Sociolinguistic studies of West and Central Africa

Authored by: Bruce Connell , David Zeitlyn

The Routledge Handbook of Sociolinguistics Around the World

Print publication date:  November  2009
Online publication date:  December  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415422789
eBook ISBN: 9780203869659
Adobe ISBN: 9781135261054


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The regions of West and Central Africa (WCA) may be divided on geographical grounds, with Savannah to the West and Central Africa having most of the remaining rainforest. Within these two regions, however, one also finds considerable geographical and climatic variation. In West Africa–i.e. Mauritania in the west to Cameroon in the east–this runs from north to south as one moves from the Sahara Desert through the Sahel savannahs to forests and coastal plains and swamps. Central Africa is similar, although the region is dominated by rainforest. With respect to political entities, West Africa comprises Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Niger, and Nigeria. Central Africa includes Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with Cameroon forming a bridge or transition between these two regions, and sometimes considered part of West and sometimes part of Central Africa.

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