The multilingual situation in Cameroon and the status of English as
a co-official language constitute a unique and fascinating case for
sociolinguistic investigation. Drawing from first-hand material,
the author investigates several aspects of this complex
configuration, including the historical development of English in
Cameroon, the various languages and lingua franca areas, the
linguistic policy, the de facto status of English and the situation
in the anglophone provinces. The speech community of the
Anglophones is highlighted as a rare example of an ethnicity tied
to the second language. Apart from important sociolinguistic
findings, the work includes a novel, corpus-based analysis of
Cameroon English. Certain lexical phenomena are explained by the
cognitive coding of culture - particularly the African cultural
model of community, which also underlies the self-perception of the
Anglophones - a perspective hitherto neglected in the study of the
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