Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005


Postcolonial innovations and transformations: Putting language in the forefront

Section Chair/Suggestions, Abstracts to:

Eric A. Anchimbe (University of Munich)

ReferentInnen >>


One of the outcomes of colonialism is the spread and the subsequent renovation or transformation of European languages (see Kachru 1985, etc.) that bore the "linguistic cultural baggage" (Samarin 1984:436) brought along by the colonialists. Language was a major tool in this expedition, which consisted not only in the acquisition of raw materials, the expansion of markets, the spread of empires and kingdoms but also in the quest for new citizens overseas. The quest for new citizens meant the spread of new or as it was believed ‘authentic' cultures to the colonised regions. These colonial impetuses have had several results on postcolonial societies and on their choices and application of languages - both foreign and indigenous. For example, the English has evolved severally into what are generally called today the New Englishes, Non-native Englishes, Indigenised Varieties of English, etc. On the other hand, there has been the re-definition or transformation of the roles of the other languages within these societies - a process that has shaped not only linguistic trajectories but also social and cultural interpretations of life and communication.

This section does not concentrate on what has changed in (ex)colonial languages but uses these changes to situate at what point they induce changes in the general society. It pays attention the relationship between indigenous languages (mostly oral) and the foreign languages (mostly written) introduced during colonialism. Focus is on, but not limited to, the following issues:

  • the expanding role of English
  • the diminishing or increasing role of native languages
  • nation state and the promotion of neutral languages
  • linguistic identity opportunism and fluctuation (Anchimbe, forthcoming)
  • language choices and functions in national life
  • cultural and societal imprints on (ex)colonial languages
  • bilingualism/multilingualism in the oral-written language relationship

Papers that handle one or more of the above issues or others linked to them are welcome. Interdisciplinary perspectives are especially appreciated since the topic itself stretches across several disciplines: history, linguistics, ethnology, anthropology, sociology …..


Anchimbe, E. A. (forthcoming) Hybrid (linguistic) identities in postcolonial Africa: The intricacy of identity opportunism in multilingual Cameroon. In Toro, De A. and F. Heidemann (eds) The New Hybridities: Societies and Cultures in Transition. Olms Verlag.

Kachru, B. B. (1986). The alchemy of English. The spread, functions and models of non-native Englishes. Oxford: Pergamon.

Samarin, W. J. (1984). The linguistic world of field colonialism. Language in Society, 13, 435-453.

ReferentInnen / Speakers

  • Eric A. Anchimbe (Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich): Linguabridities: Redefining linguistic Identities among Cameroonian children in urban areas [ABSTRACT]
  • Stella Aborokod Anchimbe (University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon): Cameroon Anglophone identity and the English language variable [ABSTRACT]
  • L. Oyewole Arohunmolase (Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Nigeria): The role of English language in the development of Yoruba language in the postcolonial era in Nigeria [ABSTRACT]
  • Roy Bendor (Simon Fraser University Vancouver, Canada): Digesting Development: Demarcation, hybridization and Power [ABSTRACT]
  • Nadia Butt (Johann Wolfgang-Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main): The role of the English language in the development of Pakistani culture and society [ABSTRACT]
  • Renata Casertano (Insubria University of Como, Italy): Rites of renewal in New Zealand/Aotearoa linguistic landscape [ABSTRACT]
  • Eyamba G. Bokamba (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Arguments for Multilingual Policies in African Public Domains [ABSTRACT]
  • Hugo C. Cardoso (Universiteit van Amsterdam): Linguistic traces of colonial structure [ABSTRACT]
  • Thomas Chacko / Mohammed Shukri Al Yajib (University College of Technology and Management, Malaysis): From Colonial Baggage to Competitive Advantage: The Growth of English into the National Growth Strategies of India and Malaysia [ABSTRACT]
  • Divine Che Neba (University of Burundi): Deconstruction/Reconstruction of English in Postcolonial Writings: A Gateway to Multiculturalism [ABSTRACT]
  • Evbayiro Ali (College of Education, Ekiadolor-Benin, Nigeria) / Evbayiro Osayi Violet (University of Benin, Nigeria): The diminishing role of native languages in Nigeria: The case of Edo language [ABSTRACT]
  • Adeleke A. Fakoya, PhD ( Lagos State University): Nigerian Languages and Members' Development Plateau: the Case of Yorùbá [ABSTRACT]
  • Lars Hinrichs (English Department, Freiburg University, Germany): The discursive identity values of Jamaican Patois - at home and abroad [ABSTRACT]
  • Ananya Jahanara Kabir (School of English, University of Leeds): Kashmiri today: Death, survival, or revival? [ABSTRACT]
  • Thomas B. Klein (Georgia Southern University, USA): Conscious and subconscious linguistic agency in Creole: Evidence from Gullah and Geechee [ABSTRACT]
  • Stephen A. Mforteh (The University of Yaounde I, Cameroon): Cultural innovations in Cameroon's linguistic Tower of Babel [ABSTRACT]
  • Nizonkiza Deo (The University of Burundi): English in Burundi: A non-colonial heritage [ABSTRACT]
  • Valentine Ubanako Njende (The University of Yaounde I): Popular but approximative Standard English equivalences in Cameroon English usage. The controversy [ABSTRACT]
  • Joseph Nkwain (The University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon): A pragma-stylistic analysis of compliments and compliment responses in Cameroon Pidgin English [ABSTRACT]
  • Jacqueline Adhiambo Oduol (United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya): African languages as a battleground: The diminishing role of indigenous languages in gender discourse [ABSTRACT]
  • Anjali Pande (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India): Postcolonial and foreign: English as argot in urban India [ABSTRACT]
  • Lily Saint (The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA): A silent resistance: J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K [ABSTRACT]
  • Asha Sarangi (JawaharlalNehru University, New Delhi): (Re) Mapping Languages and Cultures: Post-Colonial Predicaments of the Indian Nation-State [ABSTRACT]
  • Tamami Shimada (Kyoto University): The vicissitudes of the ‘do be’ form in Hiberno-English [ABSTRACT]
  • Alice Wachira (Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany): Multilingualism in Kenya: Focus on language use and its implications [ABSTRACT]
  • Jessica Walker (University of Western Australia): Thomas Jefferson and the new American language [ABSTRACT]

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-10