Journal article Open Access

"The only language we speak really well". The English creoles of Equatorial Guinea and West Africa at the intersection of language ideologies and language policies

Yakpo, Kofi

This article explores the nexus between language policies and language ideologies in Equatorial Guinea and West Africa. By analyzing spoken and written discourses in Spanish and Pichi, I identify a set of ideas and beliefs about Pichi and the semiotic processes by which they have emerged. The comparison of Pichi with Krio, Nigerian Pidgin, Cameroon Pidgin and Ghanaian Pidgin English shows that Pichi is the most disadvantaged of the West African English-lexicon creoles with respect to a number of sociolinguistic characteristics. I argue that linguistic ideologies about Pichi have contributed significantly to disregarding language policy options for elevating the status and extending the uses of Pichi in Equatorial Guinea. Pichi is nevertheless expected to expand its social functions by gradually conquering additional domains of use as has been the case with the other English creoles of West Africa.

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