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Durham e-Theses
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The language of West African writing in English

Young, Peter (1969) The language of West African writing in English. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

Part One of this study consists of a survey of the changing relationship of the West African writer to English as the medium of literary creation throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The African writer is followed through the almost complete cultural and linguistic dispossession of the eighteenth century which by its dose showed signs of slackening. In Chapter Three the changing attitudes towards the African, his education in English, and the gradual re-establishment of his literary independence in the new medium during the nineteenth century are discussed. The process of the 'externalisation' of the African, the emergence of undeniable evidence of his cultural dignity and the final divergence from the British tradition which arose from the early nationalism are also considered as necessary background to the study of the later use of English in West African writing. In Chapter Four, the question of the choice of a language for literary expression in English-speaking West Africa is examined with reference to linguistic thinking. Part Two is a study of present-day attempts to adapt the English language for literary purposes. The various methods by which this adaption has been attempted are subjected to linguistic examination, and their varying success is discussed in the light of the writers' bilingualism, which provides a useful insight into the literary effort in West Africa. The study as a whole is an attempt to provide the foundation of objective preclinical criteria upon which a sounder criticism of the language of West African writing in English might be based.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:34

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