[lg policy] Book Call: Glocalisation of African Languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 19 14:26:43 UTC 2011

Book Call: Glocalisation of African Languages

Linguistics and the Glocalisation of African Languages for Sustainable

A Festschrift in Honour of Prof. Kola Owolabi

Call for Proposals:

Proposals are hereby invited from scholars across the globe who may
wish to contribute to a festschrift being planned in honour of Professor
Kola Owolabi, a renowned linguist, who has been in the vanguard of
engineering the indigenous Nigerian languages, particularly the Yoruba
language, to meet the demands of the modern world. The festschrift is
to address the broad theme: Linguistics and the Glocalisation of African
Languages for Sustainable Development.

Background Information:

Globalisation has been described, in general terms, as a
comprehensive term for the emergence of a global society in which
economic, political, environmental and cultural events in different parts
of the world have significance for people in other parts of the world. It
describes the growing economic, political technological and cultural
linkages that connect individuals, communities, businesses and
governments around the world. Although it is expected that different
countries should participate equally and consequently mutually enjoy
the benefits of globalisation, the reality of the situation reveals
lopsidedness in both the contributions to and benefits from the process
by different countries.

As it were, the gains of the globalisation process have been in favour
of the advanced countries of Western Europe, America and Asia and to
a great extent to the detriment of the less developed countries of the
world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In terms of participation, the
developed countries, beyond the indices of Gross National Product
(GNP) have showcased, stable political polity, creative and adaptive
technology, economic buoyancy and social security, reproductive and
recycling consumerism and increased originality in human education
and capacity for development. Their benefits have, of course, been the
control of global power and dictation of modalities of economic
production, distribution and consumption. In contrast, the less
developed nations have been bedeviled by political instability; lack of
creative or adaptive technology; economic indebtedness; social
insecurity and evils of corruption; ethnic rivalries and religious bigotry;
lack of basic amenities of social welfare; educational failure; and
incapacitation of human development potentials. To a great extent,
many of these and other problems of underdeveloped nations have
been attributed variously to the circumstances of colonial and
neocolonial history; bad and unpatriotic leadership; inconsiderate and
greedy elite; and restless rustic and illiterate followership. So long as
these problems persist, the benefits of globalisation shall continue to
elude third world countries and they shall remain unequal partners in
business, dancing to the tune of their superiors.

While interrogating the problems of underdeveloped/developing
nations, linguists have come to the conclusion that language plays a
major role in human and national development and, thus, cannot be
neglected in attempting to find solutions to them. Being a peculiar
creative resource for accessing the world, classifying, expressing,
recording and re-creating the world, the extent to which it is well
cultivated and utilised by individuals, groups and government
determines the extent of advancement of the users. It has been
observed that apart from developing their native languages for
personal, local and national uses and harnessing the originality and
inherent creative potentials, developed countries have utilised
enormous resources to promote their languages across the world for
dominant purposes. After consolidating the status of their languages as
world languages, some developed countries have even gone a step
further to acquire the languages of other peoples of the world in order
to perpetuate dominance through multilingualism-multiculturalism. In
contrast, the people of the less developed nations have jettisoned their
native languages in favour of foreign ones for personal, social and
national communication and are negotiating the world through the
borrowed lenses of the foreign languages. As they fail to cultivate and
use their languages purposefully, the languages suffer from attrition
and die with all the inherent original values, beliefs and creative
resources that should have benefitted the owners and the world. The
owners thus, for lack of creativity, rehash opinions and make second
rate contributions to the global world in different areas of knowledge.
In the context of the above discussion, glocalisation implies that African
languages (by implication, all languages in operation in Africa) are
essential tools that can facilitate meaningful and sustainable
development in Africa. To do this, the languages need to be
operational, to be planned, to be engineered - native/indigenous
languages to be developed, utilized and promoted and foreign
languages to be domesticated – to meet the demands of their
immediate (local) and wider (international) contexts. Linguists and all
those connected with language studies are major stakeholders in the
business of ensuring enduring development in all ramifications,
especially in the context of developing nations; hence the rationale for
the focus of this festschrift.

Proposal Guidelines:

Prospective authors are to submit proposals (500words) on basic,
applied, action and evaluation research on language policy, language
planning, language advocacy and language implementation issues in
respect of any of the following sub-themes:

- African languages in transition: historical, philosophical and cultural

- African languages vis-à-vis foreign languages in the continent: status,
forms and functions

- The facets of African languages in social life: education, health,
agriculture, law, fine art, science and technology, finance,
administration, religion, politics and governance

- African languages and social communication: the media (electronic,
print and symbolic), advertising, music and entertainment and conflict

- Computerisation of African languages

- The nexus of African languages and literatures

- African languages and literatures pedagogy

- Language policy, planning, advocacy and implementation: Lessons
from projects in (a) Africa and (b) outside Africa

- Translation/Interpreting in a multilingual context: challenges and

Each proposal is expected to reflect research problem, aim/purpose
and objectives, methodology (data base and theoretical perspective),
expected findings/ demonstration/ application, conclusion and

The deadline for submission of proposals is 30 Novenber, 2011.
Further information will be communicated to the authors of successful
proposals thereafter.

Proposals are to be forwarded to any of the following:

1. Prof. Wale Adegbite, Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo
University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (adewaleadegbiteyahoo.com;
aadegbitoauife.edu.ng); 2348034840633, 2348058968456.

2. Dr Ayo Ogunsiji, Department of English, University of Ibadan,
Ibadan, Nigeria (ogunsijioayahoo.com); 2348033939032.

3. Dr Oye Taiwo, Department of Linguistics and African Languages,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria (oyepaultaiwogmail.com);
2348130821578, 234853506069.


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