Publication details [#63230]

Tatah, Gwendoline. 2017. Repertoires Overshadowed: Linguistic Negotiations and Interactions Outside Comfort Zones. Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa 48 (2) : 47–68.
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Article in journal
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This paper elucidates the interplay of negotiations and categorisations that characterise the trajectory of Cameroonian immigrant learners as they move through diasporic and linguistic spaces in Cape Town. In the process of these negotiations, features of their linguistic repertoire and other material market (culture, race, dress types, etc.) become unregistered as linguistically “other.” In the South African context they are considered as outsiders or described as “others” while what marks them as competent linguistic, social and highly valued Cameroonians learners is erased and replaced. Making use of an Interactional Sociolinguistics (IS) analytical framework Conversation Analysis (CA) it becomes visible how discursive processes construct new selves for these learners in different interactional spaces. In tracing the intricate processes of negotiations and categorisations, it is asserted that what is absent from accounts of identity construction and identification in all settings is attention to absences: to what should be of value is not, what is deliberately obscured, what slips quietly out of view, or tainted deliberately.