By Vladimír Klíma, Karel František Růžička, Petr Zima (auth.)
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Extra resources for Black Africa: Literature and Language
The lack of contrast might have been particularly responsible for such an understanding of Tutuola's language in his early books. Ekwensi's Jagua IVana represents, however, a completely opposite case: the contrast between the pidginized and Standard English forms enables any reader to distinguish the stylistic func- 49 tion of the pidgin-written parts. Ibo proverbs and short quotations (mostly translated or explained somehow) in Chinua Achebe's otherwise more or less strictly Standard English books also represent an extreme example of such differences.
Even mere access to books has been differently stratified in most areas (although our own actual field experience has been restricted to West Africa only): vernacular publications, produced by various literacy or language bureaux, have been obtainable either from the book-vans run by such bureaux directly in the field, which come periodically to the villages in the bush to reach their readers, or they may be obtained from small, low-cost bookshops or stationers in the town. If, however, direct distribution is abandoned and left to the huge, usually uninterested corporations, the resulting lack of direct contact may be disastrous (cf.
Such factors seem to have been more intensive in the case of Rausa, where the identification of the language with its ethnical background played a role. Religious and marginally other ideological factors were also of importance in both cases, especially in their broader cultural reperscusions, thereby influencing the graphization and reorientation (or rather, initial graphization and reorientation) processes. A spontaneous standardization (or development of a literary standard) took place in both * The idea of a sociolinguistic comparability of the two main African linguae francae grew out of a discussion held by the present author with Professor Jack Berry, Lyndon Harries, Ali Mazrui, John Paden and the late W.