Fula spoken in the city of Maroua (Northern Cameroon). A sociolinguistic insight into its use by non-ethnic speakers


Dr. Jean Pierre Boutché

Research Area:


My research project is aimed at investigating the speech of non-ethnic Fulfulde speakers in Northern Cameroon with a special focus on the Christian community of Maroua, where the language is adopted as evangelistic instrument beside French, which is restricted to formally educated people. Three key reasons motivate our investigation and demonstrate the sociolinguistic importance of this case. The first is context – Fulfulde is embedded in a multilingual contact situation with Indo-European languages (French, English) and many other local languages belonging to Afro-Asiatic, Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo phyla that might have influenced its structure. The second reason is related to the status of Fulfulde as lingua franca in the region. This status is unique compared to the situation in other countries such as Senegal, Chad or Sudan where it is mainly an intraethnic medium of communication. The third issue of note is that – in contrast to the common perception of Fulfulde as the language of a Muslim community – here we are targeting the Christian Fulfulde speakers who share the language as well as the Bible (translated into Fulfulde) as common goods for interethnic communication in their religious activities.