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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with distinctive languages in Africa, i.e. varieties of language that differ from the standard variety. These varieties are spoken by different groups of people for different purposes, and they comprise, for example, guild languages, reverence languages, and urban youth languages. The main differences between standard variety and distinctive language can be found in the lexicon, and different linguistic strategies are used by speakers to derive new words. The chapter first presents the main functions of distinctive languages and then proposes a categorization based on these functions. It then examines the linguistic forms of distinctive languages. In looking at both the functions and the linguistic forms, the chapter gives a comprehensive overview of distinctive languages in Africa.

Keywords: guild language, reverence language, urban youth language, distinctive language, standard variety

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