Language Policy, Language Choice and Language Use in the Tanzanian Parliament
AbstractThe paper examines the pros and cons of the checkered nature of language use in the Tanzanian Parliament. It focuses on language policy, language choice and the practicality of language use in parliamentary discourse. Right from the eve of independence, the medium of communication in the Tanzanian parliament has been Swahili although the option is between Swahili and English; Swahili has been and still is the preferred choice among parliamentarians. Nevertheless, we observe that language contact phenomena such as various forms of alternation between Swahili and English occur quite regularly in parliamentary debates and submissions. The paradox however is that various forms of documentation in parliament are drafted in English. From data extracted from a corpus drawn from issues of the Tanzanian parliamentary Hansard, the paper attempts an analysis of particular choices, the advantages and disadvantages of such choices and their impact on the Swahili language.
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