Talking freedom

Language and democratisation in the SADC Region
Legere, K.; Fitchat, S. (eds.)
sofort lieferbar
28,50 € *

Editors: Karsten Legere; Sandra Fitchat
Editor-in-Chief: Femi Dele Akindele
Gamsberg Macmillan
Windhoek, 2002
ISBN 99916-0-394-8
Soft cover, 15x21 cm, 265 pages

Foreword by Renato Matusse

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Culture and Sports, Republic of Mozambique Coordinator SADC Sector of Culture and Information, Maputo, Mozambique

With appreciation I have taken note of the initiative to edit a book on linguistic aspects of the democratisation process in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

I understand that this initiative goes back to the Windhoek Conference of the Linguistics Association for SADC Universities (LASU) in 1998. Those who convened the meeting in the Namibian capital had in mind a crucial development in central and southern Africa when they invited scholars and experts to discuss the theme „Language and Democratisation in the SADC Region“

In fact, the political situation in our Region and in Africa as a whole has changed drastically in recent years. These changes are also felt in the field of language use, where a more liberal approach to the languages spoken by the wo/man in the street seems to be found.

In my own country, Mozambique, I have observed the growing role of languages other than Portuguese as already evidenced in the first multi-party elections in 1994. Similarly, the 1997 Population Census in Mozambique demonstrates in exact figures that the long presence of Portuguese as a former colonial language has not resulted in the marginalisation of other Mozambican languages.

On the contrary, the census gave strong evidence that, in numerical terms, Portuguese as a mother tongue has remained a minority language, and is spoken mainly in urban areas.

It is interesting to note that the present book has succeeded in addressing linguistic issues that pertain to a representative number of SADC countries. It covers Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This means we still miss contributions dealing with Angola (although there were Angolan participants at the Windhoek LASU Conference), Mauritius (which had no Conference participants), the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Seychelles (the latter having joined SADC more recently).

Despite this fact, the publication contains a wealth of information that is now available to interested readers, particularly students, in the SADC Region and beyond.

The book is highly recommended as a valuable source for anybody who is attracted by the democratic processes going on in the Region and the important role languages are playing - or should be.


Renato Matusse
Karsten Legere
Official opening address: Fifth Triennial LASU Conference
Mose Tjitendero
List of contributors
List of abbreviations
Editor’s note

Karsten Legere: Language and democracy in the SADC Region: Focus on Namibia
Democracy and language education in southern Africa:
Robert de Beaugrande: World Englishes in the 21st century.
Alfred Mtenje: English imperialism and shifting attitudes towards African languages: The case of Malawi
Daniel J Mkude: Minority languages and democratisation in the SADC Region: The case of Tanzania
Christopher Stroud: Language and democracy: The notion of linguistic citizenship and mother-tongue programmes
Teresa Chisanga: Language policy in the new South Africa: A critical overview
Femi Dele Akindele: Lesotho language policy and its implications for the education of the Mosotho child
Puleng A Thetela: English and the bilingual court proceedings in Lesotho courtroom discourse: Linguistic or legal disempowerment, or both?
Gregory H Kamwendo: Democratic changes in Malawi and national languages: The case of the monolingual Chichewa Dictionary Project
Sarah T Mkhonza: Parliamentary perspectives: Uncovering the language policy of Swaziland
Ben Mulongeni: The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation’s role in promoting language and reaching the masses

Mubanga E Kashoki: The sociolinguistic and political plight of minority and/or marginalised languages: An outline of the problem and a proposed research agenda for action
Tore Janson: Loss and gain for minority languages: Botswana, Mozambique and Africa
Herman M Batibo: The unlamentable loss: The role of attitude in language shift and death
Andy M Chebanne: Preliminary observations on the sociolinguistic situation of the Cuaa language
Birgit Smieja: Democratisation vs language shift and its implications for minority languages in Botswana
Barbara A Cameron: Language maintenance and literacy: Examples from Khoekhoegowab and Oludhimba
Emmanuel Mudhliwa Chiwome: Language hierarchy, transethnic identity and cultural diversity: The case of the Dema in Zimbabwe

Appendix 1: The Harare Declaration on Language Policies in Africa