Linguistic Politics In Sudan: Issues Of Power, Ideology And Cultural Difference

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Ahmed Al-Sadig Berair, Berair
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This research explores the different constructions of linguistic policies of the Sudan. It assumes that, when closely examined, most of these constructions had never accommodated dimensions that have to do with issues of power, ideology and cultural difference. Therefore, a welldefined language politics could hardly emerge. The procedure followed was to scrutinize a variety of documents of different genres to see how linguistic policies were constructed from within a context that is characterized by cultural/linguistic difference and complex power and ideology relations. The study is divided into 6 chapters together with a bibliography and appendices. Drawing on discourse theories, studies of language ideologies and contemporary linguistic policy theoretical orientations, the research took a form of critique to highlight problems of language politics in the Sudan. The position of research was that of a keen, criticalist and political linguist to support all claims around linguistic policies ever introduced in the Sudan. The study further developed other claims that there is obviously a lack of proper and accommodating language politics; i.e. earlier policies have failed to cater for linguistic/cultural difference. As well, there were a number of signs of excluding minor languages which never showed up fairly and equal terms in all 'documents' of the official discourse. This very point proved to be connected with the domination of Arabic, Arabism and policy of arabicization. Finally, the study concluded that vi many of the language problems, with emphasis on linguistic policy, have remained quite for a time unaddressed or unresearched, and this has given rise to other language problems. Finally, some suggestions were made for future linguistic policy. For instance, it is of significance to rethink and review all language policies in the light of the linguistic/cultural difference. Also, political linguists and sociolinguists should take on board new trends of globalization and interpretations of discourse to bring about appropriate language politics. Lastly, it has been recommended that politics of difference and recognition should be set in bodies of rules and legislations. This may contribute in resolving problems of language, identity and national culture.