How particular languages emerge as de facto or de jure linguae francae is a key issue of debate and analysis in many multilingual contexts worldwide, not least in Africa, which is home to a great many competing intra- and inter-state languages in rural and urban communities. This paper discusses the status and functions of Lingala, which has now attained the level of a supranational language in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In this context, it is argued that the rise of Lingala may largely be explained with reference to its function as a distinguishing index of congolité (being a Congolese), as opposed to being a Rwandan or an ‘occupier’ in the DRC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Sociology and Political Science
- Linguistics and Language