion racial regarded religion role schools script Semitic social society Somali sometimes South Africa speak spread Swahili Swahili language Tanzania tradition Uganda universities urban vernacular West Western languages women words

References to this book

African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook
Damtew Teferra,Philip G. Altbach
Snippet view - 2003
English in Africa: After the Cold War
Alamin M. Mazrui
Limited preview - 2004
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Bibliographic information

Title The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience Authors Ali AlʼAmin Mazrui, Ali A. Mazrui, Alamin M. Mazrui Edition illustrated Publisher University of Chicago Press, 1998 ISBN 0226514293, 9780226514291 Length 228 pages Subjects Language Arts & Disciplines  › Linguistics  › General

Foreign Language Study / African Languages
Language Arts & Disciplines / Alphabets & Writing Systems
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Anthropology / General
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