Languages Market in the Horn of Africa:a case study of Djibouti


The linguistic settings of Djibouti, where French was the only official language until 1992, has beenaltered through the independence; the displaced people and transformations brought by wars in the Hornof Africa over the last few decades. In response to these linguistic transformations, this sociolinguisticstudy focuses on the changing contemporary relationships of languages. French is today challenged byArabic, the language of the state religion, English which dominates the international scientific fields andthe national labour market, and Afar and Somali, national languages which are increasingly used inevery situation. The increasing economic interdependence between Djibouti and Ethiopia has alsoallowed the emergence of regional languages such as Amharic and Oromo.This study reveals and analyses the areas of domination and conflict between those seven widely spokenlanguages in Djibouti. Focused on the field of sociolinguistics and particularly on the macro-subfield(or sociology of language), it explores the notions of bilingualism, multilingualism, diglossia and theirrelated phenomena. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods through questionnaires andinterviews establishes the frequency of languages usage in the linguistic landscape, the positions of each language in relation to the others.The research determines whether attitudes towards French in Djibouti have changed and investigates if colonial habits have disappeared as new generations experience things differently due to economic and technological changes.In addition, the study examines whether French and English are perceived equally as foreign languages and whether the switch from one to another could happen. It demonstrates that the high demand for English in the global market has huge implications for French, the former colonial and today official and educational language.This study provides an opportunity to find out what is happening to French in Djibouti. It could also inform the process of regulating languages in Djibouti by providing the first basis for a language policy and a language planning, as well as for status and corpus planning.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
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Additional Information: © Said Djama Dirie, 2020. Said Djama Dirie asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this thesis. This copy of the thesis has been supplied on condition that anyone who consults it is understood to recognise that its copyright rests with its author and that no quotation from the thesis and no information derived from it may be published without appropriate permission or acknowledgement. If you have discovered material in Aston Publications Explorer which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: French Future in Djibouti.,English and French Inward Competitions.,Multilingualism and Diglossia Language Policy and Status.,Arabic progress in Higher Education.
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:57
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2021 08:34
Completed Date: 2020
Authors: Dirie, Said

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