Language Imperialism and the Fate of Minority Languages: Indoctrination through the So-Called Wolofisation of the Senegalese Society
Dr Ibrahima SARR

The term imperialism coined to denote the cultural, economic, and military domination of some political entities over others or a collective or individual will for expansion and domination2 is also frequently used in sociolinguistics when it comes to qualify the expansion of some languages (the so called important languages) especially if it is detrimental to other coexisting languages supposed to be less important encroaching upon domains previously reserved to the latter. Wolofisation falls into that trend all the more as it is defined as the “invasion” of Wolof, which manifests itself through a “pilfering” of speakers from other local languages and results in its hegemony in the sociolinguistic environment of Senegal. This paper provides a critical approach to this state of fact which is well on its way to becoming a generally accepted theory that rallies more and more researchers. It addresses crucial issues as deconstructing old stereotypes, picturing language interaction in the Senegalese environment and critically analyzing the concept of Wolofisation.

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