'bak mwa me do' - CAMFRANGLAIS IN CAMEROON
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The aim of the article is to overview Camfranglais, a highly hybrid sociolect of the urban youth type in Cameroon's big cities Yaoundé and Douala, This language variety serves its adolescent speakers as an icon of 'resistance identity' (Castells 1997), i.e. they consciously create and constantly transform this sociolect of theirs by manipulating lexical items from various Cameroonian and European sources, in an effort to mark off their identity as a new social group, the modern Cameroonian urban youth, in opposition to established groups such as the older generation, the rural population and the Cameroonian elites who have subscribed to the norms of 'la francophonie'. The linguistic strategies preferably applied in this lexical manipulation, i.e. phonological truncation, morphological hybridization, hyperbolic and dysphemistic extensions, reflect the provocative attitude of its speakers and their jocular disrespect of linguistic norms and purity, clearly revealing its function as an anti-language (Halliday 1978). From a socio-political perspective, the creation of Camfranglais represents the appropriation of an imported language, French, under strong pressure of an exoglossic language policy which excludes the majority of the population from national discourse and upward social mobility. Being born as an anti-language, Camfranglais seems to be growing into an icon of the emerging new 'project identity' (Castells 1997) of modern Cameroonian urbanity.
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