Workshop: Advice in Multilingual African Contexts
Call for Papers
Advice in Multilingual African Contexts
Excellence Cluster Africa Multiple Workshop
University of Bayreuth, July 9-10, 2020
In any society, advice-giving and -receiving are everyday practices of knowledge transmission between people in private, public and in institutional contexts. Advice is part of a complex speech activity in which the speaker typically gives a directive which he or she believes to be beneficial to the hearer. Depending on the situation (solicited or unsolicited) and the relationship between hearer and speaker (familiar, hierarchical, expert or user, etc.), this speech act might also be seen as face-threatening. In face-to-face contexts, Sidnell (2005) has shown the complexity of interactional organization of advice-seeking, advice-giving and -receiving.
In our workshop we want to explore how advice activities are performed in multilingual and postcolonial African contexts. How is advice sought, by whom in which situations and who is in a position to give advice? And in which language(s)? Are there strategic linguistic and cultural differences in the way advice is carried out, e.g., in Cameroonian French, in Cameroon Pidgin English or in a local Cameroonian language like Nso’? Does code-switching play a role in advice activities? Because of its potential face-threat, counsellors often use strategies to make the advice less direct and to de-emphasize the intended agent (= the advisee). How is this achieved in face-to-face situations? How might proverbs and idioms also function as potential (fossilized) advice (cf. Obeng 1996)? We explicitly want to include advice activities in African multilingual contexts that are also part of public and institutional interactions. In the latter, the relationship between advice-giver and advice-recipient is usually that of an expert versus user or advice-seeker, for example, doctor-patient in medical discourse (e.g. Silverman 1996), in media formats such as, for instance, in advice-columns in newspapers and journals (cf. Mutongi 2000), in radio phone-in programs (e.g. Drescher 2012), or in specialized Internet forums (e.g. Locher 2006).
Topics for the workshop include, but are not restricted to:
- Contrastive analyses of advice strategies in different African languages (including ex-colonial languages, contact languages like Nigerian Pidgin, CPE as well as urban youth languages like Sheng or Camfranglais)
- The role of proverbs as fossilized advice
- Factors of age, generation and gender in advice activities
- Code-switching and code-mixing in advice situations
- Expert-user advice in institutional contexts (e.g., in medical or in legal discourse)
- Advice columns online and offline
- Advice in radio phone-in programs
- User-user advice in internet forums
Contributions should be data-based and relate to African or African-diasporic situations. Please confirm your participation by February 29, 2020 to email@example.com. A title and a short abstract (ca. 100-150 words) should be provided by April 15, 2020.