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Secret Manipulations – Language and Context in Africa - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Secret Manipulations: Language and Context in Africa

Anne Storch


This book deals with a specific form of language change: deliberate manipulations of a language by its speakers. These manipulations are based and depending on cultural and social contexts, they are often—if not always—considered to be secret, and are at the same time expressions of difference and power. The central thesis on which the explorations of manipulated language in this book are based is that language here—deliberately diverging from the norm—is central to the construction of social norms, and that exactly by manipulation and alteration identity may be explored and defined. Manipulat ... More

Keywords: African languages, secret language, secret societies, spirit language, spirit possession, manipulated language, jargon, speech register, ritual communication, play language, initiation language, mimesis, secrecy, sacrilege, ambiguity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199768974
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199768974.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anne Storch, author
University of Cologne
Author Webpage