n English in Africa - Literary language in the postcolony : focus on southern Africa

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



The status of the coloniser's language during a period of colonial rule will be fixed in many colonies by the fact that it functions as the language of government, of the courts and the law, of official documents and of the institutions which the coloniser imports. But "fixed" does not mean that the population en masse will necessarily become familiar with it, especially where the proportion of indigenes to colonists is large, as has often been the case in Africa. In countries with great numbers of English-speaking settlers, as in Australia or most of Canada, English in some form, even after colonisation has receded, is likely to remain the language of the cities - and in many cases, urbanisation will mean the adoption of English as the language of exchange with the outside world.

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