What is the relationship between linguistics and decoloniality?

There is a active relationship between “linguistics” and decoloniality.

Linguistics is the study of language. The school of decoloniality is about the reversal of mental and physical subjugation of Black African people.

Linguistics is related to decoloniality because Africans must use language to shape our decolonial identities and cultures.

Identity, language and culture have been related to each other since the beginning of African history.

Decoloniality is focused on creating an economically free African continent.

Linguistics relates to Africa’s economics because language is used to help Africans exit the neo-Apartheid economy.

The neo-Apartheid economy is a continuation of unequal economic relationships inherited from colonialism.

Robert Sobukwe

How does linguistics help Africans decolonise economies?

Language contributes to decoloniality by:

  • Creating financially independent identities.
  • Enabling discussions about social justice.
  • Helping Africans to express their visions of a decolonial economy and land acquisition.
  • Directing Africans and Black people to technology for decolonial communication.
  • Helping Africans to reduce reliance on food from their former oppressors.

The preceding points are informed by Gee’s (2015) “sociocultural theory“.

Sociocultural theory holds that language shapes how humans construct their identities and communities.

Through language Khoe and San descendants are increasingly rejecting “white” imposed identities on their communities as ‘coloureds’.

It is evident that language plays a vital role in how Africans and Black people construct their decolonial identities.