Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 10, No 1-2 (2016)

The use of discourse markers among youth in Senegambia borderland

Jane Mitsch
Issued Date: 4 Jun 2016


While the foundational work on ‘African youth language’ by Kießling and Mouss (2004) is informative and offers insight into the agency of young city-dwellers in creating ‘resistance identities’, it also excludes large portions of African ‘youth’, most notably young women, but also most of the youth not residing in large African metropolises. A more holistic approach to ‘African youth language’ and the way linguistic resources are variably employed in the construction of identity can reveal some of the ways nationality, gender, and modernity get associated in an indexical field. In this paper I examine the way discourse markers are part of the linguistic resources used by borderland youth as indexical tools that help construct gendered, national identities. Although French, English, and Wolof discourse markers are all in circulation within the borderland, the young speakers in this study variably index national-orientation and gender through their usage of ‘native’ vs. ‘borrowed’ discourse markers.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v10i1-2.27933


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