Working Papers in Educational Linguistics (WPEL)


Cécile Evers


This paper examines the interlocking nature of corpus policy and cultivation planning through a case study of the Wolof orthography and its changing role in the Senegalese educational landscape. Until recently, local language orthographies have been the purview of a very limited slice of Senegalese society. Absent, as they were, from formal education in the post-independence period, Wolof orthographies were practiced only by a small group of leftist Senegalese intellectuals, and later by the informal education movement. I trace how the various orthographies of Wolof (viz., French, indigenous, and standard orthographies of Wolof) have been taken up by (often) unexpected actors - new political players, international bodies, and many Senegalese youth - and look into what enables orthographies to function as useful tools in the construction of a post-colonial state, particularly one comprising such different social projects for the future.