Speaking French without an accent : ideologies about phonetic accommodation among Cameroonian immigrants in ParisReport as inadecuate




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Abstract : This article describes some of the social issues of phonetic accommodation among Cameroonian immigrants in Paris, through the analysis of their ideologies about the practice of ​ whitisage, a neologism which refers, according to the subjects, to the act of -speaking like a White person- or in other words -speaking French without an accent-. This practice is a form of accommodation which consists in adapting one-s way of speaking toward a non-Cameroonian interlocutor by imitating his or her accent. By describing both the social functions and the ambivalent meanings of this language practice, I show that if it can be valued as a form of adaptation and a sign of open-mindedness to others in a new socio-cultural environment, it can also be perceived, in some contexts, as a form of assimilation and rejection of one-s identity. I argue that the negative values associated with ​ whitisage must be related to the socio-historical circumstances in which this social practice appeared as a psychological and cultural consequence of the power relationship between the Black colonized and the White colonizer.

Keywords : ​ language ideologies language and migration accent and identity style-shifting language and colonization race and ethnicity African studies linguistic anthropology sociolinguistics linguistic ideologies communication accommodation theory social psychology French language studies





Author: Suzie Telep -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/



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