DFG project: Language use and linguistic variation in multilingual urban groups: A micro-perspective on professional networks in Ngaoundéré (northern Cameroon)

The project focuses on language use, variation and change in a multilingual urban context in Africa where people live with a great diversity of linguistic repertoires on the one hand and few norm-enforcing institutions on the other. Taking a micro-perspective by applying Social Network Analysis, we provide a case study on language use among three professional groups under such conditions. The groups are motorcycle taxi drivers, motorcycle garage workers and cookshop employees. They are chosen as appropriate test groups because of their high visibility in the urban context and their multilinguality. Furthermore, they represent different types of networks that also share common practices (e.g. repair services, food supply). The project is located in Ngaoundéré, the capital city in the Adamawa region of Cameroon. Working in the field of variationist sociolinguistics that concentrates on language use in multilingual environments, we contribute empirical data from a setting that serves as a test case for hitherto completely understudied contexts.

PI Dr. Klaus Beyer, Goethe-Universität, Afrikanistik (k.beyer@em.uni-frankfurt.de) in cooperation with PI Prof. Raija Kramer, Universität Hamburg, Asien und Afrika Institut (rkramer@uni-mainz.de)

Garage mit Cookshop

Familie Auf M-Taxi