Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This paper investigates the impact of the historical factor on language choice in Protestant Churches in Cameroon. It is based on the postulate that religious languages are more stable than their secular counterparts, not only in their forms, but also in their variety. Therefore, it was hypothesized that the first language group to come in contact with the mother mission society of a religious variety is likely to remain the major group in the church, and its language, the liturgical language. To verify this hypothesis, the researcher analysed language use in three Protestant parishes located in the Yaoundé metropolis: the Oyom-Abang parishes of the Eglise Evangélique du Cameroun and Eglise Presbytérienne Camerounaise, and the Yaoundé-Melen-Philadelphie parish of the Eglise Protestante Africaine. The data were collected via participant observation and informal interviews. Their analysis revealed that the use of indigenous languages for key parts of a church service in the three parishes selected was usually associated with the place where the Church was founded, which is the area where its mother mission society first settled in the country. In that vein, the following languages were reported: Bamileke at EEC Oyom-Abang, Basaa at EPC Oyom-Abang, and Ngumba (Kwasio) at EPA Yaoundé-Melen-Philadelphie.


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