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Sierra Leone: Krio and the Quest for National Integration

Oyètádé, B. Akíntúndé and Fashole-Luke, Victor (2008) 'Sierra Leone: Krio and the Quest for National Integration.' In: Simpson, Andrew, (ed.), Language and National Identity in Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 122-140.

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Abstract

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a smaller country in size, population and the number of its languages than many other countries on the West African coast such as Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. A particularly interesting phenomenon is however present in the configuration of the languages present and used in the country, and how language links up the general population. Though there are two proportionately large indigenous languages spoken in the country, Temne and Mende, it is found that the language which has spread and serves as a universal lingua franca known by as much as 95% of the population of Sierra Leone is in fact an English-based creole known as Krio, which is the mother tongue of a much smaller group of speakers primarily localized in and near the capital city Freetown. This chapter examines the growing significance of Krio in Sierra Leone and how it originally developed as a contact language among different groups of resettled emancipated slaves and other indigenous inhabitants of the Freetown area. The implications of the growth of Krio for national language policy and the position of English as the official language are examined, as well as the existence of ambivalent and changing attitudes towards the Krio language.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Additional Information: The publisher, OUP, have kindly agreed for the chapter to be posted as E-prints in the SOAS library.
Keywords: Sierra Leone, Krio, National Integration
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa
Depositing User: Akin Oyetade
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2007
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/181

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