chapter  1
Francophone African Novels and Their Translation into English
Pages 30

Drawing primarily on the careers of Ousmane Sembene and Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Chantal Zabus argues that relexification can be viewed as a mid-point in the general progression that is being followed by African writing as it moves from 'europhone writing' to 'new forms of African-language writing or other genre'. The study of relexification will be structured around four types of procedure identified by Gerard Marie Noumssi and Rodolphine Sylvie Wamba in their analysis of linguistic innovation in work by Ahmadou Kourouma: composition, derivation, hypostasis and calquing. The examples provided by Noumssi and Wamba focus on nominalization of adjectives or past participles in novels by Kourouma, but it is possible to identify other types of hypostasis both in Kourouma's texts and in those by Tansi, Monenembo and U Tam'si. Although the majority of critical attention to innovative language use in Francophone fiction has focused on the work of Kourouma, processes of relexification are evident in almost half of the corpus texts.