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Goodchild, Samantha (2018) Sociolinguistic spaces and multilingualism: practices and perceptions in Essyl, Senegal. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis explores the perceptions and practices of multilingualism in Essyl, Senegal, by considering how these are used and construed in sociolinguistic space. Based on fieldwork conducted in the village of Essyl, in the Casamance region of southern Senegal, this thesis explores how mobility and spatiality affect both the practices and discursive ideologies of multilingualism in a rural setting from an ethnographic perspective. In order to do this, the thesis addresses the following topics: participants’ life trajectories and the relationship with their linguistic repertoires; what patterns of language use are observed in natural discourse data; perceptions of space and multilingualism by considering approaches to language territorialisation and translanguaging. Firstly, in the three introductory chapters, I present the research area and overview of the wider sociolinguistic setting in Senegal, before moving on to a review of multilingualism and presenting relevant concepts and approaches. Subsequently, I discuss in detail the qualitative methodology behind the thesis focusing on ethnographic methods and triangulation of analyses. There follows three descriptive chapters: firstly, I present the linguistic repertoires of key participants, before describing various patterns of mobility in the following chapter and how those relate to both repertoire expansion and perceptions of multilingualism, while in the last descriptive chapter I focus on examining multilingual linguistic practices in Essyl from various viewpoints. In the final chapters of the thesis, I discuss how participants orient towards diverse, yet inclusive, linguistic practices, and how these are linked to perceived monolingual and multilingual sociolinguistic spaces through processes of erasure and indexicality by way of language territorialisation. I further show how the validity of established concepts such as code are called into question, when taking into account different scales and perspectives of the practices and perceptions of multilingualism in Essyl, Senegal

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Anne Pauwels, Friederike Lupke and Martin Orwin
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2023 12:08

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