By Richard Fardon
This indicates that multilingusim doesn't pose for Africans the issues of verbal exchange that Europeans think and that the mismatch among coverage statements and their pragmatic results is a much more major problem for destiny improvement
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Extra resources for African Languages, Development and the State
The campaigning carried out by the Sardauna during the 1950s promoted the use of Hausa as an element of his attempt to create a greater Introduction: frontiers and boundaries 23 Northern Nigeria. From his perspective, speakers of Tiv, Gwari or other larger, minority languages, could not make independent contributions to a ‘greater northern good’. But it would be a mistake on this account to believe that the transformation of Numan, where forty years ago most people transacted their daily business in Bachama, into a town where a majority of the population speaks Hausa, is any indication of the incorporation of Numan, or the Bachama, into a collective northern Hausa identity.
The list is particularly important in discussions of the relative numbers of people speaking a major language as a ‘mother tongue’ and as a ‘lingua franca’. However, we are reminded by the Derives that frequency of usage is as significant as numbers of speakers in assessing the range of lingua francas (Derive and Derive 1986:45). Lists of languages have been particularly important in the discussion of the, roughly, 400 languages spoken within Nigeria (discussed below). 12 As Wim van Binsbergen remarked at our meeting, our discussion of cartography as a trope refers to the conventional, two-dimensional maps in common circulation and might be complicated by consideration of threedimensional maps capable of encoding greater complexity and co-territoriality.
An approach from the ‘bottom up’, which emphasizes features of discursive context, demonstrates further difficulties that state authorities face in imposing policy. In Nigeria, it has generally been argued that it would be impossible immediately to declare Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo the national language because to do so would upset the delicate political balance between these three ethnic blocks. Instead, the preference has been for social engineering to promote a variety of languages in different degrees in order to maintain or create political balances of various kinds.
African Languages, Development and the State by Richard Fardon