Required and Urgent: An Upgrade of Pidgin English in the Cameroonian Tower of Babel

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Peter Wuteh Vakunta


The problem with Cameroon’s brand of bilingualism is that it does not grant official status to any of
the indigenous languages existent in the country. The product of this status quo is that Cameroonians
are divided into disparate groups with distinctive linguistic loyalties that often breed internal strife,
undermine effective inter-ethnic relationships and threaten the very survival of the nation-state. In the
absence of a dependable language policy, Cameroon’s most pressing need remains that of a common
medium of communication and instruction that is inclusive of all social strata and ethnic identities.
This paper makes a case for the official adoption of Pidgin English in Cameroon by drawing attention
to some of the sociolinguistic benefits that would accrue to the country in the process.

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