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    Thread: The quest for a universal African language

    1. #31
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      Quote Originally Posted by Obadele Kambon View Post
      There are two main strains of Pan-Afrikanism. One referring to anyone on the Afrikan continent whether they are Afrikan=Black or not including, most especially our first invaders and imperialist oppressors, eurasians (a.k.a. continentalism). The second pan-Afrikanism referring exclusively to Black people regardless of location. The prominence of the first version is seen most clearly in the acceptance of Morocco into the AU and the rejection of Haiti, both in 2016.
      This relates to Kiswahili in that it is so a-rab influenced, it linguistically mirrors continentalism in that it is Afrikan=Black linguistically occupied by a large swath of a-rab lexical items just as much of the land of Afrikan=Black people in the north is occupied by eurasian invaders. Although I can carry a decent conversation in the language, since undergrad I've had a personal aversion to the language for the reason that it represents, in many ways, occupied Afrikan=Black linguistic territory to the same degree that we suffer from occupation of our physical territory. Personally, I advocate a pan-Afrikanism in along the lines of the ideals of the 1900 Pan-Afrikan Conference (where Haiti was mentioned by name in terms of sustaining and defending Afrikan=Black nations) wherein Afrikan means Black and Black means Afrikan. One which is exclusively for Afrikan=Black people and not for invaders. This is also what I advocate for linguistically.
      I agree with you philosophically. What language do you propose we adopt?

      The biggest advantage of Kiswahili is that the majority of its speakers are not ethnic Swahili. As a consequence adoption of it tends to not promote tribalism and may therefore be more unifying.

    2. #32
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      Quote Originally Posted by Obadele Kambon View Post
      There are two main strains of Pan-Afrikanism. One referring to anyone on the Afrikan continent whether they are Afrikan=Black or not including, most especially our first invaders and imperialist oppressors, eurasians (a.k.a. continentalism). The second pan-Afrikanism referring exclusively to Black people regardless of location. The prominence of the first version is seen most clearly in the acceptance of Morocco into the AU and the rejection of Haiti, both in 2016.
      This relates to Kiswahili in that it is so a-rab influenced, it linguistically mirrors continentalism in that it is Afrikan=Black linguistically occupied by a large swath of a-rab lexical items just as much of the land of Afrikan=Black people in the north is occupied by eurasian invaders. Although I can carry a decent conversation in the language, since undergrad I've had a personal aversion to the language for the reason that it represents, in many ways, occupied Afrikan=Black linguistic territory to the same degree that we suffer from occupation of our physical territory. Personally, I advocate a pan-Afrikanism in along the lines of the ideals of the 1900 Pan-Afrikan Conference (where Haiti was mentioned by name in terms of sustaining and defending Afrikan=Black nations) wherein Afrikan means Black and Black means Afrikan. One which is exclusively for Afrikan=Black people and not for invaders. This is also what I advocate for linguistically.
      To me the solution is simple, and implied in what you have stated--we must decolonize Kiswahili.

      Sent from my MotoG3 using Abibitumi Kasa mobile app
      “Since most of our conscious modes of conceptualizing, acting and moving about are conditioned in part by our language, to use the language of another culture is to use that culture’s ideas; and to use another culture’s ideas in place of one’s own is to relegate the latter to a position of de facto inferiority.”
      -sbAt Rkhty Amen

    3. #33
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      In fact, what would be really beautiful is if we intentionally replaced Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, German, and other loan words using languages from throughout Africa, not only the local, Bantu ones. Of course there are indigenous alternatives to many if not most of the loan words.

      Sent from my MotoG3 using Abibitumi Kasa mobile app
      “Since most of our conscious modes of conceptualizing, acting and moving about are conditioned in part by our language, to use the language of another culture is to use that culture’s ideas; and to use another culture’s ideas in place of one’s own is to relegate the latter to a position of de facto inferiority.”
      -sbAt Rkhty Amen

    4. #34
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      Sounds like a plan. I've been working towards this in Twi.

      Ma ku Mbôngi, ka matômbulawanga za ko.
      "The community's political institution does not borrow foreign dialects to discuss its political matters or to educate its' members"
      – Kikôngo proverb



      “The history of Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written correctly until African historians connect it with the history of Egypt [...] The African historian who evades the problem of Egypt is neither modest or objective, nor unruffled, he is ignorant, cowardly, and neurotic.”
      – Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality



      "African champions must break the chain that links African ideas to European ones and listen to the voice of the ancestors without European interpreters."
      – Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr




    5. #35
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      Quote Originally Posted by Heru Djet View Post
      In fact, what would be really beautiful is if we intentionally replaced Arabic, Farsi, Hindi, German, and other loan words using languages from throughout Africa, not only the local, Bantu ones. Of course there are indigenous alternatives to many if not most of the loan words.

      Sent from my MotoG3 using Abibitumi Kasa mobile app
      Is this the Afri-hili proposal?
      Ma ku Mbôngi, ka matômbulawanga za ko.
      "The community's political institution does not borrow foreign dialects to discuss its political matters or to educate its' members"
      – Kikôngo proverb



      “The history of Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written correctly until African historians connect it with the history of Egypt [...] The African historian who evades the problem of Egypt is neither modest or objective, nor unruffled, he is ignorant, cowardly, and neurotic.”
      – Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality



      "African champions must break the chain that links African ideas to European ones and listen to the voice of the ancestors without European interpreters."
      – Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr




    6. #36
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      Quote Originally Posted by Obadele Kambon View Post
      Is this the Afri-hili proposal?
      Yes, I think that is what it could become after a while. I was reading Mugane's Story of Swahili, and it is clear that the language becomes whatever its users wanted and needed it to be at different historical junctures. We are already in that stream of history. We might as well act like it.

      I was contemplating this a few weeks back relative to the word mwalimu (teacher), which derives from the word elimu (education), which derives from Arabic. There are other options for both, such as mfundishaji (teacher), which derives from the verb -funda (instruct). Clearly this is a situation where promoting an indigenous word would be more beneficial than the Arabic one.

      However, let's say that we chose to incorporate a foreign word from another African language. We could use the Kemetic word sbA. If we adjust the word to make it more sonorous with Kiswahili, in addition to complying with its rules of grammar, we could use mseba (wa) for teacher, while retaining the verb root, -seba, as teach. This is an imperfect example, but hopefully makes my point that we can decolonize Kiswahili as well, while making it truly Pan-African in terms of its lexicon.
      Last edited by Heru Djet; 11-01-2017 at 08:38 AM.

    7. #37
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      ...."I've had a personal aversion to the language for the reason that it represents, in many ways, occupied Afrikan=Black linguistic territory to the same degree that we suffer from occupation of our physical territory. Personally, I advocate a pan-Afrikanism in along the lines of the ideals of the 1900 Pan-Afrikan Conference (where Haiti was mentioned by name in terms of sustaining and defending Afrikan=Black nations) wherein Afrikan means Black and Black means Afrikan. One which is exclusively for Afrikan=Black people and not for invaders. This is also what I advocate for linguistically.[/QUOTE}
      [QUOTE]
      Agreed!
      What do you propose?

    8. #38
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      [QUOTE=Sis Njideka;252764]...."I've had a personal aversion to the language for the reason that it represents, in many ways, occupied Afrikan=Black linguistic territory to the same degree that we suffer from occupation of our physical territory. Personally, I advocate a pan-Afrikanism in along the lines of the ideals of the 1900 Pan-Afrikan Conference (where Haiti was mentioned by name in terms of sustaining and defending Afrikan=Black nations) wherein Afrikan means Black and Black means Afrikan. One which is exclusively for Afrikan=Black people and not for invaders. This is also what I advocate for linguistically.[/QUOTE}
      Agreed!
      What do you propose?
      I suggest putting your money where your mouth is.
      Ma ku Mbôngi, ka matômbulawanga za ko.
      "The community's political institution does not borrow foreign dialects to discuss its political matters or to educate its' members"
      – Kikôngo proverb



      “The history of Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written correctly until African historians connect it with the history of Egypt [...] The African historian who evades the problem of Egypt is neither modest or objective, nor unruffled, he is ignorant, cowardly, and neurotic.”
      – Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality



      "African champions must break the chain that links African ideas to European ones and listen to the voice of the ancestors without European interpreters."
      – Jacob Carruthers, Mdw Ntr




    9. #39
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      Default Re: The quest for a universal African language

      When I was in graduate school, a Senegalese sister in my department said that Fula should be the Pan-African language due to its geographic distribution. I learned years later that Hausa has been proposed as a Pan-African language for the same reasons. If we consider a regional approach, that is selecting a language for each major African region, with Kiswahili in the Eastern and Central parts of Africa, then Hausa or Fula might be interesting options for the West.

      Of course this is easier to imagine than achieve, but consider the following:

      1. Geographic distribution: Both languages are widely dispersed as shown in the maps below.

      Fula
      Attachment 10346

      Attachment 10344Overall_f.jpg
      Source: http://www-01.sil.org/silesr/2003/silesr2003-009.html

      Hausa
      Attachment 10347123056-004-AF499AE1.jpg
      Attachment 10345
      Source: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Hausa-language

      2. Each language is spoken in a broad swathe of the West Africa region, making each one a language that can be employed across national borders.

      Number of speakers.
      Fulfulde is spoken by an estimated 13-17 million people.

      Hausa is spoken by an estimated 40-50 million people as a primary or secondary language, 30 million of whom are primary speakers.

      Analysis:
      Each language is spoken in a broad swathe of the West Africa region, making each one a language that can be employed across national borders.

      Though Fulfulde is more geographically dispersed, it has far fewer speakers. Also, its entrenchment as a "lingua franca" is also limited due to the migratory nature of many of the Fulani people.

      Hausa is spoken ten countries and has 10 to 20 million secondary speakers. It is an established lingua franca, and has also displaced other prior lingua franca in the Sahel, such as Kanuri.

      Despite Hausa's potential utility, it does not necessarily have many of the advantages of Kiswahili, such as global diffusion, adoption as a primary national language, and perception as an ethnically-neutral language. It does however enjoy a rich literary history and has a fair number of media resources.

      Sources:
      "Fulfulde". Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World.
      "Fulfulde Language Family Report." SIL International. http://www-01.sil.org/silesr/2003/silesr2003-009.html.
      "Hausa". Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hausa-language.
      "Hausa". Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World.
      Last edited by Heru Djet; 11-02-2017 at 04:27 PM.
      “Since most of our conscious modes of conceptualizing, acting and moving about are conditioned in part by our language, to use the language of another culture is to use that culture’s ideas; and to use another culture’s ideas in place of one’s own is to relegate the latter to a position of de facto inferiority.”
      -sbAt Rkhty Amen

    10. #40
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      Default Re: Global language network

      Quote Originally Posted by Heru Djet View Post
      Perhaps part of our approach should be to prioritize language learning as a means of facilitating commerce. We've tried ideology to a degree, but that doesn't seem to be strong enough, especially given the depth of cultural misorientation among our people. Perhaps the prospect of commercial gain, which also helps us to build our economy, is the way forward?
      In regards to this point, our East African Brothers and Sisters have adopted Kiswahili as the language for there East African Community. I’m wondering if there has been studies on intra-trade amongst these six countries and the role language plays in facilitating intra-trade amongst sole-proprietors? Perhaps other African regions can examine the amount of trade they’re losing as a result of not adopting a regional language?
      Last edited by Tenkamenin; 11-03-2017 at 08:50 AM.
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