Vernacular Literacy Practices in Present-day Mali

Abstract : This chapter approaches the complexity of the multilingual situation of Mali by taking a close look at texts produced outside institutional contexts, by writers often struggling with writing. These writings display a variety of resources at work when writers deal with linguistic heterogeneity. Some of those resources are common to any kind of writing, such as the use of the spatial lay-out and punctuation marks. Others are more closely associated with hand-writing, such as small variations in the form of the letters. Discursive devices also appear, in forms sometimes comparable to oral discourse, such as metalinguistic glosses, but often combined with graphic devices. We observe various ways of dealing with multilingualism when producing vernacular writings. Lack of confidence or competence in one language may account for some cases of code-switching, but as a whole, the writers appear to make expressive uses of their mixed repertoire. Handling several languages offers a space for practices of translation and other forms of association of languages where the distinct spaces of reference the writers belong to can be rearranged or at least put together. Faced with an unbalanced written repertoire, the writers are often not fully equipped to align their practice to their language choices. Their writings show, however, that they are able to deal with this situation in creative and unexpected ways.
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Chapitre d'ouvrage
Mark Sebba, Shahrzad Mahootian and Carla Jonsson. Language Mixing and Code-Switching in Writing. Approaches to Mixed-Language Written Discourse, Routledge, pp.170-191, 2012
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00683899
Contributeur : Cécile Van den Avenne <>
Soumis le : vendredi 30 mars 2012 - 10:34:48
Dernière modification le : mercredi 28 septembre 2016 - 15:35:16

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  • HAL Id : halshs-00683899, version 1

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Cécile Van den Avenne, Aïssatou Mbodj-Pouye. Vernacular Literacy Practices in Present-day Mali. Mark Sebba, Shahrzad Mahootian and Carla Jonsson. Language Mixing and Code-Switching in Writing. Approaches to Mixed-Language Written Discourse, Routledge, pp.170-191, 2012. <halshs-00683899>

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