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Tracing Language Movement in Africa$
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Ericka A. Albaugh and Kathryn M. de Luna

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190657543

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190657543.001.0001

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Toward an Interdisciplinary Perspective on Language Movement and Change

Toward an Interdisciplinary Perspective on Language Movement and Change

(p.1) Chapter 1 Toward an Interdisciplinary Perspective on Language Movement and Change
Tracing Language Movement in Africa

Ericka A. Albaugh

Kathryn M. de Luna

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins the multidisciplinary conversation that will continue through the volume, beginning with the perspectives of political science and history on language movement and change. Political scientists view language alternatively through the lens of policy, as a variable affecting other outcomes, as a product of history and individual choice, or as a normative right. Historians view language as an entity and an identity, as well as a repertoire of speech and belonging. These varying but intersecting approaches demonstrate that adopting an interdisciplinary perspective forces scholars to hold multiple views at the same time: language as an object and a subject for research, speakers as victims and agents, and language as fixed and fragmented. The volume is organized around this latter tension. Common themes that run through the volume are the counting of data, the construction of boundaries, the pace of change, and the impact of power.

Keywords:   Africa, language, linguistics, multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, political science, history

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