The paper focuses on minor noun classes and minor genders in Niger-Congo languages, which are usually regarded as anomalies in class systems. It takes into consideration data from 243 languages, and shows that such anomalies are most characteristic for quite specific meanings, namely those traditionally regarded as prototypical meanings of noun classes: ‘person’, ‘thing’, ‘foot’, ‘tree’, ‘eye’, ‘place’, etc. Thus, the particular patterns of class agreement observed, or particular correlations between singular and plural noun classes, often do not represent accidental exceptions, but are better thought of as a kind of marker of noun class paradigmatic semantics.
Niger-Congo noun classes, anomalies in noun class systems, minor noun classes and genders, typology of the atypical, prototypical noun class meanings, noun class paradigmatic semantics
Using Indigenous Language in Telecom Advertisements: Communicative Effects of Cigogo in TTCL 4G Launch Campaign in Tanzania
In 2017, TTCL, one of the leading providers of telecommunication services in Tanzania, launched an unusual advertising campaign. Its content was culturally and linguistically localised targeting large ethnic groups of Tanzania (the Wasukuma, Wagogo, Wanyakyusa, Waluguru people). Billboards were placed in major cities where these ethnic groups are found. The billboards showed traditional and modern-day activities typical for the regions, accompanied by greetings in the respective indigenous languages. In this way, TTCL planned to create an awareness of their services, to acquire new customers, and to link the use of their services and patriotic feelings. This study analyses the ways 48 Wagogo persons decoded the information from the billboards found across the capital city, Dodoma, and interpreted the intended message. It measures the effectiveness of the advertisement and estimates the effects that the use of Cigogo had on native speakers. The methods used are a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview with subsequent statistical analyses of the data (1-sample proportion test with continuity correction and Pearson’s chi-squared test).
Bantu, Cigogo, modernisation, language of advertisement, language policy, indigenous languages, African languages
This paper compares the language ideologies expressed in two monologues from speakers of Barayin, a Chadic language spoken by about 6000 people in the Guera region of Chad. Both speakers express an essentialist conceptualization of their language in which an authentic use of the language is linked to ethnic identity. However, one speaker rejects the need for literacy in Barayin, while the other argues for literacy to help the younger generation maintain their vital link to the language.
language revitalization, language maintenance, literacy, Barayin, language ideology