|Forensic Linguistics as a Tool for the Development of Cameroon National Languages: The Case of Tunen
|ATINDOGBÉ, Gratien G.
DISSAKE, Endurence Midinette Koumassol
|The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
|African Study Monographs
|Forensic linguistics is the study of language and the law to examine the language related issues within legal settings. Cameroon is a multilingual nation with 2 exoglossic official languages and more than 250 national languages. There are communication problems in its legal milieu as all laws are written and spoken in English and French only and not in any of the national languages. Consequently, illiterate Cameroonians involved in legal encounters of arrests, interrogations, and trials experience genuine communication barriers in police stations and courtrooms, as do their legal advisers and the community interpreters. This paper advocates the introduction of national languages into the legal settings in order to ensure linguistic accommodation for suspects and convicts with poor language proficiency in both English and French. The authors embarked on developing key legal terms in Tunen, a language spoken in the Littoral and Central Regions of Cameroon using five terminology development strategies, namely semantic extension, compounding, translational equivalence, phrasing, and transplanation. In doing so, the authors refute the fallacy that African languages cannot express abstract realities and pave the way for terminology development in any African language.
|Copyright by The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, July 1, 2019.
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