THE REPOSSESSION OF A COMPLEX LANGUAGE: THE CASE OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE IN CAMEROON
International journal of research - granthaalayah
This article sets out to study the evolution of the French language in Cameroon from the period of colonisation to the present. The article focuses in particular on the use of the language during the colonial period and its imposition on Cameroonians through the French policy of assimilation. Contrary to the British policy of indirect rule, France considered its colonies as oversea territories (la France outre-mer) which had to speak and write the French language in a manner as prescribed by
... as prescribed by the Académie Française. Our investigation looks at the evolution of the language after independence and the different varieties that developed from mainstream French: these include Cameroon popular French (CPF) or the social variety, and a hybrid variety (camfranglais) used mostly by the younger generation of Cameroonians. We aim at evaluating the influence of the latter variety, in order to analyse the radical transformation process that the French language is experiencing in French Africa in general and in Cameroon in particular. The article validates our position that the French language as used in Cameroon is a repossession of a very complex language. We conclude with comments on the opinions of various actors, their attitudes and judgments of the different varieties of the language as used in Cameroon.