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Cover image for product 1119101565
Gilmore
ISBN: 978-1-119-10156-7
Hardcover
184 pages
September 2015, ©2016, Wiley-Blackwell
This is an out of stock title.
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In 1975, on a remote hillside in postcolonial Up-Country Kenya, two five-year-old boys, one American and one Samburu, met and became inseparable friends for a period of 15 months. Colin and Sadiki’s controversial postcolonial friendship was created through and marked by their invention of Kisisi, an original Swahili pidgin that was understood and shared by just the two of them.

Moving gracefully between intimacy and colonial relations, this study documents a rare case of child language invention that demonstrates striking linguistic and sociolinguistic competencies of young children. As the boys negotiate diverse linguistic ecologies and cultural spaces, they display their abilities as highly effective language innovators. Though the study took place 40 years ago, these examples have significant implications for the study of global cultural encounters prevalent in our increasingly diverse world.

Part historic ethnography, part linguistic case study, and part a mother’s memoir, Kisisi  is a human story of irrepressible expressive creativity as the boys’ quest for language equality creates a place for their friendship that transcends the existing language ideologies, marked colonial borders, and harsh inequities of economics, race and culture that engulfed all aspects of their daily lives.
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