Jansen S (2023)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Book chapter / Article in edited volumes

Publication year: 2023

Publisher: De Gruyter

Edited Volumes: Manual of Romance Languages in Africa

Series: Manuals of Romance Linguistics

City/Town: Berlin/Boston

Book Volume: 32

Pages Range: 241-264

ISBN: 978-3-11-062610-0

DOI: 10.1515/9783110628869-012


This contribution gives an overview of the history, development, and current status of French in Guinea, both from an external and internal point of view. Three phases can be distinguished within the history of French in Guinea: firstly, the implementation phase (nineteenth century to 1958), when French was introduced through the colonial apparatus and the educational system, secondly, the restriction phase under the First Republic (1958–1984), during which president Sékou Touré’s postcolonial language policies limited the use of French and promoted national languages in the educational sector and the media, and thirdly, the consolidation phase under the Second Republic (since 1984), that has seen the reversal of Touré’s policies and the reinvigoration of French as the only language of education. Currently, French is in expansion, progressively taking over the vernacular function traditionally performed by the three main national languages Pular, Maninka, and Susu. At the same time, French as spoken in Guinea is characterized by high variability. A national standard does not exit, and informal local norms are still in an emerging state.

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How to cite


Jansen, S. (2023). Guinea. In Reutner, Ursula (Eds.), Manual of Romance Languages in Africa. (pp. 241-264). Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter.


Jansen, Silke. "Guinea." Manual of Romance Languages in Africa. Ed. Reutner, Ursula, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2023. 241-264.

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