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THE POLITICS OF LINGUISTIC HOMOGENIZATION IN ETHIOPIA AND THE CONFLICT OVER THE STATUS OF AFAAN OROMOO

Identifieur interne : 000D14 ( Main/Exploration ); précédent : 000D13; suivant : 000D15

THE POLITICS OF LINGUISTIC HOMOGENIZATION IN ETHIOPIA AND THE CONFLICT OVER THE STATUS OF AFAAN OROMOO

Auteurs : Mekuria Bulcha [Suède]

Source :

RBID : ISTEX:F52F790B02CD4607F7B9E4758C75C1DBC1A826D0

Abstract

The suppression of ethnic identities in order to create homogeneous nation-states is an old strategy used by rulers of multi-ethnic and multilingual states. Perceived as salient markers of ethnic identities and as obstacles to the cultivation of the feeling of belonging and loyalty to the state by the policy makers, minority languages become the objects of suppression and replacement by the languages of the dominant groups. However, the attempt to homogenize such states, has, in many cases, faced both overt and covert resistance from the targeted groups. Ethnic opposition to linguistic homogenization is triggered by objective as well as subjective existential concerns. Putting the Oromo in focus, this essay examines the links between state language policy and ethnic conflict in Ethiopia. It sheds light on the history of Oromo literacy from the 1880s to the present decade and explores the role of language in the ‘nationbuilding’ strategies of various Ethiopian regimes. Furthermore, the essay addresses the socio-psychological and integrational consequences of, and Oromo response to, the language policies of these regimes as well as the intermittent attempts made by the Oromo intelligentsia to resist them and to develop and use afaan Oromoo as a medium for education, administration, mass media, and the arts.


Url:
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a007852


Affiliations:


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