Some Sociolinguistic Phenomena in Some Selected Francophone African Fictions: A Sociocritical Review

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Beyond Babel. Published by the Department of Languages and Literary Studies of Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State


Abstract Every literary text is constructed with language. An author uses the potentials of language to negotiate meaning(s) for his text(s) in order to carry the local colour and culture of the targeted people. Sociolinguistic phenomena are some of the useful tool towards achieving this end. These sociolinguistic phenomena include, but not limited to, code-mixing, code-switching, linguistic borrowing and or use of African variety of French which recently became very rampant in some francophone African fictions. The francophone African authors such as Sembene Ousmane, author of Guelwaar, Mongo Beti, who wrote Trop de soleil tue l’amour and Ahmadou Kourouma, who authored Allah n’est pas obligé are among the many authors fond of these practices. In this article, which is based on socio-critical approach, we examine the incidence of some of these sociolinguistic phenomena in the three novels mentioned above. We discovered that the rampancy of sociolinguistic phenomena in some francophone African fictions may not be unconnected with the desire of the authors to decolonize African language and to express solidarity with a particular social group. This shows that the use of some expressions associated with some real life settings authenticates the stories and compels belief. The question begging for an answer here is: Will the use of these sociolinguistic phenomena in their work lead to improvement or destruction of the French language?




Language phenomena, code switching, code mixing, linguistic inter lading, sociolinguistics