Creole Practices as Prescriptive Guidelines for Language Didactics? A Selective Overview of Glissant's Thoughts on Language and Social Identity

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This article presents some of Glissant’s thoughts about the status and usage
of the Creole language in relation to French and the consequences for the social
imaginary in Martinique and in the Caribbean. The author formulates
three thematic focal points: Archipelagic thinking, creolisation and dynamic
changes of language forms in a context of power and resistance and, as a
third point, the right to remain ‘opaque’ and the distinction between language
form and ‘langage’. The author argues that we may detect a descriptive and
a prescriptive dimension in Glissant’s thinking about language. In the following
section, the author introduces different sociolinguistic studies of language
practices in Martinique and the Caribbean giving a particular attention
to the school system. The section ends with a brief discussion of how didactics
in language teaching intersects with Glissant’s thinking. The conclusion
presents a proposition of how Glissant’s thought may inspire sociolinguistics
and didactics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKarib - Nordic Journal for Caribbean Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)79-105
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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