A sociolinguistic profile of The Gambia

Article


Mcglynn, C. and Juffermans, K. 2009. A sociolinguistic profile of The Gambia. Sociolinguistic Studies. 3 (3), p. 329–355. https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v3i3.329
AuthorsMcglynn, C. and Juffermans, K.
Abstract

This paper outlines the sociolinguistic situation in the smallest country of mainland Africa, The Gambia. Very little has been published about the languages and sociolinguistic situation in The Gambia and it was upon discovering this dearth of reliable published sources that led the authors to pool knowledge garnered during independent doctoral research. In this paper we have coupled language shift with a detailed description of the dynamic sociolinguistic profile of The Gambia and trust that it contributes to an understanding of changing ecologies of language in West Africa. Following a portrayal of the indigenous and exogenous languages of The Gambia, with attention to hybrid, overlapping and shifting ethnolinguistic identities, the role of language in several social institutions in a changing society is identified and discussed. The paper culminates in a discussion of linguistic and cultural diversity and appeals for more research in this sociolinguistically unexposed country.

KeywordsThe Gambia; West Africa; Mandinka; Wolof; indigenous languages; English
JournalSociolinguistic Studies
Journal citation3 (3), p. 329–355
ISSN1750-8657
Year2009
PublisherEquinox Publishing
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1558/sols.v3i3.329
Web address (URL)https://journals.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/5922
Publication dates
Print02 Jun 2010
Online2009
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Feb 2022
Copyright holder© 2009 Equinox Publishing
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