Research on language and culture in Africa

TitleResearch on language and culture in Africa
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsF.K. Ameka, and A. Amha
EditorS. Völkel, and N. Nassenstein
Secondary TitleApproaches to language and culture
Series titleAnthropological Linguistics (AL)
Date Published2022
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
Place PublishedBerlin, Boston
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number9783110726992
KeywordsAfrica, culture, languages, linguistics

The chapter surveys research into the relations among language, culture, and cognition in Africa. A leitmotif is linguistic relativity; the hypothesis that our habitual linguistic practices influence the way we categorize and express the perceptual flow of daily experiences. The chapter is organized around how cultural meanings are encoded and are inferable from forms at all levels of language: syntactic, semantic and pragmatic. These are manifested in various domains including categorization. the cultural bases of nominal classification; the sensorium, linguistic and cultural evidence for the importance of seeing (colors and patterns), and of balance. Manifestations of oblique communication and its impact on grammar, in particular, the link between triadic communication and the use of logophoric and interpretive markers are part of our prime examples of the language-culture symbiosis. Trends in research into the cultural and conceptual bases of social interaction in African communities in particular ideologies of greetings and partings and the related practices of naming and addressing are discussed. An urgent direction in this research is multilingual socialization. We highlight the empirical knowledge African languages have contributed as well as the challenges they pose to existing models and frameworks in the study of the language-culture interface.

Citation Key11875